Riders Compete Out West
BOYS RECAP by Senior Gavin Dorsey
The Roughriders got their first taste of the West Saturday as they traveled to Bismarck to compete against some of the top teams in the state. After winning their first three meets against mostly Eastern teams, the Riders finally got the chance to race against the other ranked schools, such as Williston and Bismarck Century. Red River placed third with 116 points, trailing only Century (66 points) and Williston (100 points).
Broden Diederich placed first for Red River, the first time in his career that he has done so. The junior ran a time of 16:54, a nine-second personal record (PR), and placed 11th overall. Diederich had placed 2nd (Jamestown), 3rd (Grand Forks), and 4th (West Fargo) on the team prior to this race. His previous PR of 17:03 was set at the Bismarck meet one year ago.
Diederich felt ecstatic following the race, saying it was much needed. “I had been slowly dropping spots on the team in the past weeks and I came into Bismarck with something to prove,” said Diederich. “Once I got off the bus, it was game time. I cleared my mind and focused on what I had to do to run my best race against these guys.”
Diederich also said he knew the competition would be steep, and that the larger meet helped him race faster. “When I can set my mind on a target and focus on the person in front of me, I typically race better. Having more people in front of me at the start of the race, as odd as it may sound, helps me pace better for the end of the race.”
Sophomore Hunter McHenry and Freshman Matt Rongitsch were shortly behind Diederich, placing 19th and 21st. McHenry ran a time of 17:03, while Rongitsch ran 17:11. McHenry’s time was 1 minute and 33 seconds faster than his time at the Bismarck meet last year. Sophomore Dameon Zenawick placed 24th overall, running 17:19. His time was a seven-second PR, marking the third time out of four races that he has PR’d this season. Zenawick’s time was also 50 seconds faster than at the Bismarck meet last year. Following Zenawick were junior Ryan Prusak (18:04) and senior Gavin Dorsey (18:13). Freshman Jonah Dafoe finished seventh on the team with a time of 18:36.
Although the Riders placed third against the top competition in the state, the team has much room for improvement. With only two athletes setting new PRs, most of the team has yet to hit their stride. Rongitsch and McHenry have both gone under 17 minutes this season, while Zenawick and Prusak have shown the potential to break the 17-minute barrier as well.
Next week, the team will travel to Milaca, Minnesota. The annual trip takes Red River to the World’s Largest High School Cross Country Meet, where almost 6,000 athletes compete per year. The Rider boys are the two-time defending champions of the meet, and look to extend that streak next Saturday.
The Red River junior varsity squad placed 6th out of 21 teams this weekend. Freshman Grant Lelm was the only top-20 placer, placing 19th with a time of 19:14. Freshman Jake Jenkins (22nd- 19:24) and sophomore Tanner Schiller (23rd- 19:34) were the next finishers after Lelm. Freshman Zach Kraft had the only PR for the JV team (8 secs), although Schiller was only one second slower than his time last week. Also notable was sophomore Owen Reilly, whose time was 2 minutes and 30 seconds faster than his Bismarck time last year.
The middle school team placed third, with three athletes placing in the top 20. 8th-grader Carter Rydland placed third with a time of 10:58, his third straight top 3 overall finish. 8th-grader Micah Larsen-Schmidt placed 13th and 7th-grader Elijah Dafoe placed 18th as well. 7th-graders Joe Quinn (4 secs) and Sam Dvorak (15 secs) were the only middle school athletes to set PRs.
GIRLS RECAP by Junior Kylie Severson
This past Saturday, the Red River Roughriders travelled all the way down to Bismarck to compete in the Anderson/Stavn Invitational. Running through completely opposite conditions from the West Fargo Invitational, the Riders battled through the heat and sun in which most athletes deem as their “favorite course”. The varsity girls, like usual, ran first.
The varsity girls had an abnormal race regarding finishing order. Emily Nelson (grade 9) completed the race first for the girls and ran 21:37, only 17 seconds slower than her time in West Fargo. Nelson placed 35th. Next up was Gracia Larsen-Schmidt (grade 11). Larsen-Schmidt ran almost the exact same time as West Fargo despite the overwhelming change in weather conditions. She ran a 21:39 and was the second girl to finish for the team and placed 37th overall. Claire Lapp (grade 11) finished 3rd for the riders with a time of 22:25 running 13 seconds faster than her time in West Fargo and placed 56th overall. The 4th runner for the girls was Campbell Dorsey (grade 10) running 22:28 finishing only 3 seconds behind Lapp and placed 58th overall. Finishing 5th for the team and with a time of 23:40 was Narria Neubert (grade 10). Liz Simon (grade 9) was the last girl for the Riders to complete the race. Simon ran a 25:01 placing 6th for the team and with an overall placing of 111th.
Next on the line was the junior varsity 4k. The first runner to cross the finish line for Red River was Kylie Severson (grade 11) with a time of 19:14 and placed 38th overall. Annie Kleven (grade 10), with a time of 19:56 finished the race in 59th place overall. Placing 77th overall and 3rd for the JV team, Zoie Krump (grade 10) ran a time of 21:02. The last point scorer for the JV race was Sophie Lachance (grade 10) and ran her first meet for the season setting a benchmark of 21:25.
The middle school 3k race was the last race of the day where 2 athletes PR’d and 3 athletes finished within the top 20. Morgan Hartze (grade 8) was the first Roughrider to finish the 3k with a time of 12:10 and placed 2nd overall. The second girl to place in the top 20 was Addison Fargo (grade 7). With a time of 12:48, Fargo placed 11th and PR’d by 38.78 seconds. Brenna Shock (grade 7) was the last girl who finished within the top 2o in 20th place. Her time was 13:16. The second PR was set by Selena Wu (grade 8) who PR’d by 29.50 seconds cutting her time down to 16:00.