Swede runners going the distance
Boys team returns experience.
Three trips to the state cross country meet might make finishing a fourth season in Kearney seem predictable for Gothenburg senior Luke Rehmert.
Juniors Brett Dockweiler, Bryce Eggleston and Jacob Clark have already made that state trip twice as well.
But while hopes are high and expectations reach higher for the Swede boys cross country team, the state goal is not a given.
“The experience factor is certainly going to help,” said longtime coach Steve Reeves, “but these kids are still going to have to work hard all season.”
Rehmert, one of three returning senior letter winners on the team, medaled in 14th place at state as a sophomore when the team came in second.
The three seasoned juniors, who have yet to earn individual state hardware, have served as a strong supporting cast each of the past two years, including last season’s fourth-place state finish.
“Hopefully another year of maturity means another year of improvement,” Reeves said.
Beyond those four runners, Reeves said the other dozen boys are working hard to finish off the top six varsity spots.
“It’s early,” he said, “but we’ve got kids to fill in and provide a little depth.”
In all, seven Swede boys return as letter winners.
Reeves said the Southwest Conference competition looks fairly balanced.
“Ogallala is always strong,” he said, “and I think Broken Bow, Ainsworth and Cozad will be vastly improved.”
Gothenburg is again in the C-4 district which will be run at Ogallala in October.
Reeves said district opponent Sidney could be a team to contend with as the Red Raiders had three boys qualify for state last year and all three return.
Ogallala, Broken Bow, Cozad and Gothenburg will all be in the mix, Reeves predicts.
On the girls side of things, Reeves said the Swedes will face a solid conference.
Minden, Broken Bow and Cozad will all fight for the SWC title with Sidney another contender in the district, Reeves said.
Gothenburg has a small girls team with only eight runners.
“Over the years we’ve averaged eight to 10 girls,” Reeves said. “The goal is always to field a full team and we’re going to be able to do that.”
Seniors Ashlee Bruntz, Emily Hult and Lauren Schmiett will anchor the girls along with sophomore Morgan Kowalewski.
“We’re really going to have to group up and run together to be successful,” Reeves said. “But cross country is a more of a process. It’s about making improvements each week. That’s what we want to see from the girls.”
Members of the 2010 Gothenburg girls and boys cross country teams are (*denotes letter winner):
Seniors—Ashlee Bruntz*, Emily Hult*, Lauren Schmiett*, Chris Block*, Brennan Costello*, Luke Rehmert*.
JUNIORS—Alyssa Boller, Joshua Clark*, Brett Dockweiler*, Bryce Eggleston*, Justin Larson, Ryan Ostendorf, Josh Portiner.
SOPHOMORES—Morgan Kowalewski*, Theresa Richey, Tyler Block, Aaron Collins, Kyle Maline, Ray Ramirez, Jon Rehmert, Alex Spencer*.
FRESHMEN—Abbie Mazour, Betsy Potter, Curtis Andres.