Seventeen schools participated in the Boone Central Cross Country Invitational on Friday with several medals awarded to Neligh-Oakdale runners.
“This was a great opportunity for us to see and compete some of the state’s top teams and runners,” coach Rick Eickholt said. “For the second week in a row against some very good competition, I felt that we competed very well in every race.”
The awards format was different from most meets as medals were awarded according to grades with the top five runners earning medals.
The girls race had 85 contestants entered with Neligh-Oakdale finishing sixth as a team. Kasi Grosserode and Jayda Chance medaled third and fifth, respectively, in the junior class division. Alexis Jensen was ninth in juniors while Courtni Heckert and Rachel Higgins were fifth and sixth as sophomores, respectively. Brittany McConnell was 14th as a junior.
“Probably the most encouraging part of the girl’s race is the way our 3-6 runners were able to compete,” Eickholt said. “We had several great efforts today but one that was really exciting was Alexis Jensen’s performance. She finished ninth in the junior division and ran an her best time ever, erasing nearly 3 minutes off of the time she ran the previous week. Alexis did an outstanding job of challenging herself and having the confidence to push herself to a new level”
There were 136 boys that took their place at the starting line for the boy’s race. Every one of the Warrior runners recorded personal bests for a certified 5K course. As a team, they were 10th.
Austin Miller and Devon Breuer had very solid races with Miller just missing the top five senior list. Breuer was 15th. All three freshmen cut from just over 1 minute to just under 2 minutes off their time. Cole Belitz earned fifth as a freshman and will move his name into the 3rd place spot for our freshman boy’s course records for the Albion meet.
Cameron Wilkinson was 13th for freshmen while Jayden Arehart was 23rd. Ethan Kallhoff was out due to illness.
Two junior high course records were recorded by Griffin Claussen and Emma Bixler. Claussen was fifth and Bixler was 12th. Also turning impressive performances and finishing in the upper half of their race was Hailey Bixler 25th (11:26) and Garrett Belitz in 32nd (10:26).
Next week the Warriors travel to West Holt where they will match up against a large number of their district competitors.