By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Twelve runners from Imperial did their part last weekend to move the Cornhusker State Games Torch Run down the road on its way to Lincoln for the Games’ opening ceremonies in July.
Runners carried the ceremonial Torch into Imperial late Saturday afternoon, where it rested for the night, then took it up again early Sunday morning.
Local runners picked up the Torch from runners who came through Perkins County on Highway 61. It continued early Sunday on Highway 6/61, east of Imperial, with McCook as that day’s destination.
The Torch Run for the 25th Cornhusker State Games began at the South Dakota border, north of Chadron, on May 30. A group of 14 Nebraska National Guardsmen ran the first mile together.
According to the schedule, the Torch’s final destination of Lincoln will be reached June 25. The Run won’t officially end, however, until the cauldron is lit at the Games’ opening ceremonies on July 17.
At that conclusion, nearly 1,000 runners will have carried the Torch, relay-style, over the route’s 1,200 miles.
Helping cover the miles through Chase County were Nicole Longan, Mark Bottom, Kyle Bottom, Jonathan Beverly, Paul Gaschler, Jill Moline, Adam Moline, Ryan Moline, Morgan Strand, Tyler Talbott, MaKayla Bell and Randy Hayes.
Hayes recruited the runners for this area, and also was the first runner early Sunday morning, when the Torch left town about 6:15 a.m.
The Chase County Sheriff’s Office provided an officer to escort the Run as it passed through the county.
The Cornhusker Games, which take place July 17-26 in Lincoln, are expected to draw more than 13,000 athletes. For more information on participating, call 800-304-2637 or visit cornhuskerstategames.com