Twelve girls qualify for state
Twelve Lady Panthers qualified for state in 13 events before the regional tournament which is being held on Saturday, May 21 in Rugby. Athletes can still qualify at the regional tournament and first and second place winners at region automatically go to state.
The twelve are: Rachel Hoffert, Crystal Hovland, Molly Koenig, Sydney Kraft, Aubrey Hovland, Hannah Christenson, Shanaya Fred, Chandra Yankton, Kassi Jorgenson, Alicia Leier, Emily Stier and Lauren Christenson.
Three of the state qualifiers are seniors finishing out their high school careers. They are Crystal Hovland, Molly Koenig and Rachel Hoffert.
Crystal has qualified in eight events: 200 and 400 meter runs, 100 and 300 hurdles and the 4×100, 4×200, and 4×800 relays. Molly qualified in the shot put and Rachel Hoffert qualified in the 4×100 , 4×200, and 4×400 relays.
Rugby Coach Bill Jansen had this to say about these three Lady Panthers, “Crystal Hovland is a great kid in all aspects. I would like to see Molly Koenig on the stands this year. She is our best in all three throwing events. Rachel Hoffert is a sprinter. She has been a real good leader this year.”
Hovland has been a leader for track just as she was in basketball and volleyball. She is an all-around athlete and has a work ethic to go with her talents. She plans to be an educator and coach and her leadership has certainly shown she can do what she sets out to do. Her younger sister, Aubrey, a sophomore, has the best jump in the state, so far, according to her coach.
Six girls competed at state last year and are coming back this year: seniors, Hovland, Hoffert, Koenig; junior, Sydney Kraft, sophomore Aubrey Hovland, and freshman Chandra Yankton.
Junior Sydney Kraft has been to state every year of her high school career and has qualified this year in five events: 800, 1600, 3200 meter Runs, 4×400 and 4×800 relays. “She is an outstanding athlete and does very well in cross country, too,” said Coach Jansen.
Chandra Yankton has qualified for state in the 3200 which bodes well for the start of her high school career in track in Rugby. She has a great running career if she chooses to continue to pursue it.
Freshman Shanaya Fred is starting her high school career off by qualifying for state in the 4×100 relay.
The sister duo of freshman Hannah and seventh grader Lauren Christenson are athletes to watch in the future.
“It is great having Hannah out again. She is a work horse,” said Coach Jansen.
Hannah, who was gone for a year, leads the way and Lauren has to beat her. Lauren qualified for state this year.
Another junior high one to watch is Emily Stier. Steir qualified in five events for state as an eighth grader: 400 meter run, 300 hurdles, 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400 relays. Eighth graders Kassi Jorgenson and Alicia Leier each qualified for state in a relay.