By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
This year’s Chase County Longhorns cross country team made a splash in its first outing of the year Friday, winning the Cambridge Invitational.
Coach Carl Zuege said it was a total team effort to claim the championship trophy after tieing with Dundy County.
Zuege said it came down to two things. Holden Dreiling, who finished sixth, passed a Dundy County runner coming down the stretch.
The other came with Garret Thompson winning the tie-breaker by finishing ahead of Dundy County’s fifth runner.
Zuege said his younger runners ran especially well for the first meet.
Sophomore Indy Smith led the team with a fourth place finish, followed by Dreiling in sixth, and freshman Isaac Maxwell in eighth.
Zuege said Maxwell’s effort was especially notable because it was his first cross country meet.
Seniors Andrew Vaverek and Thompson ran 11th and 12th to help secure the team title.
Ryan Moline, the other varsity runner, finished 17th in his first-ever cross country meet. Mason Meeske led the jayvees with a 22nd place finish.
Zuege said this is a good start for the boys but noted there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
After the meet, he noted times were slower than last year at this time. However, when he looked at times from other meets across the state, the times were in line.
Zuege said the extreme heat during the first two weeks of school has kept teams from training as hard as they normally would.
He said they will begin to work on stamina and speed as weather conditions cool down.
Coleman leads girls
Senior Mallory Coleman led the CCS girls, finishing in eighth place.
Emma Engbrecht also medalled with an 11th place finish.
Freshmen Rose Sullivan finished 17th in her first cross country meet race.
Freshman Vianey Marquez came in at 29th to allow the girls to score as a team after freshman Alexandra Valenzuela turned an ankle and was unable to finish.
As a team, the Longhorns finished fifth in the six-team field.
This also marks the first year that the girls run the same course as the boys. Previously, their course was about a half mile shorter.
Junior high season begins
Friday also marked the beginning of the junior high cross country team.
Will Kuenne finished second in the boys race while Kaley Hauxwell took fourth in the girls’ results.
Noah Griffin and Landis Beverly finished 13th and 14th respectively.
At Cambridge, the junior high ran one mile. They will run two miles at the Imperial meet this week.
Last week’s cross county preview story noted that a junior high cross country team was a first.
However, Bruce Vires, a longtime teacher and coach at the school, said there was one other year when CCS had a junior high team.
Some of those junior high kids went on to finish as a state runner-up team in high school, he said.
The junior high was coached by Paul Orvis.
Imperial meet today
The Longhorns will play host to a number of schools today with their invitational at the Imperial Country Club.
The girls’ race will begin at 3:30 p.m. MDT, followed by the boys’ race and then the junior high race.
Boys’ team scores—1st, Chase County, 28; 2nd, Dundy County/Stratton, 28; 3rd, NPSP, 52; 4th, Eustis-Farnam/Med. Valley, 74; 5th, Sutherland, 85; 6th, Maywood, 90.
Individual results—1st, Rodger Farr, EF-MV, 18:18; 4th, Indy Smith, CC, 19:09; 6th, Holden Dreiling, CC, 19:34; 8th, Isaac Maxwell, CC, 19:43; 11th, Andrew Vaverek, CC, 20:22; 12th, Garrett Thompson, CC, 20:28; 17th, Ryan Moline, CC, 21:12; 23rd, Mason Meeske, CC-JV, 22:26; 28th, Caleb Bubak, CC-JV, 23:25; 29th, Tagan Mays, CC-JV, 23:49; 37th, Korey Krutsinger, CC-JV 25:09.
Girls’ team scores—1st, NPSP, 30; 2nd, Dundy County/Stratton, 34; 3rd, EF-MV, 48; 4th, Sutherland, 54; 5th, Chase County, 58; 6th, Southwest, 88.
Girls’ individual results—1st, Madison Lambley, DCS, 21:12; 8th, Mallory Coleman, CC, 24:54; 11th, Emma Engbrecht CC, 25:23; 17th, Rose Sullivan, CC, 28:10; 29th, Vianey Marquez, CC, 35:48.
Boys’ individual results—1st, Phalen Sanford, DCS, 6:03; 2nd, Will Kuenne, CC, 6:09; 13th, Noah Griffin, CC, 7:06; 14th, Landis Beverly, CC, 7:11.
Girls’ individual results—1st, Morgan Burke, Suth., 6:32; 4th, Kaley Hauxwell, CC, 6:59.