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South Dakota School of Mines women’s cross country program announced the signing of two new recruits Wednesday, tapping talent locally as Rapid City Stevens standouts Kendra Crisman and Brittney Hovdenes signed their letters of intent to be Lady Hardrockers in the fall of 2007.
Cutline: Rapid City Stevens cross country and track athletes Brittney Hovdenes and Kendra Crisman both signed letters of intent Wednesday to compete as Hardrockers for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Pictured, front row from the left are Brittney and Kendra. Back row, from the left, are Ann and John Hovdenes, Rapid City Stevens head cross country coach Forry Flaagan, head Hardrocker cross country coach Jerry Schafer and Bob and Yvonne Crisman. Photo by Brad Blume.
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines women’s cross country program announced the signing of two new recruits Wednesday, tapping talent locally as Rapid City Stevens standouts Kendra Crisman and Brittney Hovdenes signed their letters of intent to be Lady Hardrockers in the fall of 2007.
“I was very excited when we discovered that (SDSM&T) had the academics they were interested in,” said Hardrocker head coach Jerry Schafer. “Academically they are very solid students and we have the degrees that interest them.”
Hovdenes plans to pursue a degree in engineering while Crisman is looking toward a pre-med degree.
Both girls will run on the track team as well, but according to RCS Raider cross country and track coach Forry Flaagen, who instructed the duo all through their high school careers, cross country is their first passion.
“I think it is a good decision for them because, competitively, it is going to be a good fit for them in the Dakota Athletic Conference. They both are more ‘true cross country runners’ but yet they will do good in track,” Flaagen said.
This past season at the Class AA South Dakota State Cross Country Meet in Huron, both girls were very competitive helping the Raiders to a fourth-place finish. Individually Crisman finished 22nd at the state meet with a time of 16 minutes 6 seconds and Hovdenes was close behind in 31st with a mark of 16:33. In fact, the two Raiders have helped the RCS girls team be in the Top 4 the past three years.
“They bring a real enthusiasm with them everyday. They enjoy being part of a team and contributing anyway they can,” Flaagan said. “I think they are a couple kids that will really be a nice fit at South Dakota Mines because they are the type of kids that will attract other runners.”
Coach Schafer agreed.
“From a personality standpoint they are going to fit right in with the athletes that we have,” Schafer said. “They enjoy what they are doing, they like having fun with it but they also know when to be serious.”
Making the transition from high school to the college level is difficult for any student-athlete, but even more so for someone attending South Dakota School of Mines. Not only is there a higher level of competition but there’s also the academic standards to live up to. Schafer said he feels his two recruits should be able to handle the new workload, both physically and mentally.
“(Rapid City Stevens) has a solid program and a great tradition,” Schafer said. “Coach Flaagan’s training philosophies are very similar to mine in terms of style so I wouldn’t anticipate much of a transition for the girls into our program. I am also confident that these two young ladies have a great study habit and the transition (from high school to college) will be minimum,” Schafer said.
Crisman and Hovdenes will have an immediate impact to the Lady Hardrocker team, not only will it be the first time in about 10 years that SD Mines has had enough for a full squad, but it will also potentially bring in more recruits to add depth to the team. Last season, the ‘Rockers finished the year with just two women --- freshmen Samantha Diede and Molly Tobin.
Schafer said that the new recruits should have comparable times to what Diede and Tobin had posted last season and that will give the Hardrockers a foot-hold in a very competitive conference.
“Kendra had been in our scoring five for the last three years and Brittney for the last two years,” Flaagen said about the girls’ high school career. “They have had the opportunities to compete in some very big competitions.”
Brittney is the daughter of John and Ann Hovdenes and Kendra is the daughter of Bob and Yvonne Crisman.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
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