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Panthers take regionals, look for ‘even better’ state race

By Sue Sitter - | Oct 24, 2020

Submitted photo The Rugby All Region cross country team poses with their East Region plaques.

Rugby’s Panthers cross country runners are well-positioned for a state title after finishing regionals in Cooperstown with a top-ranked girls’ team, six all-region runners in the girls’ 5,000-meter event, one all-region runner in the boys’ 5,000-meter race, and a Coach of the Year.

The Panthers traveled to Cooperstown prepared for possible snowfall and competition from some of the best runners in the East Region.

However, much of the snowfall missed the Cooperstown area.

“The weather turned out to be much better than we anticipated and our kids handled the elements very well!” Coach Bill Jansen wrote in an email after the meet, which saw the Lady Panthers take first place. The Panthers’ lead continued a pattern they had all season, underscoring their number one rank in the state among Class B teams. Brooklyn Bartsch’s first-place finish kept her in the number one spot among Class B runners as well.

Jansen called the seven all-region Panther runners “the most all-region runners we have had on the girls’ side in my 23 years coaching in Rugby.”

The regionals also saw Jansen named Coach of the Year for the East Region.

“The boys had their best race of the year as a team,” Jansen said of their seventh-place finish. Runner Austin Dibble’s eighth-place time of 17 minutes, 47 seconds earned him the All Region title. His brother, Robert, finished second among Rugby runners with a time of 19:30.

“Both teams are looking for an even better race on Saturday,” Jansen said.

The Panthers return to Cooperstown for the North Dakota Class B Cross Country Meet today.

Rugby results for the East Regionals were:

Girls’ 5,000-Meter: Brooklyn Bartsch, first place, 19:15 (All Region); Amelia Shepard, fifth place, 19:41 (All Region); Quinn Neppl, 11th place, 20:30 (All Region); Ella Jacobson, 12th place, 20:35 (All Region); Hannah Senechal, 14th place, 20:40 (All Region); Sarah Schmaltz, 19th place, 21:10 (All Region); Kendyl Hager, 33rd place, 22:01; Kinsey Arnston, 35th place, 22:05; Jaelyn Lunde, 39th place, 22:28; Mikaylee Livedalen, 48th place, 22:52; Ashlyn Dibble, 54th place, 22:55; Jaclyn Duchscher, 72nd place, 23:38; Rylah Hager, 79th place, 23:51; Mya McNeff, 80th place, 23:55; Rylie Suchor, 92nd place, 24:22; Mya Geisinger, 119th place, 25:40.

Boys’ 5,000-Meter: Austin Dibble, eighth place, 17:47 (All Region); Robert Dibble, 41st place, 19:30; Jenner Johnson, 45th place, 19:39; Connor Klein, 64th place, 20:15; Andrew Duchscher, 70th place, 20:21; Riley Odden, 79th place, 20:32; Maddex Kirchofner, 102nd place, 21:52; Kristian Fritz, 109th place, 22:06; Wyatt Oppen, 145th place, 23:36.

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