Riders Battle Elements in Minot
MINOT MEET-Boys Recap by Gavin Dorsey
The Rider boys placed second Saturday at the annual Minot Souris Valley Invitational, scoring 117 points. Despite the cold and muddy conditions, the team performed well against tough competition from the western side of North Dakota. Red River trailed only Bismarck Century, who won the meet with 56 points.
After multiple days of rain, the course was soggy and muddy, leaving many athletes unable to find proper footing in the ground. Multiple runners wiped out, and as a result, many races were affected by the conditions.
“After the first mile, I was completely numb from the ankles down,” said senior Gavin Dorsey. “I actually didn’t regain feeling in my feet until after the middle school race, two hours later. Once my feet froze, it was incredibly difficult to turn my legs over and that impacted my race majorly.”
Junior Broden Diederich added that he believes the weather impacted his own race by at least ten seconds. “If the conditions are better, I feel I can do much better at State. The mud in the bottom of my spikes combined with the freezing cold water definitely didn’t help anybody.”
The Riders were once again led by sophomore Hunter McHenry, who set a new personal record for the second week in a row. McHenry, unranked in the weekly “Coaches Poll”, placed fourth overall, ahead of three previously-ranked Class A athletes. McHenry’s time of 16:24 is a four-second PR from the East Grand Forks meet last week.
Freshman Matt Rongitsch placed second on the team, 16:42 and placing 11th. Diederich was the next Rider finisher, placing 15th with a time of 17:00. The two were three seconds and six seconds off their PRs, respectively. Sophomore Dameon Zenawick (17:33) and junior Ryan Prusak (17:36) rounded out the top five.
The Souris Valley Golf Course in Minot is also the location of the North Dakota State Meet on October 26th. Although many of the other teams in the state were not present Saturday, Red River seized the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the course in preparation for the State Championship.
The Riders will travel to West Fargo next for the Eastern Dakota Conference Championships. Red River is the two-time defending champions of the meet, while having won three out of the last four EDC titles. With the possibility of a snowstorm looming, the chance of having the Saturday meet rescheduled to Tuesday increases.
After this article was written, sophomore Hunter McHenry has been ranked #8 in the state in the weekly Coaches Poll! The EDC Championships have also been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 15th.
The middle school boys team won their division, placing seven athletes in the top 20 to score 40 points. Carter Rydland won his second consecutive race, followed by Micah Larsen-Schmidt (5th), Elijah Dafoe (10th), Kael Berberich (11th), Joe Quinn (13th), Preston Diederich (14th), and Jace Mason (20th). Quinn was one of three athletes to PR, setting a new best by 39 seconds to go under 12 minutes for the first time. Also PR-ing was junior Om Panda, who set a new best by 31 seconds to lower his 5K time to 20:00.
MINOT MEET-Girls Recap by Kylie Severson
Travelling to Minot, where the state course will be held, the riders trudged through awful terrain and battled through conditions that were most definitely not ideal. In some spots of the course, standing water was almost a foot high.
The gun went off to signal the first race had begun, the varsity girls 5k. Nine girls ran this race. Because the Minot course is going to be the state course, teams all over the state came to get a taste of it before the big meet, thus, none of the girls placed within the top 20. With only 1 PR, made by Morgan Hartze (grade 8) of 13.9 seconds, the girls still had a great meet. Many of the varsity girls got very close to their PR such as Claire Lapp (grade 11). Lapp ran 21:15, only one second away from her PR. Brenna Shock (grade 7) placed 5th on the team for the first time in her cross country career. Despite the terrible conditions, like Lapp, Shock was only 1 second off of her PR. Another runner who is worth mentioning is Gracia Larsen-Schmidt (grade 11). Larsen-Schmidt tripped over another competitor and fell about 200 meters into the race and still finished with a quicker time than her races at the beginning of the season.
The next race to begin was the JV girls, a 5k as well. Six girls ran this race and out of the 6, there was 1 PR. Sophie Lachance (grade 10) PR’d by 25.6 seconds which is quite the accomplishment judging off of such poor conditions. Lachance set a new record of 25:04 for her 5k time and set a new increase in her VDOT. Megan Jacobson (grade 11) also set a new season best with a time of 27:50.
The final race for the Riders was the middle school girls 3k race. One out of ten girls PR’d. Emerson Byron (grade 7) set a new PR of 10 seconds, crunching her time down to 14:01 and placed 23rd overall. Madelyn Bartholomew (grade 8), did not PR, but set a new season best.
Getting a taste of the state course and competition that will occur there, the Riders had yet another great meet with varsity placing 6th as a team, JV placing 10th, and middle school placing 5th.