Andrew Beach welcomes the opportunity to compete against the best.
At the Milaca Megameet earlier this year, the Minot High School junior finished 21st in a field of 178 runners from Minnesota and North Dakota. At today's West Region cross country meet in Jamestown, he'll run with similar aspirations.
"For me, just a goal is to hopefully get all-WDA," Beach said. "Hopefully get top 20. That's about all I can hope for right now."
Minot High School junior Andrew Beach jogs at a Wednesday practice.
Bismarck and Williston are by far the meet's two favorites. MHS boys coach Aaron Klingbeil said he hopes his team can take third. To do so, the Magicians will have to catch Bismarck Century for the first time this season.
"Position-wise, just looking at the races, we're kind of in a gap between them and then Dickinson, Mandan pops up," Klingbeil said. "It's a stretch of a goal, but we try to compete well late season."
The meet will likely be the coldest either the boys or girls teams have competed in all season. For senior Samantha Huether, this isn't a problem.
Huether is coming off her second individual victory of the year, a win at the Williston Invitational. She said the frigid temperature will actually help her run.
"It's harder and easier," Huether said. "You go numb after awhile 'cause it's so cold. Breathing gets a little harder but I think we do better when it's colder outside. ... You can't feel anything that's aching or hurting and we're just able to speed up and breeze right through it."
Huether finished third at the meet a year ago and said her goal is to finish in the top five once again this year.
Clare Super hopes to make the team that competes at state next week. The senior injured her calf in an Oct. 2 practice and has had to ride a stationary bike at practices since.
"It came right at the wrong time," Super said. "Right before our last meet before WDA. It's not opportune."
Super said her calf is about 80 percent and that she will be able to run at today's meet.
Bismarck Century sophomore Jordan Jacob and Bismarck High senior Jake Leingang will try to repeat as girls and boys region champions. The meet begins at 1 p.m. at Hillcrest Golf Club.