Swede runners return to state
Girls team qualifies, Hahn also earns spot
Last year, for only the second time in head coach Steve Reeves tenure, Gothenburg was not represented at the state cross country meet.
This year, the Swede girls team qualified while standout freshman Collin Hahn will run alone at the Kearney Country Club Friday afternoon.
The girls knew they were going to be competing with Holdrege for the final team spot at state, Reeves said, and they ran a good enough race to edge the Dusters out by four points.
“It wasn’t our best race of the year but we got the job done,” Reeves said.
Sophomore Sydney Gruber led the Swedes with a time of 21:34, nearly 30 seconds faster than her season best.
Gruber was bunched with teammate Jaci Teahon who finished in 21:35.
Swede runners Jennifer Maline ran the race in 22:02. Amanda Kowalewski completed the course in 22:27 and Keely Lecher crossed the finish line in 23:08
“It was a flat and fast course and everyone was running for the top 15 spots,” Reeves said. “Each of the girls ran solid races.”
On the boys side Hahn was floating in the top eight spots the entire race before finishing in sixth place with a time of 17:01.
Seth Eggleston ran his second best race of the season with a time of 19:04.
Bryan Martinez finished in 19:49, Bryce Kowalewski ran the course in 20:05.
Joshua Elliot ran a season’s best 20:06 while Mathiel Martinez finished in 20:15.
Hahn put together a solid race, Reeves said, finishing behind four seniors and one junior.
“He handled the atmosphere of the district meet very well as a freshman.”
Cozad was a double winner capturing team honors in both the girls’ and boys’ races. The Haymakers girls scored 30 points and were followed by Chadron with 35 and Gothenburg with 57.
On the boys’ side, Cozad was the low scorer with 29 points. Mitchell and Kearney Catholic also qualified for state.
In the week leading up to the state meet, Reeves said the teams will continue to keep an intense mindset.
“They will be pushed in practice this week,” Reeves said. “Collin is a legit top 15 contender and I’d like to see our girls finish in the top 10.”
The Class C girls race starts at noon and the boys Class C race begins at 1 p.m.