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Cross Country: Locking horns with the big boys

By Staff | Sep 23, 2016

The Rugby Panther Cross Country teams competed at the Valley City Bill Jansen Invitational this past weekend, as they saw Class A competition for the second time this fall. Even with the stronger competition, both the gals and guys continued to perform at a high level. The Girls placed fifth as a team with a score of 165, first amongst Class B schools. Ellie Duchscherer paced the Rugby side with a 24th place finish (time of 21:41). “So far we (the team) have been doing really good,” stated Duchscherer, “as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned more.”

The Rugby Boys had a fine showing as they finished third overall, trailing only Fargo North and Fargo Davies. Brett O’Connell was the top finisher for Rugby with an 11th place finish (17:39).

It is a very significant meet, not only for the runners but for Head Coach Bill Jansen as well. The meet is in honor of his late father. “Every year we go down to Valley City, and I see people that I grew up with and they see Billy (Jansen’s father), and they always pause and think, that’s not Mr. Jansen, “said Bill, “and they are right, I am not my father, but it’s awesome to be able to do something that my father loved, and follow in his footsteps…he is the reason I got into this (coaching Cross Country and Track).”

Rugby Cross Country teams in action this Saturday in Jamestown, then will be at the Larimore Invite on Monday. Then this upcoming Saturday, October 1st, Rugby will host an invite. It will be held out at the Rugby Golf Club. We will talk with Coach Jansen next week about the home invite and its significance.

Hauser is the sports director for AM 1450 KZZJ Radio, Rugby.

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