Girls Cross Country Grabs First Place

It’s been tough for the Killdeer Cowboys to run at full speed this year.


By Jarann Johnson

For The DC Herald

The girls have been battling injuries and the boys have been waiting for younger runners to gain enough experience to race at the varsity level.

Last week it looked like the season long trend were going to continue after the Tuesday meet in Beulah. But after the Saturday meet in Williston it became clear that both team are capable of impressive finishes at full strength.

Beulah-Hazen Meet 

The Beulah-Hazen meet was the first meet Killdeer went to last week. The girls took 4th overall and the boys finished 6th at the meet.

The girls’ team was led by Amber Kukla’s top ten finish. Kukla finished the 4 kilometer (roughly 2.5 mile) in 17 minutes and 49 seconds, which was good enough for 7th place.

The Cowboys had two other top 25 runners in a 47-runner field. Shawnee Hansen took 12th overall (18:18) and Katelynn Lane secured the No. 3-runner spot with a 24th overall finish (20:21).

At that point in the race Killdeer and Stanley were battling closely for third place. Both teams only needed two more runners to finish the race for a complete score after Lane’s finish.

Killdeer race fans quickly had their hopes for a 3rd place finish dashed by Stanley. Stanley pushed two runners across the finish line at 25th and 26th place overall to lock in a third place finish.

The Cowboys were very close too Stanley though. Bailey Smith finished 27th overall (20:34) and Corrie Dobitz was 33rd (21:19).

Trae Murray didn’t run and Sydney Andersen didn’t complete the race and Andersen didn’t finish the race. Head Coach, Nathan Horgeshimer, said the decision to hold Andersen back from finishing the race was a precautionary measure.

The boys finished 6th out of 12 at the meet. Dakota Bowen and Cole Dukart both had top 25 finishes in a 48-runner field. Bowen was 21st (21:37) and Dukart was 23rd (21:57).

Orion Bowen ran strong enough to make up for the Ghost runners in the No. 4 and No. 5 spot. Orion Bowen’s finished 37th at the race (24:27).

The ghost runner scores for the boys were 49th for the No. 4 runner and 50th for the No. 5 runner.

Williston Meet 

The Williston Meet was the meet the Killdeer Cowboys had been hoping for all year. The Cowboys won the girls’ side of the meet and took fourth on the boys’ side.

The girls first place finish was close, only one point better than New Town’s score at the meet. New Town grabbed the early lead at the meet with two top five runners.

Marveen Ross, New Town, took first in 16 minutes and 28 seconds. Her teammate and fellow freshman Tyleigh Brady took third (16:56) giving New Town the early lead in the race.

Williston also had two top five runners (2nd, and 4th overall). The competitive atmosphere of the race continued in the top ten overall. New Town and Williston both pushed three runners into the top ten.

Parshall looked like a team capable of winning the meet at that point with two top ten finishers (5th and 7th overall). Killdeer had one top ten runner in Amber Kukla (6th overall, 17:16) and Stanley also had one runner in the top ten (8th overall).

Despite the early leads that New Town, Williston and Parshall took in the top 10, it was Killdeer that showed the depth in the top 20. Killdeer moved to first with a 11th-12th-13th in the top 20.

Sydney Andersen led the strong showing with a 11th place showing (17:48). Dani Benz (17:58) and Trae Murray (18:03) followed in the 12th and 13th place.

The only challenge left for Killdeer was getting their fifth and final scoring runner across the finish line before anyone else. Shawnee Hansen didn’t waste anytime making sure her team locked in a first place finish.

Hansen finished in the top 20 with an 18th overall finish (18:28). Killdeer also made sure New Town’s top heavy, 1st and 3rd overall finish, wouldn’t carry the team to a win by running strong in the No. 6 and No. 7 spots.

Hannah Kisse took 20th (18:51) overall and Hannah Benz finished 22nd (19:08), which pushed New Town’s No. 4 and No. 5 runners down and helped secure the one point victory.

The boys also had a strong day at the meet, taking fourth overall and running with five runners for the first time this season. All of the boys’ runner finished in the top 30.

The group was led by Dakota Bowen’s 21st place finish (20:45). Colby Dukart followed in 23rd (21:08) and Ryan Zastoupil was 24th (21:24).

Orion Bowen and Garrett Calkins showed enough grit to break into the top 30. Orion Bowen was 28th (22:43) and Calkins was 29th (22:57).

Head Coach Nathan Horgeshimer was impressed with how his girls ran at Williston and was happy to beat New Town with junior highrunners moving up and some older runners returning from injuries.

“Amber was our No.1 runner and she’s been running just great the last couple of weeks.She’s been up with some pretty good runners. I had acouple girls coming back from some injuries that we’ve been working through. Trae and Dani hadn’t run for a couple of meets, so it was nice to have all those older girls back in a race,” Horgeshimer.

The boys and girls teams will head to Rugby this weekend and try to build off their finish at the Williston meet.

9/22 – Beulah Meet 

Girls – 4th out of 14

No.1 runner – Amber Kukla 7th (17:49)

No. 2 runner – Shawnee Hansen 12th (18:18)

No. 3 runner – Katelynn Lane 24th (20:21)

No. 4 runner – Bailey Smith 27th (20:34)

N. 5 runner – Corrie Dobitz 33rd (21:19)

Boys – Killdeer 6th of 12

No. 1 runner – Dakota Bowen 21st (21:37)

No. 2 runner – Cole Dukart 23rd (21:57)

No. 3 runner – Orion Bowen 37th (24:27)

No. 4 runner – Ghost runner 49th

No. 5 runner – Ghost Runner 50th

9/26 –Williston Meet 

Girls – 1st out of 7

No. 1 runner – Amber Kukla 6th (17:12)

No. 2 runner – Sydney Andersen 11th (17:48)

No. 3 runner – Dani Benz 12th (17:58)

No. 4 runner – Trae Murray 13th (18:03)

No. 5 runner – Shawnee Hansen 18th (18:28)

Other runners; Hannah Kisse (18:51), Hannah Benz (19:08), Jaylynn Hicks (20:22), Tyra Dahlen (21:45), Corrie Dobitz (21:26), Andrea Yellow Bird (21:34), Bailey Smith (21:45).

Boys – 4th out of 8

No. 1 runner – Dakota Bowen 21st (20:45)

No. 2 runner – Colby Dukart 23rd (21:08)

No. 3 runner – Ryan Zastoupil 24th (21:24)

No. 4 runner – Orion Bowen 28th (22:43)

No. 5 runner – Garrett Calkins 29th (22:57)

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