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Panthers notch more wins against cross country teams

By Sue Sitter - | Sep 18, 2021

For a second time, Panthers cross country runners competed against class A and B teams and placed at the top in team and individual times.

Rugby’s varsity girls finished first in team points among nine schools competing at the Graham’s Island Invitational Race in Devils Lake Sept. 11. Panthers varsity boys took second place as a team.

The Panthers saw top finish times Aug. 21 in Jamestown, beating a large number of A and B teams who had turned out for the event. Although the meet at Graham’s Island was smaller, Rugby’s varsity girls placed first in the 5000-meter race, topping A schools Fargo South and Devils Lake, while Rugby’s varsity boys placed second over six other schools in their 5000-meter race.

“It was a small meet, so we had a lot of kids finish in the top 20 in their races,” Panthers coach Bill Jansen said in a message to the Tribune. “That is always good for their confidence going forward.”

“It is a beautiful trail course by the lake which is good for us because that is the kind of course that state is on. It was also a very nice day weather wise. The kids are improving and getting stronger, which is what we want to see now.”

Competition between two Panthers in the girls’ varsity races has heated up, with top runners Brooklyn Bartsch and Amelia Shepard trading first and second places in several meets during the season. Bartsch overtook Shepard by two hundredths of a second in the Graham Island Invitational, finishing in 20:07 over Shepard’s 20:09.

“Competition is always good,” Jansen said. “And it’s even better when that competition at a high level is happening on your own team.”

In the boys’ varsity 5000-meter race, Austin Dibble placed third overall with a time of 17:37.

“We have 4 meets in the next 2 weeks with the last of the 4 on the state course,” Jansen said. “So we will know much more about our standing and fitness at the end of this stretch.”

Rugby results for the Graham’s Island Invitational were:

Varsity girls’ 5000-meters: Brooklyn Bartsch, first place, 20:07; Amelia Shepard, second place, 20:09; Hannah Senechal, third place, 20:48; Evyn Jacobson, ninth place, 21:56; Ashlyn Dibble, 10th place, 22:05; Keyara Lundstrom, 15th place, 22:50; Kendyl Hager, 22nd place, 23:31; Mauvlyn Kirchofner, 25th place, 24:04; Kinsey Arnston, 27th place, 24:21; Sara Schmaltz, 28th place, 25:02; Mikaylee Livedalen, 31st place, 25:59; Jaclyn Duchscher, 32nd place, 26:04; Rylie Suchor, 34th place, 27:01.

Varsity boys’ 5000-meters: Austin Dibble, third place, 17:37; Jenner Johnson, 10th place, 19:06; Andrew Duchscher, 15th place, 20:18; Connor Ramsey, 16th place, 20:32; Connor Klein, 17th place, 20:38; Riley Odden, 19th place, 20:42; Maddex Kirchofner, 20th place, 21:02; Kristian Fritz, 21st place, 21:07; Wyatt Oppen, 22nd place, 21:13.

JH/JV girls’ 3000-meters: Mya McNeff, fourth place, 14:01; Brooklyn Hager, eighth place, 14:28; Sophie Oppen, ninth place, 14:41; Ava Wurgler, 14th place, 15:21.

JH/JV boys’ 3000-meters: Ben Sullivan, fourth place, 12:30; Austin Duchscher, seventh place, 13:09; Kiefer Fritz, 10th place, 13:25; Brayden Herman, 12th place, 13:32; Damien Herman, 15th place, 14:47.

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