Hovland making strides for Rugby
As a sophomore in track and field, Nolan Hovland established himself as a up-and-coming hurdler and even ran on Rugby’s 4×800 relay team.
But running longer distances was something he didn’t have a lot of experience doing until this fall.
This fall on the Panthers cross country team, the lanky junior has found his stride.
Hovland has finished in the top 10 in each of Rugby’s last two meets, placing sixth in the Grafton Invite on Sept. 5 before notching a seventh-place finish at the Griggs County Central Cougar Invitational.
Despite finishing one place lower in the second race, Hovland continued to lower his times, going from 19 minutes, 48 seconds in Grafton to 19:08 two days later.
With the help of Tanner Bernhardt’s fourth-place finish, the Panthers placed third at the Cougar Invitational, just a single point behind Hillsboro-Central Valley and Griggs County Central with a total of 112.
Noah Kraft (32nd), John Mueller (34th) and Brady Fossum (35th) ran in a pack, rounding out the scoring runners for Rugby.
On the girls side, the Panthers notched a first place in Grafton and a second place at the Cougar Invite with the help of its usual suspects.
Allison Foster placed fifth in Grafton with a time of 16:51 and 10th place at the Cougar Invite with a time of 16:56.
Teammate Tristin Lunde was just a few seconds back in both races, placing 11th and 13th respectively.
Bailey Nelson (14th), Hannah Christenson (18th) and Karin Selland rounded out the team’s roster in Grafton, leading the Panthers to the title.
At the Cougar Invite, Rugby placed second behind defending state champ Hillsboro/Central Valley, finishing with 117 points to H/CV’s tidy 69.
Selland placed 22nd and Nelson finished 30th as Jenna Wangler got the team’s final counting place with 42nd.
The Panthers travel to Mandan for a meet on Sept. 14.