Foster leads RHS in Carrington
The Rugby High School cross country teams continued their strong performances at the Carrington Invitational on Sept. 11. Both teams finished second with the girls led by senior Allison Foster. The Panthers finished with 56 points behind Hillsboro-Central Valley’s 25. Foster finished fifth overall with a season-best 4K?(2.58 miles) time of 16 minutes, 10 seconds. Joining her in the top-10 was teammate Tristin Lunde in seventh (16:15) with a season-best.
“There were a couple hills where I didn’t want a couple girls to get too far in front of me,” Foster said. “The weather was really nice and I was feeling really good that day.”
Foster and Lunde have been neck and neck much of the season.
“We try to run together as much as we possibly can,” Foster said, “and we both want to get top 20 at state, and that’s a big motivation.”
RHS coach Bill Jansen was delighted with his top duo’s strong races and applauded senior Jessica Blessum for a gritty race despite a foot injury.
“Her fitness is good,” Jansen said. “She said her lungs feel like ‘Go, go, go,’ but her foot wont.”
Jansen also ran TGU seventh-grader Ellie Duchscherer for the first time. She finished sixth on the team at 19:19.
“She handled it well and will really help us,” Jansen said. “We’re trying to get some of the younger ones going and she really did.”
Senior runner Nolan Hovland led the RHS boys at the meet with a fourth-place 5K (3.1 miles) in 19:00.
“I think I can be running faster than I have at the last couple meets,” Hovland said, “but I’m doing better than last year.”
The Panthers were without No. 1 runner Tanner Bernhardt, who played in the football game that evening.
“He helps me push myself,” Hovland said, “and I try to push him even though I can’t always keep up with him.”
Four Winds-Minnewaukan won the meet with 37 points, followed by RHS at 54.
“We found out that Four Winds is no laughing matter,” Jansen said. “We have to improve. Four Winds has four (strong) guys.”
Jansen said Bernhardt may have won that race, which would’ve had the teams separated by just two points.
“The course was really nice,” Jansen said. “It was a little smaller meet, but the quality was really good.”
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