Runners hope for peak performance at C-4 district
VALENTINE—Thursday’s Southwest Conference cross country meet marked the end of six weeks of long practices and grueling races for Swede runners.
Now, it’s do or die.
“The end comes around pretty quick,” said Gothenburg coach Steve Reeves.
All that’s left that is guaranteed for Swede runners is the district meet at Ogallala this week.
Reeves said it will take top performances from individuals to extend the season.
“The kids are going to have to step it up a notch,” he said. “This is a tough district.”
It was a difficult conference this year too for both the girls and the boys.
Gothenburg’s girls finished fifth of the seven SWC teams with only one medalist.
Freshman Destiny McVay earned the only Swede hardware, finishing 14th in a time of 16:47.
Teammates Jennifer Maline, Amanda Kowalewski and Abbie Mazour were close behind but just outside the top 15.
“The girls ran a competitive race,” Reeves said. “I think it hurts us a little when they only score 42 kids overall.”
Cozad took the conference title for the girls with three runners earning medals. Minden was runner-up.
For the Swede boys, Reeves said it was not their best meet of the season.
Gothenburg came in sixth in the team standings without a medalist.
Ainsworth squeaked out the team title only two points ahead of runner-up Cozad and four points above Ogallala.
Competition won’t get any easier for Thursday’s C-4 district meet at Ogallala. In fact, five of the seven SWC teams also run in this district.
“We’re going to have to run for our best individual times to have a good team outcome,” Reeves said. “We’ve been at the top of the heap several times. This year we’re just going to have to compete hard and hope for the best.”
Teams included in the C-4 district are Broken Bow, Chadron, Chase County, Cozad, Gordon-Rushville, Gothenburg, Holdrege, Kearney Catholic, Mitchell, Ogallala and Valentine.
Ogallala is also hosting the B-4 district meet at West Wind Golf Course on Thursday. Races begin with C-4 girls at 3 p.m. followed by B-4 girls.
The C-4 boys will run at approximately 4 p.m. with B-4 boys to follow.
The top three teams and the first 15 runners qualify for the state meet in Kearney next week.