Majettes cross country finishes fourth, Magi eighth at state meet
The Minot High School girls cross country team’s strong season ended in bittersweet fashion, as the No. 1 team in the latest coaches poll finished fourth in Saturday’s state meet at the Souris Valley Golf Course.
The Minot High School boys finished eighth in their respective race.
After the races, Majettes head coach Carla Wahlund was named Coach of the Year for Class A girls cross country.
With wind gusts eclipsing 35 mph, the Majettes couldn’t quite find their rhythm. None of the 10 Minot runners finished inside the first 20 spots.
“Today, there were just some things that just didn’t come together for us,” Minot head coach Carla Wahlund said. “But I’m grateful for the season we have had.”
Freshman Trinity Jessen paced the Majettes, as her time of 19:40.63 was good for 23rd place. Seniors Allie Wahlund (19:51.29) and Abigail Hoffarth (19:57.29) earned the respective No. 28 and No. 30 spots.
The race’s middle portion provided a few problems. In a congested stretch, Hoffarth tripped up and fell to the ground.
“I was in between two other girls and we turned a corner too quickly,” Hoffarth said. “I kind of went sprawling out. I had to lay down on the ground for a while and everyone jumped over me.”
Senior Emma Compere (20:03.36) and sophomore MaLiah Burke (20:08.76) also earned Top 40 finishes, as those Majettes took the No. 32 and No. 39 positions, respectively.
Freshman Lily-ana Campbell (20:09.18) and eighth grader Maicee Burke (20:35.31) earned the No. 41 and No. 57 spots. Senior Abbie Wahlund’s time of 20:39.35 put her one spot behind Maicee.
“It was a bit windy, but those conditions are for everyone,” Allie Wahlund said. “Rain or snow, it doesn’t matter what happens. We’ve all got to go through it.”
Sophomore Deja Meyer (20:50.71) and junior Brooke Keller (21:43.81) rounded out the Majettes’ lineup with finishes in the No. 67 and No. 108 positions.
The team found a reason to cheer after the meet, as Carla earned Coach of the Year honors.
“I look at the athletes,” she said. “It’s the athletes who make me the coach that I am. It’s the other coaches that I’m always surrounded by. I always learn from other people. Coach of the Year, I give it all to the athletes and the people I work with.”
The Majettes posted 152 team points. West Fargo earned the first-place state championship trophy with 95 points.
According to Minot head coach Lance Gehring, the Magicians posted a host of season-best times in Saturday’s race. Minot recorded 186 team points en route to an eighth-place finish.
Seniors William Walker-Rozo (16:44.84) and Kaiden Meyer (16:48.02) finished in the No. 22 and No. 23 positions. Those seniors led the Magi on Saturday.
“The guys performed about as well as could be expected,” Gehring said. “We had guys cutting 45 seconds to a minute off times. They brought their ‘A’ game today. It’s a deep year in North Dakota this year, but they were great today.”
Freshman William Barrington (17:00.48) and sophomore Grant Schaeffer (17:05.57) also provided key contributions for the Magi. Barrington locked up the No. 34 spot, while Schaeffer earned the No. 38 position.
The Magi would not have another runner cross the finish line until senior Noah Jacobs’ time of 17:34.80 gave him the No. 69 position. Sophomore Oscar Hultz did not finish too far behind, as his time of 17:37.49 granted the No. 71 spot.
“The team has improved from Day 1,” Minot assistant coach Troy Wendt said. “It benefitted at the state meet.”
Two pairs of upperclassmen rounded out the scorecard for Minot. Junior Zac Gillett (17:51.04) and senior Griffin Schaeffer (17:52.85) secured the respective No. 81 and No. 85 positions.
Junior Bryce Rose (18:17.72) and senior Austin Geyer (18:32.47) finished the day at the No. 107 and No. 129 spots.
“What we did today, there were years where that would be good for second or third,” Gehring said. “Now, you need much more than what we had to get something like that.”
Bismarck Century separated themselves from the field, holding a 40-point advantage over second-place Williston. Three Century runners (Mason Kindel, Griffin House and Ethan Bender) all secured top 10 finishes.
Class B Boys
Robert White led the New Town Eagles to a Class B state championship. White’s 15:52.52 led all runners in Saturday’s meet, guiding New Town to its eighth consecutive state championship.
Saturday’s victory also marks the Eagles’ 14th state championship in the last 16 seasons. In four out of the last five seasons, a different New Town runner has crossed the line first — Ryan Wheeling in 2015, Jalen Chase in 2016, Jaiven Hale in 2017 and White in 2019.
White also earned Class B Senior Athlete of the Year honors.
Addison Red Fox (16:51.70) finished eighth overall, while Colt Spotted Bear (17:25.80) finished fourteenth. Phoenix White (17:33.31) and Ben Dubois (17:33.42) finished back-to-back at the No. 21 and No. 22 spots.
The Eagles posted 66 team points, 13 points ahead of second-place Bowman County.
Class B Girls
The Rugby girls cross country team earned the state championship in Class B action. Quinn Neppl (sixth), Brooklyn Bartsch (eighth) and Amelia Shepard (ninth) all earned top 10 finishes to help the Panthers to their first state title since 2010.
Neppl’s 19:36.82 paced the Panthers. Bartsch (19:46.98) and Shepard (19:47.28) were not far behind.
Ella Jacobson (20:50.78) and Keely Arnston (21:00.47) earned the No. 26 and No. 29 positions, respectively. Rugby’s state championship comes after a 2018 runner-up finish.
Rugby head coach Bill Jansen earned Class B Coach of the Year recognition.
Eight-time defending state champions Hillsboro/Central Valley finished third, trailing Rugby and Bowman County. Hillsboro/Central Valley’s Raegan Baesler earned her fourth consecutive first-place finish at state, finishing with a time of 18:26.36.
Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.