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Gering’s Rawlings tops girls at Cross Country event
October 01, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Gering junior Rebekah Rawlings added to her number of wins Monday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Cross Country Invitational, turning in a time of 19:10 for first place in the Class B girls division.

Gering Girls Coach Caleigh Walker said she took 16 girls to the meet and all of them had a great race. “I was proud of all 16 of them,” she said. “They were all 30 seconds to a minute faster from last year and they all had great finishes.”

As a team, the Gering girls finished in fifth place with 117 points, led by Rawlings first place finish.
“Rebecca deserved a good race after she suffered from dehydration at last year’s state meet,” Walker said. “That win meant a lot to her.”
For Gering, Destiny Mueller finished 30th at 21:43, Hadley Kirk was 39th at 22:15 and Nicole Patton was 53rd at 22:40.
Walker said the Kearney Invite was also good for them to see how they stacked up against some of the teams they’ll see at the district meet.
The Gering boys placed 13th as a team with 226 points. Sophomore Xavier Arellano placed 42nd with an 18:33 time. Teammate Tanner Walker was 47th at 18:38, taking about 1½ minutes off his time from last year. Ty Romey and Jacey Shaul finishing in 70th and 71st at 19:04.

“We struggled a bit because was the first time on the course for several of our runners,” said Gering Boys’ Coach Rick Marez. “They wanted to start out aggressive and may have run out of energy by the end. But it was a great running experience for them and they understand what they have to do the next couple of weeks to get ready for the district and state meets.”

Marez said the team will continue to work on consistency and staying together in a pack.

Scottsbluff also turned in a solid performance in Kearney. With a team score of 51, the girls’ squad ran away with first place over second place Elkhorn South at 57. The Scottsbluff girls also placed three runners it the top 14.

Bearcat Whitney Riesen came in at 19:24, behind Gering’s Rawlings. In ninth was Kaylee Bentley at 20:44 and Shayleigh James was 14th with a 20:55 time. Morgan Mickey came in 28th with a 21:41 time.

The Scottsbluff boys’ team placed third with 64 team points. Their top finisher was Josh Hergenreder in sixth with 17:09. Teammate Jesse Jaramillo came in seventh with 17:11. Other Scottsbluff scorers were Noah Hergenreder in 22nd with 17:52 and Collin Maag in 29th at 18:04.
“The boys took third and the girls won the meet, so we’ll take that,” said Scottsbluff Coach Jim Barker. “The boys are in a reloading year and they responded really well. And the girls’ team is solid, but we can always get better.”
The state Cross Country tournament doesn’t come up for another three weeks. Barker said the team will continue practice on hilly terrain, like the site for the state meet in Kearney. “We just have to follow what works for us and get everyone’s mindset focused on having their best race.”
Coming up next for both Scottsbluff and Gering is the Western Conference meet this Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Monument Shadows Golf Course in Gering.

In local Cross Country action from last week, Gering won both the boys’ and girls’ divisions at the Panhandle Classic event at Scotts Bluff Country Club.

The Gering boys posted a 32 team score, led by sophomore Alex Arellano, running his fastest time of the year and finishing in first place at 17 minutes, 14.30 seconds.
Fellow Bulldogs also finishing in the top 10 were freshman Logan Moravec in fifth with 17:52.88 and senior Jacey Shaul in seventh at 18:04:08.

Other local finishers in the top 10 were Mitchell seniors Edward Grentz and Chase Watson, coming in second and third at 17:31.66 and 17:48.83. Bayard sophomore Alex Araujo was fourth at 17:50.61 and Mitchell’s Cody Mueller was in sixth at 17:54.8.

Gering also won the girls’ division with 21 team points. But for individual runners, Mitchell’s standout junior Celeste Cardona came across first at 19:42.8, even though she didn’t take the lead until the final quarter of the race. The runner she outpaced, coming in second, was Gering junior Rebekah Rawlings at 20:07.0. Rawlings had just claimed the individual title at the Chadron Invite.

Gering sophomore Nicole Patton turned in a 21:36.58 time for sixth place, followed by freshman Destiny Mueller in seventh with 22:11.22 and senior Hadley Kirk in eighth with a time of 22:13.03.
Also finishing in the top 10 were Bayard senior Jessi Smith in fifth with 21:31.38 and teammate Nicole Barker, a sophomore, in ninth with 22:22.44.
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