Girls cross country takes second at state

Gray Hughes

All of the hard work put in by the Hill City Rangers cross country team paid off as the girls team took second place in Class A at the 2019 South Dakota State Cross Country Meet held in Huron on Saturday.

The team finished with a total of 69 points, while eighth-grader Abby Cutler came in second place with a time of 19:00.93.

For the boy’s team, Luke Rupert, also an eighth grade student, came in 41st place as the school’s lone male runner.

“These six ladies and one young man rose to the occasion and preformed out of their minds,” said head coach Joe Noyes.

The girls had been working all summer and season to fill the space left by graduating seniors last year, Noyes said. This year, the team had three new girls score for the Rangers at the state meet with six girls in the top half of the race.

Each of the girls were an integral part of the team’s success, Noyes said.

While Cutler finished second, senior Lizzy Escalante finished 10th with a time of 19:58.18. Seventh grade student Jazzla Hutto finished 24th with a time of 21:36.78. Tenth grade student Natalie Hanka finished in 59th place with a season-best time of 21:36.78. Eighth grade student Lillie Ross and junior Rebecca Cutler served as pushers for the team. Ross finished with a time of 22:20.93 while Cutler finished with a time of 22:24.86.

“These six ladies each did their part to secure an amazing team finish of runner up, beating the third place team by over 30 points.”

Rupert improved by 25 places from last year. His finish of 41st place was out of 130 runners.

Rupert ran a personal record time of 18:19.59.

With so many younger athletes on the team, it is safe to say the future of Hill City Rangers cross country is very bright.

“If you see (the girls) or (Rupert ) in school…please take a moment to congratulate them on their season and state meet success,” Noyes said.

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