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California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

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Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

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KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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TMP's Ruder set for a classic

Published on -10/26/2012, 10:15 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

When Thomas More Prep-Marian senior Heather Ruder sets foot on the starting line Saturday, she will have an opportunity to do something no Monarch has ever done: win two individual cross country state titles.

Win or lose, Ruder will go down as one of the greatest distance runners in school history, but if she brought home a gold, she would have a legitimate argument to be called TMP's greatest long distance runner. In fact, she might be able to successfully make that argument already.

"She's had one of the best, if not the greatest, cross country careers that anybody's had (at TMP)," TMP head coach Matt Dumler said. "There are very few that are going to come close to what she's done."

Ruder's resume is by far the most impressive of anyone in the Class 3A field.

Ruder is an eight-time gold medalist and four-time silver medalist in only three years at state track, and she has finished in the top three at state cross country the past three seasons -- second as a freshman, first as a sophomore and third as a junior.

"She's a real special runner," said Dumler, who is in his seventh year as head coach. "You don't get to coach them very often. Some coaches go a whole career without having one like that. Mine came real early."

The main obstacle standing in Ruder's way Saturday? Simply the reigning state champion, Hillsboro sophomore Emily Sechrist.

The two have battled it out since Sechrist arrived as a freshman.

Sechrist finished first in state cross country and the 3,200-meter run at state track, while Ruder won the 1,600-meter run.

They faced each other again in cross country Oct. 4 at Sterling, and Ruder defeated Sechrist by five seconds.

Ruder said she's noticed a growing rivalry.

"We are always pushing each other, and you never know the outcome," Ruder said. "It's been back and forth."

Dumler and Ruder engineered a different strategy to challenge Sechrist at Sterling.

Instead of Ruder's normal strategy of building a lead throughout the race, she stayed on Sechrist's shoulder and started kicking at the half-mile mark.

Ruder said she plans to implement the same strategy Saturday at Rim Rock.

"I'm just going to rely on my kick this weekend," Ruder said.

Dumler said they overlooked Sechrist at state in 2011, and they aren't making the same mistake this year.

"Early on, we tried to take the approach that we can run Heather's race and pull away from her in the middle of the race," Dumler said. "Well, that proved to get us a couple times, because we kind of underestimated her. We have had to take a different approach with her, because she's a great runner."

Last season, Ruder arguably had her worst state meet last year at Rim Rock, finishing third in 16:15. She had run better times and placed better the two previous years when Class 3A ran at Wamego.

"I was just not myself," Ruder said regarding her third-place finish in 2011. "I was exhausted the whole time. I don't really know what it was."

Ruder said she hopes to make better memories at Rim Rock this year.

Though Ruder's quest for a second gold medal is one of the top storylines heading into the state meet, she won't be the only Monarch competing.

TMP qualified its entire girls' team by placing third at the Class 3A regional meet, and the Monarchs did it without their presumptive second runner -- senior Allison Pfeifer, who's missed most of the year with health concerns.

"I had confidence in us the whole time," Ruder said. "I thought we had a really good chance of making it to state. It's really neat to see everyone stepping up and taking charge ever since we lost Allison."

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