Four Becker Bulldog Boy harriers performed well at the MSHSL State meet at St. Olaf College. Seniors Tyson Ricker and Mason Becker, returned to state as the two had been there in 2021, but for freshmen Tanner Felton and Parker Spindler, it was a brand new experience.
At the starting area, the Bulldogs got to see many of the Bulldog supporters that were there to cheer for them and the Bulldog girls.
“It was really great to see so many people that made it out to St. Olaf to celebrate these runners’ achievements,” said Head Coach Dustin Weege. “I absolutely loved hearing so much positive Bulldog cheering as I darted to various spots around the course and I know that the guys and girls enjoyed the Bulldog support too.”
Coach Weege also shared his thankfulness for the great messages that were shared with the team from Bulldog alumni and Bulldog leaders. “Those were really fun to share with the team, and I appreciate the investments of many that have helped these Bulldog runners get to this stage.”
When the starter’s pistol went off for the start of the race, the field of the top 160 runners from the state surged forward and Mason Becker was excited for the experience and commented during the day that he’d been feeling great. He started his second state meet appearance with a slightly more conservative first mile, but then made some gains in his second mile of the race. During his final portion of the 3.1 mile race, Mason worked hard to finish strong and he accomplished a time of 17:38.
Ahead of Mason were Spindler and Felton, who are the only two in known Becker history to race under 17 minutes in their freshmen year.
The freshmen started out with strong first mile splits and they overtook 36 runners after that mile in their journey to the finish line. Felton had another 16:50 as he had his third time under 17 while Spindler ran a 16:57 to break the 17 mark for the first time. Felton placed 36th while Spindler was 46th as they were both in the top one-third of the field.
Ricker aggressively raced in his final MSHSL 5km event after steadily pursuing gains through his years of training.
“Tyson has had his sights on this day for a long time,” said Weege. “And it has been neat to see him develop over the years.”
Ricker’s time of 16:17 is the fastest state meet 5km in Becker history and was about a half-minute faster than his time last year. Ricker repeated his All-State status as he placed 14th. Ricker also earned All-State Academic honors.
“I was impressed with the work the four guys did during the season along with teammates and I was pleased to see all four of the runners finish the season with good hard runs,” Weege said. “It has been a joy with this crew and we look forward to seeing the guys do some fantastic things in their futures.”