The boys cross country team traveled to Jamestown on Saturday where a record 291 athletes competed at the state finals. The bulldogs knew they were in for a battle as the competition was stiff, and the field extremely deep. Bouncing in and out of the coaches poll all year long, the Dawgs were confident in their ability, but knew it was going to take a very good day to earn a top 5 finish. The Dawgs ended up brining home the 3rd place trophy due to one of the most complete races they had run all season.
The 5000m course has a little bit of everything from flats to hills, from seclusion to a tunnel of screaming fans. The bulldogs knew from the start that they were going to have to get our fast, and they did just that. From the start, sophomore Brian Miller took charge of his race, getting out in the top 15-20 and hanging on from there. Teammate Camden Wokal did the same, following 5-10 places behind Miller. “Brian and Camden had led us all year, and a lot of our younger kids key off of them. It was vital for them to get out where they needed to and set the pace for us.” Explained Coach Jonathan Jahner. Behind the lead Dawgs, a pair of 8th graders showed their stuff. Austin Wanner and Caleb Sarsland used the first mile to position themselves and kept passing runners from there. Senior Ethan Fischer, and teammates Karsen Kulseth, and Eli Heyen battled for the last Bulldogs scoring position. Fischer used his experience and strength through final mile of changing terrain to secure the 5th position for the bulldogs. While the scorers were in, the bulldogs needed to lean on their depth as Kulseth and Heyen were joined by Noah Wokal, Aidan Thompson, and Brady Hendrickson to push other teams scoring runners back.
When the dust settled Miller finished the race in 19th place, earning him all-state honors. Camden Wokal used a strong finish to claim 28th, while Wanner and Sarsland diced through the competitors to place 36th and 48th respectively. Fischer finished the scoring in 65th place, finalizing the bulldogs team score of 196. Eight of the ten Bulldog runners set season best marks on Saturday propelling them to their 3rd place team finish. The Dawgs knew that New Town (47 points), and Hillsboro-Central Valley (103 points) were going to be tough to beat. They also knew that Griggs County Central (206), Grafton (260), and Rubgy (280) were going to be right on their heels. Full Results can be found at the Bowman County Cross Country Webpage or NDHSAA.com