By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
After finishing second to Dundy County-Stratton (DCS) Tigers in their meet last Thursday, the Longhorn cross country boys bettered DC-S at the 25-team University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) Invitational Monday.
The two teams have been battling back and forth all season long. The Longhorns won the first meeting at Cambridge before finishing behind them in the next three meets.
Monday, they took third at the Kearney meet, two places ahead of fifth-place DCS.
Zuege said finishing third in the UNK meet represents the progress his team has made this season.
Not only is it a big meet with teams from across the state, the meet is run on the Kearney Country Club course, which is the same course at the state meet Oct. 25.
Zuege said both the Longhorns and Tigers benefit from going head-to-head in nearly every meet this year.
They’ll see them at the Grant meet, which is run in conjuction with the SPVA conference meet. Then, they’ll see them at the district meet Oct. 17 at Bayard where teams will be vying for berths to the state meet.
He said the friendly rivalry has driven both teams to perform to their best.
Just five days after the DCS meet, the Longhorns competed in the Kearney meet. Zuege said his teams did a good job of coming back that fast.
He said he got strong races from all of his boys, as they made their way through the 187-runner field.
Indy Smith and Holden Dreiling led the team, finishing 20th and 21st. Andrew Vaverek came in 29th with Garret Thompson in 48th, Ike Maxwell 53rd and Stephen Welsh 58th.
Girls getting stronger
Zuege said his girls continue to get stronger and are running better as a result.
He said senior Emma Engbrecht has come on strong with good showings at DCS and UNK, finishing 7th and 48th respectively.
Senior Mallory Coleman has stuck with Engbrecht in most of the meets this year.
She finished 9th at DCS and 55th at UNK.
Zuege said Engbrecht and Coleman are both within qualifying individually for the state meet.
Zuege said he’s seeing his freshmen girls improve as their conditioning and endurance improves.
Zuege said the teams will get a few days off to get their legs back under them.
Towards the end of the week, he said they’ll include some speed training to help hasten their pace late in the race.
Dundy County/Stratton cross country invite
Boys’ varsity team scores—1st, Dundy County/Stratton, 19; 2nd, Chase County, 23; 3rd, NP St. Pat’s, 41; 4th, Chase County JV, 78; 5th, Sutherland, 92.
Boys’ individual results—1st, Quinton Phillips, May., 19:06; 3rd, Indy Smith, CC, 19:13; 5th, Holden Dreiling, CC, 19:27; 8th, Andrew Vaverek, CC, 19:58; 11th, Garrett Thompson, CC, 20:16; 13th, Stephen Welsh, CC, 20:44; 16th, Ryan Moline, CC JV, 21:11; 17th, Ike Maxwell, CC, 21:14; 22nd, Tagan Mays, CC JV, 22:11; 24th, Caleb Bubak, CC JV, 22:44; 29th, Korey Krutsinger, CC JV, 23:31.
Girls’ team scores—1st, Dundy County/Stratton, 24; 2nd, NP St. Pat’s, 26; 3rd, Sutherland, 46; 4th, Chase County, 48; 5th, Southwest, 75.
Girls’ individual results—1st, Madison Lambley, DCS, 21:36; 7th, Emma Engbrecht, CC, 25:05; 9th, Mallory Coleman, CC, 25:31; 16th, Rose Sullivan, CC, 28:00; 23rd, Vianey Marquez, CC, 33:30.
UNK cross country invite
Boys’ varsity team scores—1st, NE Christian, 69; 2nd, Kenesaw, 73; 3rd, Chase County, 104; 4th, Doniphan-Trumball, 117; 5th, Dundy County-Stratton, 120; 6th, GI Central Catholic, 128; 7th, McCool Junction, 138; 8th, Thayer Central, 148; 9th, North Central, 171; 10th, North Bend Central, 174; 11th, Ravenna, 193; 12th, CWC, 205; 13th, Malcolm, 218; 14th, Bertrand, 221; 15th, Hastings St. Cecilia, 228; 16th, Eustis-Farnam/MV, 277; 17th, Bridgeport, 301; 18th, Deshler, 323; 19th, Sutherland, 349; 20th, Humphrey St. Francis, 350; 21st, Twin River, 362; 22nd, Perkins County, 370; 23rd, Amherst, 392; 24th, Wilcox-Hildreth, 398; 25th, Tri County, 410.
Boys’ individual results—1st, Hans Epp, NE Christian, 5:27.5; 20th, Holden Dreiling, CC, 6:16.9; 21st, Indy Smith, CC, 6:19.0; 29th, Andrew Vaverek, CC, 6:27.9; 48th, Garrett Thompson, CC, 6:41.6; 53rd, Ike Maxwell, CC, 6:43.6; 58th, Stephen Welsh, CC, 6:47.0; 63rd, Ryan Moline, CC, 6:50.5; 96th, Tagan Mays, CC, 7:16.3; 104th, Caleb Bubak, CC, 7:23.0.
Girls’ team scores—1st, Bertrand, 63; 2nd, Hastings St. Cecilia, 69; 3rd, Malcolm, 72; 4th, Thayer Central, 88; 5th, Ravenna, 108; 6th, Oakland-Craig, 125; 7th, Perkins County, 156; 8th, GI Central Catholic, 170; 9th, Nebraska Christian, 196; 10th, Franklin, 203; 11th, Gibbon, 213; 12th, Weeping Water, 222; 13th, CWC, 226; 14th, Eustis-Farnam/MV, 228; 15th, Bridgeport, 237; 16th, Humphrey St. Francis, 247; 17th, Chase County, 250; 18th, McCool Junction, 257; 19th, Burwell, 275; 20th, North Bend Central, 300.
Girls’ individual results—1st, Dani Wellnitz, G-R, 6:45.0; 46th, Emma Engbrecht, CC, 7:57.3; 55th, Mallory Coleman, CC, 8:11.6; 104th, Rose Sullivan, CC, 9:00.4; 151st, Vianey Marquez, CC, 10:45.1.