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Young Cross Country Team Has Head Coach Excited

By Staff | Aug 21, 2015

Cross Country runners (left to right): Ariana Hoffart, Ellie Duchscherer, Karsyn Hager, Dessa Denich, Jenna Wangle

Seasoned cross-country Head Coach Bill Jansen has a young team this year – losing ten seniors from last years team: six girls and four boys – but he is not deterred.

The boys placed fifth last year at state, led by senior runners Tanner Bernhardt, Nolan Hovland and Brady Fossum. All three were instrumental to last year’s success, according to Jansen, and were named all-region.

The girls placed a respectable eighth last year at state, led by then freshman runner Tristin Lunde. She was named all-state last year, placing in the top 20 at the state competition. But they lost last year’s senior runner Allison Foster, who was all-region just outside all-state. Lunde will be returning for her sophomore year. For the boys’ team, two of the more experienced runners returning are Dillion Fly and John Mueller

When speaking with Jansen he can hardly contain the excitement of the challenge of coaching a young team. He said, “You never know what to expect, but I love teaching these young kids and see how they can progress all year, cumulating at state.” Jansen said, “State’s just a heck of lot of fun. It’s the end of the year and it’s nice to see how much the runners have progressed.”

There are 27 kids participating on this year’s team. They are: Seniors: Jayden Risovi (Maddock). Juniors: Karin Selland, Jacob Blessum, Dillion Fly and John Mueller. Sophomores: Dessa Denich, Tristin Lunde, Gabe Clements and Kyler Odden Freshmen: Karsyn Hager, Ariana Hoffart, Brittany Loughman, Jenna Wangler and Riley Zachmeier. 8th Graders: Kristina Brossart, Ellie Duchscherer (Towner), Taylor Nelson, Lillian Schmidt, Jacob Arnold (Maddock), Kadin Neppl (Maddock) and Dawson Schepp. 7th Graders: Anna Clements, Braelynn Oppen, Tim Mueller, Levi Tofte, Warren Walker and Cole Wentz.

The coaches for this young team are: Jansen, head coach; Jennifer Bartsch, assistant coach; and Kara Kuntz, volunteer elementary coach.

The first contest for this young team will be today at an invitational in Jamestown at the Parkhurst Recreation Area; it starts at 7:00 a.m. Last year Rugby did not host an invitational, but Coach Jansen was able to bring one to Rugby this year scheduled for Oct. 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rugby Golf Club.

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