KEARNEY — A pair of Hartington cross country runners finished near the top in last week’s Class C State Cross Country meet here.
Hartington runner Megan Kaiser placed 23rd and teammate Rachel Loecker finished 29th in the meet, which featured 90 girls.
Fort Calhoun won the team title. Shannen Ramey of Fort Calhoun won top honors in the meet with a time of 15:23.
Kaiser finished the race in 16:35.2. Loecker finished with a time of 16:50.1.
The duo’s success was a great way to end a great year, Hartington Coach Mandy Hochstein said.
“This season has been amazing, we had athletes exceed our expectations. We’ve had a lot of fun this year and are happy with the final performances by all members of the team,” Hochstein said.
This is the second straight year Loecker has competed at State. This year marks the first time Kaiser has ever run cross country. She had competed in volleyball until this season.
Hartington Coach Laura Noecker was very happy with their performanes.
“This cross country program is something that I’m very proud of. These kids work hard in the off season and run many miles in the summer to get the results that they got this fall,” she said.
Strong team leadership helped the team succeed this season, Coach Noecker said.
“Our seniors, Megan, Greer Olsen and Kristina Huss were fine leaders for our team and will be greatly missed next fall. All three lead in the classroom as well on the cc course,” she said.
The cross country program, which is in its third year as a co-op between Hartington Public and Cedar Catholic, is really starting to take off, Noecker said.
“I love that this program provides opportunity for athletes that are not particularly wanting to play football or volleyball, but like the sport of running. This co-op program unites our two schools. We appreciate the support both Booster Clubs have given our runners this fall,” Noecker said, adding that the program has a bright future. “I really am looking forward to the next few years in cc. There seems to be an increased interest from our jr. high kids to run and represent our cross country team.”
Team scores 1. Fort Calhoun, 49; 2. Sydney, 51; 3. Auburn, 80; 4. Cozad, 97; 5. West Point-Beemer, 99; 6. Columbus Scotus, 106; 7. Norfolk Catholic, 119; 8. Ogalalla, 123; 9. Wahoo, 131; 10. Boone Central, 123.
Individual: 1 Shannen Ramey, Fort Calhoun, 15:23.4; 2. Morgan Benesch, Col. Scotus, 15:31.0; 3 Julianna Smith, Sidney 15:46.6; 4 Sheridan Wellnitz, Gordon-Rushville, 15:48.8; 5 Catherine Davison, Auburn 15:53.5; 6 Brooke Linnenbrink, Fort Calhoun, 15:55.2; 7 Jaime Kennedy, Boone Central, 16:01.4; 8 Ronnie Brust, Wahoo, 16:02.2; 9 Kelsey Crymble, Ogallala, 16:02.5; 10 Samantha Kaup, West Point-Beemer, 16:02.6; 11 Alli Ehler, Sidney, ,16:02.6;
12 Nicole Beam, Fillmore Central, 16:03.0; 13 Aryn Smidt, West Point-Beemer, 16:10.0; 14. Hannah Wynn, Auburn, 16:13.3; 15 Samantha Carlson, Cozad, 16:15.1; 16 Lindsey Mertes, Auburn, 16:19.8; 17 Chelsea Lukasiewicz, Fort Calhoun, 16:20.4; 18 Mariah Mata, Sidney, 16:21.2; 19 Nicky Applegarth, Chadron, 16:28.6; 20 Nicole Aschoff, Norfolk Catholic 16:29.0; 21 Stephanie Contreras, Boys Town 16:35.1; 22 Hortencia Jech, Wayne, 16:35.1; 23 Megan Keiser, Hartington, 16:35.2; 24 Jordan Johnson, Fairbury, 16:38.6; 25 Shania Hass, West Point-Beemer 16:44.9; 26 Christa Brockhaus, Madison/Humphrey St Francis 16:49.4; 27 Rebecca Adams JR Ogallala 16:49.6 28 Brielle Debusk, Adams Central 16:50.0; 29 Rachel Loecker, Hartington 16:50.1; 30 Morgan Linneman, Sidney 16:53.0.