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Ahead of home meet, Panthers cross country runners see more top times

By Sue Sitter - | Oct 2, 2021

The Rugby Panthers headed into the home stretch of their season with more top ten finishes in a Sept. 25 race that could prove to be a preview of the state meet in October.

The RM Stoudt Invitational attracted participants from 28 class A and B schools throughout North Dakota. Hosted by Jamestown High School, the meet had 175 girls participate in the varsity 5000-meter event, while 193 boys competed in their race. The race was held at Jamestown’s Parkhurst Recreation Area, the site of the state A and B meets scheduled for Oct. 22 and 23.

Following a season-long pattern, the Panthers saw excellent results in the girls’ 5000-meter race. The girls’ team placed fourth overall, coming in behind Williston, Grand Forks Red River and Bismarck Legacy high schools. Rugby’s nearest class B competitor, Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg, came in seventh place.

Brooklyn Bartsch overtook her teammate and rival Amelia Shepard in the girls’ event, scoring sixth overall with a time of 20 minutes, 10 seconds. Shepard finished with a time of 20:29 for 11th place.

The boys placed 11th overall, finishing above 16 other schools. Austin Dibble finished at the top for the Rugby boys’ team with a time of 17:48 for 20th place.

“The girls ran well again,” Panthers Head Coach Bill Jansen said in a message after the meet. “They have been very consistent, so hopefully we can keep that going through the end of the season.”

In addition to leading class B schools in every meet so far this year, the Panthers have occupied the number one spot in weekly North Dakota cross country coaches’ polls of top B girls’ teams.

“The boys are improving every meet, so I am excited to see where we end up by the end of the season,” Jansen said.

The competition was also a preview, of sorts, of the 27th Annual Rugby Booster Club Meet, held Oct. 2 at the Rugby Golf Course.

The Rugby meet would be only slightly smaller than the RM Stoudt Invitational.

“As of right now, we have about 20 schools registered for the 27th Annual Booster Club Invitational,” Jansen said a week before the meet.

Jansen noted participants would be “mostly B schools but there are a couple of A schools coming as of right now.”

Results for Rugby were:

Varsity girls’ 5000-meters: Brooklyn Bartsch, sixth place, 20:10; Amelia Shepard, 11th place, 20:29; Evyn Jacobson, 25th place, 21:14; Ashlyn Dibble, 57th place, 22:10; Jaelyn Lunde, 61st place, 22:16; Keyara Lundstrom, 74th place, 22:43; Kendyl Hager, 79th place, 22:46; Quinn Neppl, 80th place, 22:50; Mauvlyn Kirchofner, 84th place, 23:00; Kinsey Arnston, 127th place, 24:47; Jaclyn Duchscher, 139th place, 25:33; Sara Schmaltz, 140th place, 25:33; Rylie Suchor, 167th place, 28:26.

Varsity boys’ 5000-meters: Austin Dibble, 20th place, 17:48; Jenner Johnson, 57th place, 19:02; Connor Klein, 93rd place, 20:11; Wyatt Oppen, 112th place, 20:51; Andrew Duchscher, 119th place, 21:10; Connor Ramsey, 120th place, 21:11; Maddex Kirchofner, 125th place, 21:29; Brayden Green, 131st place, 21:39; Riley Odden, 135th place, 21:47; Kristian Fritz, 144th place, 22;07; Ben Sullivan, 150th place, 22:35; Austin Duchscher, 166th place, 23:20.

JV girls’ 4000-meters: Brooklyn Hager, 23rd place, 19:28; Mya McNeff, 30th place, 19:38; Jesse Wolf, 31st place, 19:40; Sophie Oppen, 42nd place, 20:29; Rylah Hager, 61st place, 22:05.

JV girls’ 3000-meters: Ava Jacobson, 13th place, 13:47; Livvy Johnson, 40th place, 15:11; Reese Gullickson, 41st place, 15:11; Ava Wurgler, 44th place, 15:20; Jozie Tofte, 49th place, 15:27; Haylee Jundt, 65th place, 17:10.

JV boys’ 3000-meters: Jose Ortega, 46th place, 13:34; Brayden Herman, 50th place, 13:50; Damien Herman, 54th place, 13:54; Kiefer Fritz, 63rd place, 14:27; Kale Deatherage, 70th place, 15:40; Dane Whorley, 79th place, 17:11.

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