Panthers top ‘best in west’ XC competition at Beulah Invitational
Hot weather, a hilly course and tough competition from the leading runners in western North Dakota did little to stop the Rugby Panther cross-country team from dominating the Beulah/Hazen Invitational Sept. 22.
The Panther varsity girls kept their winning streak going, finishing first in the race overall and taking the top three finish times. The Panther varsity boys finished fifth, with runner Austin Dibble placing among the top ten times in his event.
Panther Coach Bill Jansen said of the weather and hills at Beulah’s Black Sands Golf Course, “Both of those factors are not great for running great times, but we did get a chance to see some of the teams from the west, which gives the kids a greater understanding of their competition statewide.”
“The girls looked good and have now seen the best team in the west, Bowman County,” Jansen said. “We had the top three runners and five in the top nine. Our depth showed again with five more runners in the top 20,” he added.
Panther Brooklyn Bartsch finished first in the race with a time of 21:21. Amelia Shepard and Quinn Neppl took the second and third spots with finish times of 22:24 and 22:35.
“Their job now is to stay healthy, run consistent races, and continue to improve,” Jansen said of the varsity girls.
“The boys’ race had a lot of the top 10 runners in the state and we had one runner in the top 20, Austin Dibble in eighth place,” Jansen said. “We have some injury issues that we are dealing with on both teams, so that will be something we need to get fixed before the region and state meets.”
Jansen said the team was preparing for meets in Harvey Sept. 29 and at home on the Rugby Golf Course Oct. 3.
Meet results for the Beulah/Hazen Invitational were:
Varsity Girls 5,000 Meters: Brooklyn Bartsch, first place, 21:21; Amelia Shepard, second place, 22:24; Quinn Neppl, third place, 22:35; Hannah Senechal, sixth place, 23:00; Ella Jacobson, ninth place, 23:29; Ashlyn Dibble, 13th place, 23:54; Jaclyn Duchscher, 14th place, 23:56; Sara Schmaltz, 16th place, 24:48; Kendyl Hager, 17th place, 24:51; Mikaylee Livedalen, 20th place, 25:07; Joey Wolf, 21st place, 25:35; Rylie Suchor, 27th place, 27:23. Team score 21, first place.
Varsity Boys 5,000 Meters: Austin Dibble, eighth place, 18:46; Jenner Johnson, 23rd place, 22:04; Riley Odden, 28th place, 22:33; Connor Klein, 32nd place, 22:45; Andrew Duchscher, 33rd place, 22:48; Kristian Fritz, 36th place, 23:05; Robert Dibble, 38th place, 23:12. Team score 124, fifth place.
JV Girls 3,000 Meters: Mya Geisinger, fifth place, 16:05; Mya McNeff, sixth place, 16:08; Haley Mayer, eighth place, 17:10; Sophie Oppen, 11th place, 17:49; Ava Wurgler, 19th place, 19:30. Team score 49, first place.
JV Boys 3000 Meters: Maddex Kirchofner, 11th place, 15:13; Wyatt Oppen, 13th place, 15:26. Team score 96 points, sixth place.