The eleven week journey of the cross country season has culminated with both the boys and girls XC teams capturing Class B runner-up places.
By Jonathan Jahner
For The Pioneer
A journey that saw many ups and downs throughout the season ended on a very high note.
Miller Caps Career With 3rd All-State Finish
In a developing rivalry over the second half of the season, the lady bulldogs continued to measure themselves against the top ranked Rugby Panthers. As the top ranked teams descended on Minot’s Souris River golf course on Saturday, the bulldogs knew they were in for a fight. As the race unfolded the Panthers got out fast and never looked back. The dawgs hung tight holding off 8 time state champions Hillsbroro-Central Valley and placing 2nd overall.
All-State Runner Alexius Miller led the lady bulldogs with an 11th place finish, completing the 5000m course in a time of 19:50.00. Behind Miller, Kenley Bowman raced to a 24th place finish. The bulldogs packed up as the next three runners crossed within 25 seconds of each other. Landyn Gerbig, Julie Sarsland, and Jaci Fischer, three very talented rookies, ended the day placing 35th, 44th, and 47th respectively. With the scorers in, the bulldog score of 161 was outmatched by the Panthers, but knew they still had work to do. The Burros of Hillsboro, were not going away with out a fight. The bulldogs’ Paysha Rex and Adyson Gerbig powered past the burros sealing the runner-up finish for the Dawgs. McKayleeKalstrom, AllieRae Stotts, and Andrea Rodakowski rounded out the competitors for the bulldogs. “It was a good run by our girls, a very fast race, and I thought they battled really hard,” state Coach Jonathan Jahner. The fast pace was evident as sic of the ten ladies ran the fastest races of their careers.
Boys Capture 3 All-State Honors
The boys XC team entered the week fresh off an upset of the New Town Eagles a week ago at the West Region Championships. Riding that emotion both teams entered the state meet eager to see what the next chapter had in store. From the start of the race, the Eagles took charge, getting out to a very fast start. The Bulldogs have played catchup all season, slowly reeling in the competition. Saturday’s state championships was no different. The bulldogs kept chipping away at the New Town lead. At the end of the day, The bulldogs comeback fell just short.
Brian Miller led the Dawgs with a 7th place finish, navigating through the 500m course in a time of 16:48.11. While Miller passed runners throughout the way, he pulled freshman teammate Caleb Sarsland with him. Sarsland ran a very smart race, keying off his teammate and mowing down competitors as he finished in 13th place in a time of 17:22.90. Austin Wanner also captured All-State (top 20) honors, placing 16th in a time of 17:28.14. Behind the trio of all-staters, the bulldogs needed two more scorers to finish off the race. Senior Camden Wokal, and 7th grader Taylor Wanner teamed up to do just that. Wokal finished in 23rd and Wanner 24th, as the bulldogs ended the day with a score of 83, 17 point from state champion New Town. The bulldog s 6-10 runners also had a great day on the course. Jaxson Hansey (), KarsenKulseth (), Eli Heyen (), Noah WOkal (), and Brady Hendrickson() finished the day off for the bulldogs. “It was a great team race, you have to tip your hat to New Town, they ran well. Looking at our races, I was so proud of the fight that our boys showed. They ran their guts out!” stated coach Jonathan Jahner. The bulldogs put together one of the better team races of the year, as a fast pace was expected. Nine out of the team boys runners set season best marks.
In closing “I just want to thank the community for their support, it has been a great year. We are excited about taking the next step. We get to reflect on that now. We also get to enjoy watching the successes of our fellow teammates and classmates as they make their postseason runs in Football and Volleyball. So proud of what our coaches and athletes have accomplished this fall. Wishing them the best of luck. We have great kids!”