Bowman County may have placed third in the state cross-country girls championship meet Nov. 24 in Cooperstown.
They had one of the youngest teams in the meet, with no seniors or juniors in the top seven that competed.
In fact, the team has just one sophomore, Paysha Rex, who placed 73rd out of the more than 200 runners in the Class B race.
The team’s top five runners included two freshmen, two eighth-graders and a seventh grader.
Freshman Jaci Fischer led the way by finishing eleventh in the race. The other freshman in the team’s top five was Kenley Bowman, who took 29th as the team’s third runner to finish.
Eighth-grader Julie Sarsland took 25th overall in the race, while seventh-grader Teagan Homelvig was the 42nd runner to finish.
It was eighth-grader Landyn Gerbig who was the team’s final scorer, placing 48th overall in the state meet.
Eighth-grader Adyson Gerbig was the sixth Bulldog to finish, placing 71st in the race, just two spots ahead of Rex.
According to coach Jonathon Jahner, Fischer ran a strong race. “It was great to see Jaci come back and run the way we know she can. It was good to see her come back and put a really good race out there. She had a phenomenal year last year and the week after regionals she got so sick,” the coach said. “She didn’t practice for a week.
“Last year, she had a really disappointing state meet. Just because of illness. There was nothing she could do about that.
“So, it was so good to see her come back and redeem herself this year with such an excellent run.
“She got out strong and she led the entire field to that post... and that set her up to have an excellent race and finish where she did. It was an awesome race for her,” the coach added.
One thing that the coach stresses in races is building up strength for his squads. “We might not have the fastest times coming in... but we run on really hard courses. That course there (at Cooperstown) was by far the easiest course we’ve ever run on. We just keep telling our kids they are so much stronger from the training you have done and the hills you get to run,” Jahner explained.
“We have got great runners and they put in great time in during the summer,” he said, noting that he is waiting to see the improvement next fall.
In addition to having a young top seven runners who performed well at the state meet, he has more young runners right behind them.
McKaylee Kalstrom is a sophomore, while Liv Bowman is in seventh grade and both Alexi Reisenauer and AllieRae Stotts are freshmen.