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Facing three teams ranked No. 1 in their respective classes, the Neligh-Oakdale cross country team competed at the 18-team Boone Central Invitational on Friday.
Columbus Scotus teams are ranked first in Class C girls and boys while Nebraska Christian is No. 1 in Class D boys. Seven other schools participating were also rated.
Because the meet is so large, participants competed according to grade.
In girls action, all three Neligh-Oakdale runners competed in the sophomore division. Jayda Chance and Kasi Groserode both brought home medals finishing fifth and second, respectively, while Brittany McConnell placed 14th.
"Although Kasi and Jayda ran very well I feel that both were capable of running better as both made an error in their pre-meet preparation and did not get to follow our normal pre-meet routine," coach Rick Eickholt said. "Under warm and windy conditions, Jayda actually shaved 33 seconds off her last year’s time at this meet."
The top three girls team where Columbus Scotus, Boone Central/Newman Grove and Stanton.
In boys action, the Warriors were again without No. 2 runner Dallus Christian and finished in 13th place. Eickholt said the boy’s race was the largest race that Neligh-Oakdale cross country has ever been a part of with 142 contestants.
"I feel Jordan Chelle and Connor Knievel ran very competitive races, while Michael Peinke and Jakub Rapsl struggled with the heat. I may have contributed to Michael’s struggles by placing too much pressure for a top notch performance," Eickholt said. "Michael currently has the 4th fastest time in school history, and the the fastest times were all turned in on the Boone Central course. It was something that we had talked about and in hind sight it may have been a judgment error on my part."
Junior High Girls Win Boone Central Invitational
With a field of 66 entrants, the junior high girls were again led by the duo of Haley Kerkman and Madi Groserode finishing in 4th and 10th place to lead the Warriors to the team championship.
"Any time a team is able to win a meet it is a “team” effort. When scoring a team’s top four and five runners, the next three placer are the difference makers," Eickholt said.
Emma Bixler was 25th, Natasha Peinke 30th and Jordan Knievel 34th were the difference makers in this race, Eicholt said. Rounding out the girls team were Haley Bixler in 47th and Nadia Peinke in 51st. The girls race had 66 entrants.
On the boys side, Eric Cluassen finished in the upper half of the of the 57 runners with a 23rd-place finish.