Rutscher and Bustad finalize their collegiate plans

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Stillwater Area High School swimmer Claire Rutscher (Vermont) and Ponies hockey player Sara Bustad (Minnesota State-Mankato) each signed a national letter of intent this week to continue their athletic careers at college.

Stillwater Area High School seniors Sara Bustad and Claire Rutscher each signed a national letter of intent earlier this week during the early signing period.

Bustad, a regular contributor to Stillwater’s successful girls’ hockey program since eighth grade, has signed on with Minnesota State-Mankato. The versatile performer, who has played defense and forward for the Ponies, scored 11 goals and provided 16 assists in 27 games a year ago. She received all-conference honorable mention recognition after helping the Ponies to a 16-9-2 record.

“Sara is a defenseman that plays a lot of forward for her high school team,” Mavericks coach Eric Means said. “She has always been considered one of the best defenders in the 2013 class. She is a very smooth skater and has a good shot. Plus, she has a toughness to her game which is always nice to have in your lineup.”

Rutscher is an all-state performer for the Ponies in girls’ swimming and diving for a team that has never lost a dual meet while winning conference and section titles each year she has been on the team. She will take her talents to the University of Vermont and swim for the Catamounts. The senior captain has been a multiple time All-SEC honoree for the Ponies and is slated to compete at this week’s state meet in four events.

Listed below is some information about the future plans of both athletes and what influenced their decisions:


Sara Bustad

College attending — Minnesota State-Mankato

Sport — Women’s hockey

Why Minnesota State-Mankato? — Being able to play in the WCHA and being closer to home.

Major/academic interests — Undecided

Other SAHS activities — Varsity Choir

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — Winning state in 2009.


Claire Rutscher

College attending — University of Vermont

Sport — Women’s swimming and diving

Why Vermont? — I loved everything about the school, especially the beautiful campus, the rigorous academics, location and swim program.

Major/academic interests — Undecided

Other SAHS activities — French Club

Most memorable experience with the Ponies — True Team state in 2011. We were not supposed to win the meet, but everyone swam their best and we pulled together as a team to win.