By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Chase County’s cross country boys’ team put the cap on a successful season with a fifth place finish in the state meet in Kearney Friday.
Coach Carl Zuege said the Longhorns improved on their sixth-place finish last year.
Going in, he put the Longhorns anywhere from third to fifth so they finished within expectations.
He said the boys would have liked to finish higher but it would have taken everyone turning in their best race.
Some of the kids didn’t run as well as they wanted to, Zuege said.
Nonetheless, a top-five finish in the 18-team field capped off a great season. Their accomplishments included three regular season championships, an SPVA championship and their 3rd straight district championship.
“A lot of good things happened this season,” he noted. And it wasn’t just for the boys’ team.
The girls finished second in two regular season meets and qualified for the state meet. The experience the girls gained will help them down the road, Zuege noted.
Moline finishes 18th
Senior Ryan Moline led the Longhorns, finishing 18th, just three places out of the medals.
Zuege said Moline bettered his time from the UNK meet run on the state course in late September.
“He closed out the race with a nice finish in what’s been a fantastic year for him,” Zuege said.
Indy Smith turned in his best race of the season at the state meet.
Zuege said Smith has been battling some health issues and was able to bounce back and peak at the state meet with a 25th place finish.
Senior Holden Dreiling finished third for the Longhorns in 55th, with Will Kuenne rounding out the scoring in 80th.
Stephen Welsh finished his Longhorns cross country career with a finish at 85th, followed by Ike Maxwell, who was 91st in the 145-runner field.
Zuege praised Dreiling for his team leadership this year and throughout his career. He said, “We’d have never been where we were as a team without his leadership.”
“He’s had an awfully good four years,” Zuege said about the team’s #1 position runner.
Hauxwell leads the girls
Freshman Kaley Hauxwell finished her first state meet in 32nd to lead the Longhorn girls.
Junior Alyssa Moreno was the team’s number two runner, finishing 84th. Not far behind was freshman Kayla Schilke, who ran the best race of the day for the team, Zuege said, with a 95th place finish.
Schilke turned in a personal best to cap off a year where she’s gotten stronger each week, Zuege said.
Sophomore Rose Sullivan came in at 122, freshman Giovanna Welsh at 128 and sophomore Vianey Marquez at 131.
As a team, the Longhorns finished 14th in the 17-team field.
Zuege looks forward to next year with all the girls returning.
Several girls from the SPVA conference and area earned medals in the Class D meet including Dundy County-Stratton’s Madison Lambley, St. Pat’s Anna O’Malley and Perkins County’s Emily Kemling.
Class D State Meet Results
Boys’ team scores: 1, Nebraska Christian 29; 2, Ainsworth 42; 3, Yutan 79; 4, Crofton 93; 5, Chase County 112; 6, Logan View 125; 7, Doniphan-Trumbull 146; 8, Fillmore Central 154; 9, Malcolm 164; 10, Elmwood-Murdock 166; 11, CWC 174; 12, Dundy County-Stratton 182; 13, Winnebago 185; 14, Bertand-Loomis, 188; 15, Ravenna 260; 16, West Holt 267; 17, Bridgeport 274; 18, Wilcox-Hildreth 307.
Boys’ placings: 1, Zachary Welch, Ainsworth, 16:29.2; Chase County: 19, Ryan Moline, 17:54; 25, Indy Smith, 18:08.8; 55, Holden Dreiling, 18:51.5; 80, Will Kuenne, 19:26.1; 85, Stephen Welsh, 19:34.1; 91, Isaac Maxwell, 19:47.9.
Girls’ team scores: 1, Crofton 23; 2, Oakland-Craig 45; 3, Malcolm 72; 4, Norfolk Catholic 81; 5, Ainsworth 110; 6, Thayer Central 145; 7, Perkins County 166; 8, Ravenna 167; 9, Aquinas Catholic 172; 10, Hastings St. Cecilia 178; 11, North Platte St. Pat’s 181; 12, Johnson County Central 181; 13, Louisville 184, 14, Chase County 209; 15, Boyd County 220; 16, Arcadia-Loup City 252; 17, Bertrand-Loomis 270.
Girls’ placings: 1, Sheridan Wellnitz, Gordon-Rushville, 19:37.9; 4, Madison Lambley, Dundy County-Stratton, 20:19.6; 6, Anna O’Malley, NP St. Pat’s, 20:29.6; 10, Emily Kemling, Perkins County, 20:34.2; Chase County: 32, Kaley Hauxwell, 22:06.0; 84, Alyssa Moreno, 24:01.8; 95, Kayla Schilke, 24:34.7; 122, Rose Sullivan, 27:24.7; 128, Giovanna Welsh, 30:21.6; 131, Vianey Marquez, 35:07.0