Cross country teams head to districts
     2014-10-16      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Local high school runners finished out their regular cross country season last week as the district tournament approaches on Oct. 16.
Gering was at Cheyenne East for the Leroy Sprague Invitational and with 115 points, placed fourth against some of Wyoming’s larger schools.

The weather was chilly, but boys’ coach Rick Marez said it’s actually better to run in those conditions.
“The boys ran pretty close as a group, which is going to be important at districts,” Marez said. “Having them run as a pack actually looked better than the last couple of weeks.”

Freshman Xavier Arellano took 12th place with a time of 17:39 and Tanner Walker ran his best career race with a time of 19:11 for 47th place.

Although girls’ coach Caleigh Walker couldn’t make the trip to Cheyenne, Marez said they ran a good race. “We had seven girls run the varsity race and we’re looking for six for districts,” he said. “They were having a bit of a runoff for districts, which made it very competitive.”

Sophomore Rebekah Rawlings placed third overall with a 19:44 time and Marez said the girls’ team as a whole look very good against schools of much larger size.

Marez said that Gering’s district, B-4, which includes Scottsbluff, is very competitive as they head for the district meet in Ogallala. “If you’re going to do well at state, you want to make sure you’re prepared. Running in our district meet is probably the best way to do that.”

Scottsbluff finished on the road at the GNAC meet at Hastings and turned in a solid performance. For the Bearcat boys, senior Matthew Barraza took first place overall with a 15:51 time. Fellow seniors Matt Richardson was in second with 16:10 and Shane Burkey was third at 16:11. And sophomore Josh Hergenreder was sixth with a 16:27 time.

For the Scottsbluff girls, senior Taylor Muncie placed first with a 19:02 time. Second place went to sophomore Whitney Riesen at 19:13. In fourth was freshman Kaylee Bentley at 19:44, freshman Mana Garcia in fifth at 19:47 and senior Shayleigh James in eighth with a 20:09 time.

Class C-4 Mitchell also wrapped up their regular season at Gordon-Rushville at the Western Trails Conference event.
Head Coach Mike Harriger said the team ran well, although only one of the girls ran as Madison Watson was out with an illness. Sophomore Celeste Cardona placed third with a 19:37 time.
“Everyone that ran had a personal record,” Harriger said. “Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time for the district tournament on Oct. 16 in Ogallala.”

For the boys, Mitchell runners took the top three places, as well as 9th and 10th. Juniors Edward Grentz was first at 17:05, Chase Watson in second at 17:30 and Cody Mueller in third at 17:42. Freshman Max Avila was in 9th with a 19:00 time and 10th went to sophomore Joseph Pieper at 19:01.

“We’ll get some miles in this week and try to keep our conditioning where we think it ought to be,” Harriger said. “We’ll see how things shake out at districts.”

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