The Longhorns captured the Cambridge Invitational title Friday for the second consecutive year. Team members include, front from left, Amber Stumpf, Kayla Schilke, Kaley Hauxwell, Nikki Brown-Cravey, Giovanna Welsh, back, Heather Stumpf, Maddi Brown, Halle Fiedler, Lindsey Mendenhall, Brooklyn Christensen, Macey Coleman, Hannah Meeske and Kambree Meeske. (Johnson Publications photo)

Senior Will Kuenne held off his challenger to take first in Friday’s Cambridge meet. (Johnson Publications Photo)

Senior Francisco Barrientos finished fifth with the team placing second overall. (Johnson Publications photo)

Senior Kaley Hauxwell keeps Dundy County Stratton’s Sable Lambley close at Friday’s meet. Hauxwell finished second in the race. In her first cross country race. (Johnson Publications photo)

Sophomore Maddi Brown finished fifth. The girls won the meet with just 21 points. (Johnson Publications photo)

Longhorn girls repeat at Cambridge; boys second

    Chase County’s cross country teams got the season off to a strong start at the Cambridge Invitational meet Friday.
    The Longhorn girls defended last year’s title with another top finish. They finished with just 21 points, two points better than second place Hitchcock County.
    The girls had four medalists in the top 15 led by senior Kaley Hauxwell with a second place individual finish.
    Sophomore Maddi Brown, running in her first cross country race, finished fifth. Veterans Brooklyn Christensen and Macey Coleman finished 10th and 12th respectively.
    Head Coach Carl Zuege said he and coach Jonathan Beverly felt the girls had a good shot at repeating.
    “We felt like we won this race last year and we feel like we might be a little stronger this year from top to bottom with our girls,” Zuege said.
    Across the board, Zuege said they were really happy with the girls’ performances.
    He noted they ran a bunch of “first-timers” who were running in their first high school meet. They included sophomore Halle Meeske and freshmen Lindsey Mendenhall, Kambree Meeske and Halle Fieldler.
    On the boys’ side, the Longhorns finished second in the title race with senior Will Kuenne taking the boys’ title.
    Senior Franciso Barrientos wasn’t far behind with a fifth-place finish and junior Kalen Wallin added a 14th place medal.
    Zuege said Kuenne ran a smart race, being pushed all the way by Eustis-Farnam/Med Valley’s Nathan Nicklas.
    “Will set the pace,” Zuege noted. Kuenne remained at a steady pace even when Nicklas would surge ahead slightly going down hills, the coach added.
    “Will never played the yo-yo game,” Zuege added.  As a result, he had a lot left and finished off the race strong.  
    Zuege praised the effort of Barrientos. “I love what he did today,” Zuege said after the race.
    He said Barrientos fights an annoying hip condition from time to time and it flared up about two miles in.
    If he shortens up his stride, it doesn’t bother him as much, Zuege said. As a result, he told him to hold back down the stretch to protect it.

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