By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Freshman Alyssa Moreno will run in her first ever state cross country meet in Kearney Friday.
Moreno finished 14th in the C-4 district meet in Ogallala with her best time ever to qualify for Friday’s state meet at the Kearney Country Club course.
While this may be her first state meet on the course, Chase County runners got a feel for the course in the UNK meet there in late September.
Coach Carl Zuege said that experience on the course should help Moreno in Friday’s race.
He said Moreno ran a really smart race at districts, positioning herself well throughout the race.
After the first mile, she’d positioned herself in the top 25 runners. She moved that up to 16th about midway and then moved into 14th and held there to the finish.
Just as exciting for Zuege was to see the rest of his girls run strong at districts. He said his next five girls all ran their best times of the season.
Mallory Coleman was 40th, followed by Maddison Vaverek in 43rd and Suzy Kasselman in 44th. Charlie Ann Carter was 55th with Andrea Hogsett at 56th.
Zuege said the C4 district was loaded with strong runners and noted his girls competed well against that field.
He said his boys’ team also competed well, despite not qualifying anyone for state.
Holden Dreiling led the team with a 28th place finish.
Zuege said he wanted Dreiling to pace himself on a 5:45 first mile. Dreiling turned the first mile at 5:25 which took a little too much out of him late in the race.
Zuege said the boys kept a good pace through the race and never got stuck behind slower runners.
Indy Smith, Andrew Vaverek, Garret Thompson and Johnathan Fegley followed close behind in 31st, 34th, 35th and 40th respectively. Mason Meeske finished 56th.
Friday’s Class C girls race begins at 1 p.m. MT Friday. Zuege said a number of Moreno’s teammates will make the trip to support her during the race.
Boys’ team scores—1st, Ogallala, 38; 2nd, Cozad, 39; 3rd, Mitchell, 56; 4th, Chadron, 66; 5th, Kearney Catholic, 78; 6th, Broken Bow, 114; 7th, Gothenburg, 117; 8th, Chase County, 128; 9th, Valentine, 152; 10th, Holdrege, 182; 11th, Gordon-Rushville, 183.
Individual results—1st, Dereck Rosas, Ogallala, 16:24. Chase County—28th, Holden Dreiling, 18:26; 31st, Indy Smith, 18:42; 34th, Andrew Vaverek, 18:55; 35th, Garret Thompson, 18:57; 40th, Johnathan Fegley, 19:17; 56th, Mason Meeske, 20:31.
Girls’ team scores—1st, Cozad, 40; 2nd, Chadron, 44; 3rd, Holdrege, 55; 4th, Ogallala, 66; 5th, Kearney Catholic, 91; 6th, Gothenburg, 92; 7th, Gordon-Rushville, 95; 8th, Broken Bow, 117; 9th, Chase County, 141; 10th, Valentine, 173.
Individual results—1st, Gabby Gracia, Holdrege, 14:42. Chase County—14th, Alyssa Moreno, 16:45; 40th, Mallory Coleman, 18:35; 43rd, Maddison Vaverek, 18:50; 44th, Suzy Kasselman, 18:52; 55th, Charlie Ann Carter, 20:53; 56th, Andrea Hogsett, 21:33.