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Ruder paces TMP with win at MCAA meet

Published on -10/12/2012, 10:23 AM

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By The Hays Daily News

HOISINGTON -- The Thomas More Prep-Marian cross country teams finished second Thursday at the MCAA championships.

TMP senior Heather Ruder won the girls' individual title in 16 minutes and eight seconds on the 4,000-meter course -- 44 seconds better than second-place finisher Delainee Gordon of Larned.

"We knew going in she was kind of going to run by herself, and we knew she was going to be pretty tired," TMP head coach Matt Dumler said. "Because for three weeks, we've put the hammer down and done some very serious training."

The girls finished with a team score of 47 -- 10 points better than Larned and 18 points worse than Ellinwood, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A in the latest coaches' poll.

Kayla Walker and Shelby Stouffer finished eighth and ninth in 18:03 and 18:04, respectively. Jordan Manhart and Annie Mindrup rounded out the team score in 14th and 15th and in 19:16 and 19:23.

TMP's boys recorded a score of 62 and were a distant second to Ellinwood, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A and who finished with a perfect score of 15. However, the Monarchs beat Larned by nine.

"We had never beaten Larned at a league meet before," Dumler said regarding his boys' performance. "We always had been third or fourth depending on who was there."

Tony Staab led the Monarchs, breaking 19 minutes for the first time. He finished eighth in 18:57 on the 5,000-meter course.

Dumler said entering the season, it was the team's goal to have five runners under 19 minutes by the regional meet. Prior to Thursday, three of Staab's teammates also had cracked 19 minutes, so the Monarchs are close to their goal.

"We feel like if we do that, it would give us a shot (to qualify for state)," Dumler said. "... We are very, very close to where we want to be going into regionals."

Andrew Hess finished ninth in 19:00, and Nick Dopita was 10th in 19:24.

Austin Dinkel and Matt Mindrup rounded out the scoring with 12th- and 15th-place finishes in 19:41 and 19:58, respectively.

"Our boys have done some nice work, and it all goes back to our summer mileage," Dumler said. "They found a race they trained for together and got a lot more mileage than they had in the past."

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