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Successful home meet’ for Cross Country teams

By Staff | Oct 4, 2019

Sue Sitter/PCT Panthers Austin Dibble (left) and Dawson Schepp compete in last Saturday's Rugby Booster Club Invitational.

Brisk air, sunshine and slightly muddy ground formed the backdrop for the 25th annual Rugby Booster Invitational Cross Country Meet, held last Saturday at the Rugby Golf Course.

Rugby’s Lady Panthers kept their winning streak going, again placing first in team points for their 5000-meter event.

However, the Rugby High girls fell back a bit among individual finishers as their top times earned fourth, fifth and sixth place instead of the first through third spots they’d occupied in previous meets.

Rugby’s Brooklyn Bartsch finished in fourth place with a time of 20 minutes and 16 seconds, about a minute behind the top three times scored by runners from Watford City and Williston.

Quinn Neppl crossed the finish line just three hundredths of a second after Bartsch, her 20:19 time nabbing the fifth place spot.

“I think I ran 20:20,” Neppl said of her finish time. “It wasn’t my strongest finish, but it was one of my better times this season.”

Neppl stayed optimistic about the Panthers’ future for the season.

“As a team, we did really well today,” she said. “Our top three winners were all out there. I think at state, it’s definitely going to be us. And Bowman County, they’re probably going to be up there with us, too.”

Neppl’s older brother, Kadin Neppl participated in the Boys’ 5000-meter event, placing 14th with a time of 17:59.

“That’ll go back down once I get in shape,” he said, noting he hadn’t participated in prior meets.

Coach Bill Jansen said of the Panthers’ performance, “Both teams had a successful home meet. The girls are gaining some consistency but have yet to have all of our top 20 have great races at the same meet.”

Jansen added, “It was nice to have all our top three boys run in a meet again and are still trying to build more quality in our number four and five runners.”

The Panthers would travel to Harvey Tuesday for what Jansen called a “small” meet, but he predicted a test for today’s Souris Valley Invitational in Minot.

“It will be a large meet with both Class A and Class B teams competing. The races will be large and very competitive, which will help us to prepare for our big races at the end of the season.”

Following the fourth and fifth-place finishes by Bartsch and Quinn Neppl in the Varsity Girls’ 5000-meter event were:

Amelia Sheppard, sixth place, 20:34; Ella Jacobson, 15th place, 21:46; Keely Arnston, 16th place, 21:49; Ellie Duchscherer, 20th place, 21:59; Mykell Heidlebaugh, 22nd place, 22:22; Joey Wolf, 29th place, 22:35; Mikaylee Livedalen, 32nd place, 22:55; Megan Schmaltz, 35th place, 23:15; Kendyl Hager, 41st place, 23:43; Rylie Suchor, 44th place, 23:48; Kristina Brossart, 53rd place, 24:25; Mya Geisinger, 63rd place, 25:00 and Anna Clements, 64th place, 25:02.

Finish times in the Varsity Boys’ 5000-meter event were: Austin Dibble, 13th place, 17:47; Kadin Neppl, 14h place, 17:59; Dawson Schepp, 22nd place, 18:08; Robert Dibble, 53rd place, 19:41; Riley Odden, 71st place, 20:50; Kristian Fritz, 89th place, 21:48 and Trenton Sanford, 121st place, 25:52.

Junior Varsity finish times for Rugby in the Girls’ 3000-meter event were:

Kinsey Arnston, sixth place, 12:50; Ashlyn Dibble, 10th place, 13:07; Jaclyn Duchscherer, 13th place, 13:32; Hayley Mayer, 15th place, 13:37; Rylah Hager, 20th place, 14:14; Mya McNeff, 23rd place, 14:30 and Sophie Oppen, 14:56.

Rugby finishers in the Boys’ Junior Varsity 3000-meter event were Maddex Kirchofner with a 34th place finish time of 13:21 and Ethan Sveet, with a 36th place finish time of 13:24.

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