Bearcat girls take 2nd at state Gering’s Rebekah Rawlings takes fourth overall; Bearcat boys finish 6th
     2015-10-28      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Bulldog standout junior Rebekah Rawlings finishes fourth overall with a time of 19:30, while the Gering girls team finishes in eighth place among the 12 teams that competed at the state competition in Kearney. 
The Scottsbluff boys’ bid for three-peat as Class B Cross Country state champions fell short last Friday. The Bearcats finished with 92 points for sixth place in the 12-team field at the state championships in Kearney.

The low score of 50 team points gave Mount Michael Benedictine the boys’ championship for the 2015 running season.

Scottsbluff junior Josh Hergenreder turned in a strong performance, finishing third in the field of 90 runners, with a time of 16:40.

“Josh Hergenreder was spectacular at the state meet,” Scottsbluff Head Coach Jim Barker said. “He also had a great season. But our goals as a team were to finish a lot better than sixth.”

The Bearcats second runner to cross the finish line was Noah Hergenreder in 19th place. He finished with a time of 17:20.
Collin Maag, who will be graduating next spring, came in 39th at 17:54. Robert Simmons was 50th at 18:03. Jesse Jamarillo was 70th, and clocked in at 18:41 while Blake Nikont rounded out the pack in 87th place, at 19:48 finish.

“This was an OK season because our goals were to finish a lot higher,” Barker said. “Our top boy and top three girls ran great races, but that’s about it.”

The Scottsbluff girls, runners-up from last year, repeated in second place last Friday with a team score of 61 points. The Elkhorn South girls, with 55 points, came away as champions.

The Bearcat girls were paced by Whitney Riesen, who finished third at 19:21. Teammates Shayleigh James and Kayley Bentley came in together for 10th and 11th with times of 20:20 and 20:22, respectively.

The next runner in was Tayler Gipe in 48th place at 21:43. Morgan Mickey finished 54th with a time of 21:55 and Krista Holzworth was 73rd at 23:06.

“The top three girls came in third, 10th and 11th. They did exactly what they needed to do and they can’t do much better than that,” Barker said. “It was a bittersweet day and most the runners will probably agree.”

Two runners from Scottsbluff graduate next spring and Barker said he hopes the rest of the team will be back for 2016.

Meanwhile, the Gering Bulldogs boys’ team finished with 116 points, which earned them ninth place in the state championship in Kearney. The top Bulldog runner was sophomore Xavier Arellano, who placed 12th overall, clocking in at 17:03.
Logan Moravec was next, in 33rd place, crossing the finish at 17:45. Jacey Shaul was 42nd at 17:55, and Tanner Walker was 57th with an 18:10 time. Rounding out the team’s finishers, Ty Romey and Christian Arellano placed 67th and 68th with times of 18:25 and 18:28, respectively.
“We always want to run our best race at state,” said Gering boys’ head coach Rick Marez. “They gave a great effort, and I didn’t feel bad because they gave 100 percent.”

Marez added the team has been very committed this season, given they are involved in a number of extracurricular activities.
“Realistically, we thought we could finish in the top five,” he said. “We still have some young guys on the team who are still learning how to compete, but it was a good meet. They’re already talking about what they can do to get ready for next year.”

Marez expects four or five letter winners to return for next season as the team will replace the graduates with incoming freshmen.

The Gering girls’ team placed eighth among 12 teams, with 120 total points. Standout junior Rebekah Rawlings was in fourth overall with a time of 19:30. Destiny Mueller crossed the finish line next in 37th place and a time of 21:22. Nicole Patton was at 46th (21:38), Marissa Robles in 70th (22:42), and Hope Abel finished 74th (23:19). Senior Hadley Kirk, coming off a foot injury, was able to finish in 88th place (25:04).

“I was happy that Hadley got one more chance to compete,” said Gering girls’ head coach Caleigh Walker. “She didn’t place but I could sure see the smile she had. She felt good about the race and wanted to do it for her team.”
With six seniors graduating next spring, the Gering girls’ team should have 12 returning members, along with some upcoming freshmen.
“We’ll have four returning letter winners next year who will bring back some experience,” Walker said. “Our goal is always to make it to the state meet and have fun along the way.”

In the Class C State Cross Country Championship, the Mitchell boys had 85 team points to place sixth. Edward Grentz took fifth in the 91 runner field with a 17:14 time. Cody Mueller came in 20th (18:00) and Chase Watson was 38th (18:31). Joseph Pieper was in 84th place overall with a time of 20:00, and the last finisher for the Tigers was Chrisopher Ruiz, who broke the tape in 91st place (21:22).

Although the Mitchell girls didn’t qualify as a team, the Tigers had two solid individual performances. Junior Celeste Cardona, who won the individual state championship in Class C as a freshman, finished seventh with a time of 20:45. Teammate Madison Watson was 14th at 21:12.

Once the state meet was completed, the Nebraska Coaches Association selected its 2015 Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country High School Super-State and All-State athletes, based on their performances at state.

Boys selected for the list included Scottsbluff’s Joshua Hergenreder in Class B and Edward Grentz of Mitchell in Class C. Also on the list from Class D was Bayard’s Alexander Araujo.

The Class B list for girls included Whitney Riesen of Scottsbluff and Rebekah Rawlings of Gering. Also making the list in Class C was Celeste Cardona of Mitchell.

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