MVAOCOU seniors Dylan Blake and Weston Beeson finished first and second in four cross country meets this season, much to the delight of the two runners.
“I like winning, but I love going one, two with Weston. It’s our goal pretty much every meet,” said Blake.
Beeson noted one of his best memories this season was when they finished first and second at the Tri-Center meet on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and then finished first and second at the MVAOCOU Invitational two days later on Thursday, Sept. 26.
Last year, at the Western Valley Conference meet, the Rams won the boys team title. This year, despite not running their best times, Blake and Beeson finished first and second individually.
While they might have finished first and second four times, head cross country coach Alden Berkenpas said the boys have two completely different personalities.
“Weston isn’t going to say much. He’s going to go to work and do his job,” Berkenpas said. “Dylan is a little bit more aggressive and pushes himself more. They work well together.”
Beeson said in practice it’s usually Blake out in front saying, “Let’s go, Beeson.”
With Blake in front, Beeson has worked on cutting down the gap (distance/time) between them.
Blake added it works out great that they complement each other, and they don’t disagree about much.
Both runners qualified for the State Cross Country meet as juniors and set high goals going into the 2019 season. They wanted to come home this year with a State medal.
“They know what it’s like (State), and they are going to work twice as hard and probably work more then you would like them to,” said Berkenpas.
Blake said, “I didn’t medal at state last year, and I’ve been mad about that for the past 365 days now.”
Both runners spent a lot of time running during the off-season and summer to prepare for their senior season.
“If you sit around all summer, you’re not going to get a whole lot better,” said Beeson.
Due to the wet weather this fall, MVAOCOU had a couple of meets cancelled. This allowed the Rams time to rest injuries and work out the bugs as some of the meets came so close together.
Berkenpas said that by competing in some different meets (Tri-Center and Sibley) this year, they were able to see some different competition. They had only seen some of those runners on paper (stats), but this way they were able to compete with them head-to-head on the same course.
Blake added that he liked getting to see the tougher competition at the meets that were added.
Coach Berkenpas said this year has been fun, and it has been interesting to watch them develop.
Blake started running cross country in junior high and has turned into a four-time State cross country qualifier.
“He has made many strides and has matured as a runner,” said Berkenpas, who stated Blake has also learned the strategy that comes with cross country.
Beeson didn’t even go out for cross country as a freshman and still became a two-time State qualifier.