Mark Beckmann Placed 9th at XC State Meet!

posted Nov 4, 2013, 1:20 PM by webmaster district   [ updated Nov 4, 2013, 1:22 PM ]


DeKalb junior Mark Beckmann finished in ninth place in the Indiana High School Athletic Association cross country state finals on Saturday, earning a time of 15 minutes, 48.5 seconds.

TERRE HAUTE — DeKalb’s Mark Beckmann and West Noble’s Brandon Arnold both had a singular goal at Saturday’s Indiana High School Athletic Association cross country state finals: finish in the top 20 and reach the podium.

Missions accomplished.

Beckmann reached that goal and then some, running one of the best races of his career on the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Sports Center, finishing in ninth place with a time of 15 minutes, 48.5 seconds.

“It means a lot,” Beckmann said. “The funnest thing was to look out at the crowd and see everyone out there, and know you’re one of the top 10 in the state of Indiana. It’s a good experience.”

Arnold just made it, taking 20th place and the last podium spot at 15:58.6.

Beckmann ran with the top group of 20 runners the entire way, executing his game plan — to not rush out too fast in the first half of the race — to perfection. Beckmann never fell out of the top 20 throughout the course of the race.

“My game plan was to try to hang with the front pack in the first mile,” Beckmann said. “There were people that were going to go out crazy, I just had to stay out and wait. When you hit a mile and a half, there’s a decent incline and that’s where I started to pick it up and got lots of people on that.

“From the 3K to the 4k, it was get this person, get this next person. A little past the 4K point, you’re starting to figure out, I know I’m in the top 10 and you can hang on.”

Beckmann is the first Baron runner to finish in the top 10 since Kaleb VanOrt finished third in 2000 and second in 2001.

Beckmann ran in the state finals last year, finishing 45th (16:10). That experience from last year paid off in a major way Saturday.

“You get lots of kids come down here for the first time, it’s a pretty crazy atmosphere. But when you know exactly what you’re going to do, that pays huge dividends there,” said DeKalb coach Rowland Perez. “This is definitely his kind of course. He did exactly what he had to do. He ran the race and deserves all the credit. He followed the game plan and just kept moving up. Every time the coaches saw him, he looked perfect.”

This year’s boys’ race, however, will be remembered by what happened to Concordia’s Zach Panning. Panning, the favorite to win going in, led throughout nearly the entire race, and with 300 meters to go, collapsed on the ground. Panning got up multiple times, subsequently fell down multiple times, and collapsed again as he crossed the finish line. He finished 22nd (15:59).

Arnold was one of the runners to finish just ahead of Panning, and really ran the race he had to run to give himself a chance to get on the podium, said Chargers coach Rusty Emmert.

“Brandon ran very, very well. There was a lot of tough competition,” Emmert said. “He was in position from the very beginning by getting out with the leaders. He maintained and held on. There were a cluster of people in that last kilometer and he picked off a few.

“Brandon ran a smart, tough race. He did what he needed to do and made it happen. I’m proud of him.”

Terre Haute South senior Jackson Bertoli won the individual title with a time of 15:32.4.

Carmel won the state title with 64 points. Columbus North (78) was second.

Article from The Star on Sunday, November 3, 2013 -- Written by  Phil Friend