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Girls track takes state champion title
May 31, 2019

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Rugby High's girls' track team took home the title of North Dakota Class B Champs for 2019 after two days of competition at the Bismarck Community Bowl last weekend.

RHS boys also scored in the top third of 40 teams represented at the tournament, taking home awards in four events.

The Lady Panthers set a school record when they earned the rank of champions in the 4x400-meter relay. The team of Ellie Ducscherer, Emily Mattern, Maria Blessum and Anni Stier finished the event in 4 minutes, 6.09 seconds.

Stier said of the event in a written message, "The 4x400 was simply a dream come true. We have always done well in that relay in the past but winning was always the goal."

Stier added, "My teammates all ran amazing and when it came down to me they already had me a good lead. I was still scared someone would catch me so I knew I had to run a good race still. Crossing at line first and seeing the emotion in my team was a special moment. I couldn't have asked for better teammates to run with. Everyone had an amazing state meet and I'm so proud of all my teammates."

Teammate and fellow RHS senior Maria Blessum, who earned the champion title in the girls' pole vault event with a vault of 11 feet, echoed Stier's message.

"I am beyond proud of all my teammates (in grades) 7-12 for the hard work that went into getting this team championship."

RHS Coach Bill Jansen said, "Our kids handled themselves like champions all weekend."

Jansen added, "Our seniors will be greatly missed, not only for their performances, but for the leadership that they provided. They are leaving our program in a very good place because of that leadership."

Maria Blessum noted, "We had multiple girls step it up big this past weekend, and it was awesome to see them do well. I think I speak for all of the seniors when I say that it feels amazing to end our high school careers with a win, and we are beyond grateful for the coaches, teammates, and fans that helped get us here."

Maria Blessum continued, "I am so proud and thankful to have been able to be a part of this program for the past six years. It is truly something special."

The Lady Panthers topped the 43 team scores in the championship, earning 84 points overall.

Kristina Brossart's final time of 12.92 seconds earned her runner-up status in the 100-meter dash, and her time of 26.85 seconds in the 200-meter dash final earned her sixth place for that event.

Stier was runner-up for the 400-meter dash, with a final time of 59.75 seconds. Stier's final time in the 300-meter hurdles was 46.42 seconds, earning third place.

In addition to earning first place in the pole vault event, Maria Blessum also took sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.71 seconds in the finals.

Brooke Blessum earned the champion title in the long jump event with a distance score of 17 feet, 3 inches. In the triple jump event, she scored in second place with a distance of 36 feet, 4 inches. Brooke Blessum's vault of 9 feet earned her third place for the pole vault event, and she tied for fourth place in the high jump at 4 feet, 11 inches.

Jacoby Glasser earned third place in the discus throw event with a throw of 113 feet, 8 inches. Glasser also participated in the shot put event with a throw of 34 feet, 3 inches.

In the 4x800-meter relay, the team of Duchscherer, Ella Jacobson, Mykell Heidlebaugh and Brooklyn Bartsch placed seventh with a time of 10:24.35.

In the 4x100-meter relay, the team of Maria Blessum, Stier, Mattern and Brossart finished with a preliminary time of 52.57 seconds.

In the 4x200-meter relay, the team of Taylor Mayer, Mikaylee Livedalen, Mattern and Brossart finished with a preliminary time of 1:54.33.

Brooke Anderson participated in the javelin event with a throw of 109 feet, 3 inches.

Duchscherer finished the 800-meter run with a time of 2:31.02, and Bartsch finished the 3200-meter run with a time of 12:10.50.

The Panthers placed 11th in the boys' events with a team score of 26.

Jaden Hamilton was the top team scorer, earning the title of runner-up for the high jump with a distance score of 6 feet, 4 inches.

Corey Mattern's triple jump score of 43 feet, 4 inches landed him in fourth place. Mattern also ran in the 4x200-meter relay with Cody Jundt, Devan Michels and Keith Vetsch, and the team placed fourth with a final time of 1:32.50.

Jundt, Michels, Corey Mattern and Vetsch also placed fourth in the 4x100-meter relay with a final time of 44.62 seconds.

Vetsch placed seventh in the 300-meter hurdles with a final time of 42.47 seconds.

Michels placed 8th in the high jump with a distance of 6 feet.

Other preliminary scores include:

Dawson Schepp, 1600-meter run, 5:00.58; 3200-meter run, 10:22.46

Austin Dibble, 3200-meter run, 10:34.99

J.D. Matehs, 100-meter hurdles, 16.12 seconds, preliminary time

Michels, long jump, 19 feet, 2 inches

Tim Mueller, triple jump, 40 feet, 7 inches

Hayden Thingvold, pole vault, 11 feet

Other relay scores for the Panthers are:

4x400-meter relay, Matehs, Vetsch, Corey Mattern, Jundt, preliminary time 3:37.06

4x800-meter relay, Dibble, Warren Walker, Cole Wentz, Schepp, preliminary time 9:02.32

Scott Grochow, who coached the Panther boys' squad this year said, "I thought this year's track and field season was a great one for both the boys and girls team. When we were at state, we had personal bests by almost everyone we took down there even if they didn't place. I was extremely proud to be part of this team and all these athletes."

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