Auden Recker leads a pack at the West Delaware Invitational. He recorded the fastest time by a Blazer boy this year with a time of 19:09.

With four top-10 school records set, the Beckman’s boys’ cross country program is starting to move into the levels their coach Tyson Squiers imagined for them when he started four years ago.

“I don’t think we’ve had that many in my four years,” said coach Tyson Squiers. “I think that shows how much we are improving from year to year. On top of that, with all the uncertainty leading up to this season with Covid, I think a highlight is the fact that we got to have a full season at all.”

The team graduates four seniors in Sam Oberbroeckling, Nate Schaefer, Sean Hinerichsen and Tyler Salrin. “Sam was a six-year runner for us and co-captain the last two years,” added Squiers. “ He has continued to improve through the year and we hope his years of commitment become a norm for our program. Nate ran for two years and was co-captain this year. He has been a leader on the team and has a great competitive nature. Sean worked extremely hard in this his first year and we wish he would have been on the team earlier. He brings humor and the positivity that every team needs. Tyler was also a first-year runner and is a very hard worker who is always positive. He is not only an actual ‘big brother’ to his brother Andrew but also a great role model for the younger runners.

“All of these seniors have made a lasting impact on our underclassmen as well as our program. This group was my first group of freshmen when I began coaching at Beckman and I truly appreciate the dedication they’ve put into our team as well as the trust they put in me. I will miss this group very much. They are a great group of kids who have such positive attitudes. I have no doubt they will all excel in whatever they choose to do in the next chapter of their lives.”

Squiers added, “There was definitely a lot of improvement this season, not only just from the past year, but throughout the season as well. Many of the runners improved by over a minute from their previous best and consistently improved from meet to meet. Another big improvement was our team cohesion. It seemed as though everyone was always on the same page and working toward the same goals. That’s what we need to be successful.

“The future is very bright. Even though we are losing a big part of our team in the seniors, we have young talent on both sides. Despite all the hurdles we had to jump this season, I think we may have gained some interest from students not in another fall sport. With the small numbers we have, it would be great to have a few more runners on each side. We also have some talented eighth-grade students coming up that will be contributors next season, possibly even on the varsity stage. There is definitely still room to improve as well. Our summers could be a little stronger as a whole but we are getting a little better each year. I have things in mind that I would like to change and build upon to hopefully keep advancing our program.

“This was definitely a unique season for any fall sport and we were no exception. We’re so thankful we got to have a full season and we took advantage of the time we had. It felt as though we were always on borrowed time in a way, so I kept reminding them to “run like it’s our last race” because, in all honesty, any of them could have been. We appreciate the support from parents, community members and fellow students so much. It was amazing this year.”

Individual best times for each runner: Auden Recker 19:09; Jacob Schlarmann 19:34; Joe Schneider 20:21; Spencer Rea 20:28; Ryan Schlarmann 21:02; Schaefer 21:37; Cassius McGrane 21:51; John Paul Grebner 22:12; Sheldon Corkery 22:18; Max Oberbroeckling 23:13; Hinerichsen 23:27; Isaac Westhoff 24:04; Andrew Salrin 24:07; Tyler Salrin 24:11; Sam Oberbroeckling 24:15; Riley White 24:20;, Devin Burlage 24:34; and Ean Brown 25:05.