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Killdeer girls take runner-up as a team in Class B state meet

VALLEY CITY — The Hillsboro-Central Valley girls cross country team had a bad feeling entering the North Dakota Class B girls state meet on Saturday.

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The Burros haven’t had the best history running races at Valley City’s Bjorson Park Golf Course, but that didn’t stop them from earning their third consecutive state team title.

“The girls seemed to think that it wasn’t going to be good racing the state meet here this year,” Hillsboro-Central Valley head coach Kirk Zink said. “They got a bad omen in their heads because this course hasn’t been the best for us, but I thought all our girls ran well.”

The Burros scored a 94 — 58 points less than runner-up Killdeer.

Junior Annika Rotvold paced H-CV, finishing third overall with a time of 15 minutes, 15.5 seconds. The Burros also received top-20 finishes from eighth grader Gracie Wright (eighth place, 15:44.3) and junior Shayla Fossum (14th, 15:57.0).

“Having three runners in Annika, Gracie and Shayla near the top and scoring low was big,” said Zink, who was named Class B girls Coach of Year. “It made a huge difference because Killdeer is a solid team, but only one of its runners finished in the top 20.”

The Burros become the first girls team to win three consecutive Class B championships since Bowman won three in a row in 2003-05.

“Our team raced well and we really wanted it,” said Rotvold, who recorded a personal-best time Saturday. “We all came together and it feels good to know we all were able to race our best at the final meet of the year.”

Watford City sophomore Asha Smith won the individual championship with a time of 14:50.6.

“This is my first ever cross country state championship and I’m stoked,” said Smith, who has won three state track and field titles for the Wolves.

Smith entered the state meet ranked No. 2 behind Carrington freshman Ashley Neumiller. Neumiller finished second with a time of 15:07.0.

Bismarck Shiloh Christian junior Elliott Stone won the Class B boys individual crown, completing his 5K in 16:15.4 to edge New Town freshman Ryan Wheeling 2.3 seconds.

“It’s incredible,” Stone said of the championship. “The last corner of the race we both started sprinting and I was able to get it.”

Lisbon’s Thomas Horgeshimer finished third (16:27.9).

“I started out strong and the first two miles were great,” said Horgeshimer, who was named Class B boys Senior Athlete of the Year. “The final turn (Elliott and Ryan) really floored it.”

New Town won the boys team championship scoring a 45. The Eagles have won eight of the last 10 state team titles.

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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