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Cross Country Coach Carl Zuege gives his girls the thumbs-up just prior to starting the race at the McCook Invitational last week. The girls finished sixth in a stacked field.  (Johnson Publications photo)

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Kalen Wallin positions himself in last week’s race at McCook. Wallin was the team’s second leading runner with a 31st place finish in a stacked field. (Johnson Publications photo)

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Trevin Martin battles at the finish line with Cozad’s  Jace Russman. Martin finished the race in 41st. (Johnson Publications photo)

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The temperature hovered around 90°F when last week’s meet began. Here, Macey Coleman uses her water to cool off.(Johnson Publications photo)

Cross country teams face tough field at McCook

Chase County’s cross country runners competed in one of their toughest fields to date at the McCook meet last week. Not only did they have to compete against the field, they had to beat the heat and swarms of gnats that graced the course. With temperatures expected at 90°F or higher, meet officials made the decision to move the meet back an hour and shortened the race to 3,700 meters versus 5,000 meters. Even with the changes, some runners still suffered from the heat. Coach Carl Zuege said the shorter course didn’t help his boys’ team. He said his team runs at a steady pace and a shorter course lends itself more to speed runners. While senior Will Kuenne earned a medal for a 15th place finish, Zuege said Kuenne excels best as the race goes on. The boys ran the shorter course first and were able to share with the girls’ team some of the things they’d learned during their race. Zuege felt that helped his girls, who finished with two medalists—senior Kaley Hauxwell in sixth and sophomre Maddi Brown in eighth. Zuege said the runners had to battle swarms of gnats around the course, with gnats getting in their eyes and mouths, not to mention sticking to their sweaty bodies. This week, the Longhorns will compete at the Dundy County Stratton invite in Benkelman today (Thursday). The junior high runners will compete at Ogallala today. Then on Monday, both varsity teams will compete in the UNK Invitational in Kearney. The race is run on the Kearney Country Club course, which is same course where the state meet is run. Zuege said the meet is a good measuring stick to help them prepare for the conference meet Oct. 5 and the district meet Oct. 12. Results of the McCook meet are as follows: To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.


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