Panthers get a taste of state course
The Rugby cross country teams had no shortage of motivation for their Sept. 21 race in Valley City.
Not only was it held at the same course where the state meet will be in about a month, but the meet was the Bill Jansen Memorial, named in honor of the Rugby coach Bill Jansen’s father.
The Panthers ran in the B girls division, finishing in first place.
“They had two divisions,” Jansen “My dad used to always run that meet. He had a A division and a B division. We ran, for sentimental reasons, in the B division. We stayed in the B but a lot of Class B teams ran in the A.”
On the girls end, Allison Foster (16 minutes, 43 seconds) and Tristin Lunde (16:57) continued to lead the way, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Jansen said the Panthers finished fourth among all Class B teams at the race, trailing third-place Killdeer as well as Shiloh Christian, which edged powerhouse Hillsboro/Central Valley for first.
“We ended up fourth,” Jansen said. “That’s about where I think we are right now in our training. Killdeer beat us. They hadn’t beat us before but I knew they’re tough. Shiloh Christian ended up winning by a decent margin.”
Jansen said the team’s depth is improving, but its top runners must challenge for higher spots.
“The interesting thing about it is our fifth runner was ahead of any of the top 3 teams’ fifth runner,” he said. “We have to step up our game on the top side. We have been training real hard and we haven’t let off much. I’m hoping at the end of the year when we let off a little bit and give our legs a little time to recover, we’ll be able to go a little bit more.”
The Panthers also received a promising 12th-place finish from Hannah Christenson, who was struggled with injuries this season.
Rugby ran in the A race on the boys side and finished 14th. Nolan Hovland (50th place) was the team’s top runner, but Jansen said the team has been dealing with some sickness.
“We didn’t run bad,” he said. “We’ve been kind of sick.”
The Panthers travel to Four Winds on Sept. 28 and Larimore on the 30th before hosting their own meet next weekend.
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