Girls’ team finishes
5th in districts
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Chase County’s boys’ cross country team fulfilled a season-long goal last Thursday by qualifying for the state meet Friday in Kearney.
The team finished third in the eight-team field at the D-5 district meet in Grant, earning the final qualifying spot.
The top three teams and top 15 individuals at districts qualify for the state meet.
The Longhorns finished just three points out of second place on strong efforts by all their runners.
“We got a great effort,” Coach Carl Zuege said, but he still feels his kids have a better race left in them this week.
“I thought everybody had to run well to qualify,” he said.
Seniors Tyler Talbott and Kyle Bottom led the effort with Talbott finishing third and Bottom taking seventh.
Shane German finished just outside the medals at 17th.
Talbott and Bottom both qualified individually for state last year. The duo, along with Dan Sullivan, ran at the state meet two years ago when the Longhorn team took second and Talbott placed 14th.
Zuege said this experience should prove valuable going into this week’s state meet.
The Longhorns have been ranked just inside the top 10 in Class D at times this season and Zuege feels a top 5 finish is within reach of his team.
He added Talbott and Bottom both have legitimate shots to finish in the top 15 individually.
Zuege said the team goes into the meet healthy. The team just missed a state berth last year when several members were struck with illness just prior to districts.
On the girl’s side, freshmen Mallory Coleman and Emma Engbrecht continued to pace the team.
Zuege said Coleman ran her best race of the season, finishing just outside the medals at 19th.
Zuege said Engbrecht was devastated that she didn’t qualify for state. She was battling a minor injury and some illness and finished 24th.
Those are the kinds of emotions a coach likes to see, Zuege said, when an athlete falls short of their goals.
Zuege said the girls’ D-5 district was loaded with good runners this year.
He told his girls that after the state meet, they’ll see just how good the competition was in this district, with at least four to five legitimate medal contenders.
Zuege said juniors Devon Vavarek and Breanna Krutsinger finished the season strong.
Senior Hannah Harmon battled some injury and sickness and was never quite able to get back to 100 percent.
Zuege said next year’s team sets up pretty well with the depth of the two freshmen, two juniors and sophomore Lydia Harmon.
The Class B & D sessions of the state meet begin with the Class D girls’ race at 11 a.m. MT at the Kearney Country Club .
The Class D boys’ race will begin at 12 noon, MT.
The Class B girls run at 11:30 a.m. MT, with the Class B boys running at 12:30 p.m. MT.
The Class A & C sessions will follow.
District D-5 meet
Team results—1st, Paxton, 29; 2nd, Dundy County-Stratton, 37; 3rd, Chase County, 40; 4th, Eustis-Farnam/Medicine Valley, 54; 5th, NP St. Pat’s, 73; 6th, Perkins County, 108; 7th, Hemingford, 149; 8th, Sutherland, 153.
Individual results—1st, Koby Archuletta, Pax., 17:31.6; 2nd, Cody Franklin, Brid., 18:09.0; 3rd, Tyler Talbott, CCS, 18:21.4; 4th, Sean O’Malley, NPSP, 18:24.3; 5th, Garrett Perlinger, Pax., 18:28.9; 6th, Levi Swenson, DC-S, 18:44.9; 7th, Kyle Bottom, CCS, 18:58.8; 8th, Levi White, May., 19:01.6; 9th, Austin Johnson, DC-S, 19:06.6; 10th, Kingsley Gibbens, E-F/MV, 19:18.2; 11th, Dylan Stransbury, Craw., 19:22.7; 12th, William Welch, Pax., 19:24.3; 13th, Shawn Young, E-F/MV, 19:28.4; 14th, Ray Lowry, Morr., 19:28.6; 15th, Benjamin Fox, DC-S, 19:36.2; 17th, Shane German, CCS, 19:51.8; 27th, Tom Sullivan, CCS, 20:22.7; 28th, Adam Moline, CCS, 20:27.4; 42nd, Garret Thompson, CCS, 21:24.7.
Team results—1st, NP St. Pat’s, 42; 2nd, Dundy County-Stratton, 49; 3rd, Perkins County, 51; 4th, Hershey, 63; 5th, Chase County, 94; 6th, Eustis-Farnam/Medicine Valley, 99; 7th, Hemingford, 110; 8th, Morrill, 117; 9th, Crawford, 151; 10th, Maxwell, 156.
Individual results—1st, Gabrielle Mullanix, DC-S, 16:05.9; 2nd, Ashley Kemling, PC, 16:22.8; 3rd, Mandy O’Malley, NPSP, 16:29.5; 19th, Mallory Coleman, CCS, 18:31.20; 24th, Emma Engbrecht, 18:51.90; 39th, Devon Vaverek, 20:22.50; 40th, Breanna Krutsinger, 20:26.50; 49th, Hannah Harmon, 21:04.60; 62nd, Lydia Harmon, 22:58.30.