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Calling it the "largest and most competitive field of talent" of the season next to state, several medals were captured by Neligh-Oakdale at the O'Neill Invite on Friday.
The Neligh-Oakdale girls cross country team finished in fifth place.
"A total of 15 schools with multiple rated runners and teams in both the boys and girls field made this a very challenging meet," said coach Rick Eickholt. "We had a complete reversal from our results earlier in the week. I was very pleased with everyone’s performance. The only disappointment was that Brittany and Ethan were still not ready to compete."
Eickholt said this year’s field of varsity runners for both the boys and girls was as competitive as he could remember. Kasi Grosserode finished sixth in 21:53. Jayda Chance was 20th (23:32), Rachel Higgins 30th (25:26), Courtni Heckert 33rd (26:10) and Alexis Jensen 34th (26:26).
Another positive, Eickholt said, was that the girl’s team was able to beat West Boyd for the first time this season. West Boyd will be one of several very competitive district teams.
In the boys race, Austin Miller led the Warriors with a 21st-place finish in 19:37, which was the seventh fastest time on this course for Neligh-Oakdale. Devan Breuer was 37th in 20:39.
"We decided to allow the three freshman runners compete in the junior varsity competition. Just another case to show how competitive today’s meet showed up in the boy’s junior varsity race," Eickholt said.
Cole Belitz was 10th in 20:56, Cameron Wilkinson 20th in 22:46 and Jayden Arehart 24th in 26:26.
In junior high, Griffin Claussen set a boys course record in 6:09, which placed him third. Garrett Belitz was 20th (7:10). Emma Bixler was ninth (7:01) and Hailey Bixler was 16th (7:48).