Late surge gives Rugby boys second place
Rugby wasn’t expected to challenge for the Class B boys state title, but perhaps it’s not surprising the Panthers came within two seconds of a title.
Behind some big performances on day two, Rugby finished runner-up -just two points behind New Town on May 23 at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
In fact, the Panthers entered the final race on the track – the 1600 meter relay – with a chance at the crown. Rugby trailed the Eagles by eight points. Winning the relay would have given them 10 points; second place would have given them eight, and a share of the crown.
Unfortunately, the Panthers had to settle for third in the relay. Neverthless, it couldn’t take away what was another terrific performance for the orange and black. It was the fifth time in six seasons Rugby finished fourth or better at the meet.
The team once again had a pair of state individual champions in senior Bryant Halvorson and junior Dylan Yoder.
Halvorson defended his long jump title while Yoder captured the 800 meters.
The team also received key contributions from Eric Kuntz. The sophomore had a breakout meet, placing in four events.
In the pole vault, Kuntz cleared 13-6, a personal best, and dueled Langdon-Munich’s Jordan Fisk for the title. Kuntz, who competed, but did not place last year in the pole vault, finished second.
“I felt good, the temperature was warm, which makes it a lot better to vaul, the pole bends better, and I just went for it (the title),’ he said.
Earlier on day two, Kuntz placed sixth in the 300 meter hurdles in a time of :41.35 and fifth in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of :15.94. “The competition was really tough,’ he said. “I though I ran some good times.”
On day one, Kuntz was seventh in the triple jump. “It was hard to keep my jumps consistent,’ he said. “It wasn’t my best day, but I was happy to still place.”
Senior Tommy Dunn also placed in the 110 high hurdles, finishing sixth with a time of :16.05. “I definitely wanted to place,’ said Dunn, who is from Wolford. “Last year, I made finals but I false started.”
Dunn also competed in the high jump, and was just one spot out of placing.
For the first time in recent memory, Rugby also had all four relays place. The 400 meters was fourth; the 800 was fifth; the 1600 was third; and the 3200 was fourth.
Those points proved valuable as Rugby made a surge toward a title on day two.
Senior Tommy Schwartz also competed in the pole vault, but did not place. Freshman David McAtee competed in the javelin, but did not place.