Longhorns ﬁnish outside the medal window at state
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
This year’s cross country season didn’t end the way the kids wanted it to.
After finishing as runners-up in Class D last year, the Longhorns looked poised at the middle of the season to make another run
Instead, injury and illness played havoc on the team in the closing weeks of the regular season.
At districts, they only ran with four runners, with two out sick and one out injured.
The team finished fourth to keep them out of the state meet but juniors Tyler Talbott and Kyle Bottom earned individual trips to state last Friday in Kearney.
Even that didn’t go as planned for the pair.
Coach Carl Zuege said Talbott wasn’t 100 percent going into Friday’s state meet.
It showed as Talbott had to settle for 18th place, three places out of the medals.
Zuege said Bottom may have peaked a little early this season and just didn’t have his legs under him, finishing 54th in the 121-runner field.
Despite the problems at the end of the season, Zuege remains excited because six of the seven will return next year.
Dundy County/Stratton, the D5 district champ, finished seventh at Kearney.
Hastings St. Cecilia won the meet with 50 points followed by Ainsworth with 57.
Dillon Eckel, a sophomore from Gibbon, won the Class D individual title with a time of 16:55.0.
Dundy County/Stratton’s girls, who also won the D5 district, finished 10th in the girls’ meet.
Results for the Longhorns were as follows:
18th, Tyler Talbott, 18:02.5; 54th, Kyle Bottom 19:06.7. Winning time, 16:55.0.