Scottsbluff sweeps; Gering girls finish second
     2015-10-22      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
The Scottsbluff Cross Country girls’ team made it a repeat on Oct. 15, turning in the low team score of 14 to win the District B-4 meet in Ogallala for the second year in a row. To top it off, the Scottsbluff boys also placed first with a team score of 28.
The finish puts all the local teams in a good position to compete well as the Cross Country season wraps up with the state championship tournament in Kearney on Oct. 23.

The Scottsbluff girls had six runners place in the top 17, with Whitney Riesen coming in first at 18.54. Kaylee Bentley and Shayleigh James placed third and fourth overall with times of 19:51 and 19:57 respectively.

Scottsbluff freshman Morgan Mickey came in sixth at 20:33 and juniors Tayler Gipe in 13th at 21:14 and Krista Holzworth in 17th with a time of 21:26.

“I was very impressed overall with our girls team,” said Scottsbluff Coach Jim Barker. “The overwhelming majority all ran their season best.”

The Scottsbluff boys placed four runners in the top 17 in Ogallala. Junior Josh Hergenreder was second at 16:19, followed by sophomore Jesse Jamarillo in fourth with 16:39 and junior Noah Hergenreder in fifth at16:50.

Scottsbluff senior Collin Maag came in 17th at 17:27. Follow sophomore Robby Simmons was 23rd at 17:50 and junior Blake Nikont was in 41st with an 18:52 time.

“Both of our teams stepped up and had a great state qualifying meet,” Barker said. “Some of the kids were fighting off sickness this week, but I expect we’ll be at full strength for state next week. The attitudes are great and it’s a good setup for state.”
The Gering Bulldogs also performed well at the district meet as the girls took second place with 35 points. The boys finished in third with 45.

“I’m really proud of the girls and how they performed,” said Gering Girls Coach Caleigh Walker. “Districts can always be a stressful meet, but they ran their best meet of the season. We had four runners place in the top 15. Some of the girls had season or career best times.”

Gering’s junior standout Rebekah Rawlings crossed the finish line in second place overall with a time of 19:20. Sophomore Nicole Patton was eighth at 20:39, freshman Destiny Mueller was in 11th at 21:03, and junior Hope Abel took 14th place with a 21:15 time. Senior Marisa Robles finished 20th at 21:47 and sophomore Fransheska Plasencio was 30th with a 22:51 time.

“Hope Abel ran a great race,” Walker said. “She had to step it up quite a bit after Hadley Kirk broke her foot.”

The Gering girls finished in the top five at the recent University of Nebraska-Kearney Invitational and Walker said
they’d like to finish at least that well at the state meet.

Gering sophomore Xavier Arellano led the Gering boys’ team with a 16:30 time. Freshman Logan Moravec and senior Jacey Shaul came in together for 11th and 12th, Moravec at 17:10 and Shaul at 17:11. Tanner Walker, a junior, finished 19th at 17:32, senior Ty Romey was 25th at 17:52 and sophomore Christian Arellano came in at 18:19 for 33rd place.

“All the boys ran their best times ever,” said Gering Boys Coach Rick Marez. “That’s exactly what we wanted to do to give us another week to compete.”

Marez said Tanner Walker had the most improvement, about a minute better than last year on the same course. And third place finisher Xavier Arellano stood out because we was coming off an injury over the summer and didn’t have a lot of training going into the season.

“Xavier showed us that if your mind is right and you stay positive, good things happen,” Marez said. “This meet is real confidence booster for us going into the state meet. Of course, the competition is always incredible, even within our own district. We’re just going to run our best race and stay competitive.”

The Mitchell Tigers boys Cross Country team were also winners of the Class C-4 district meet in Ogallala with a team score of 26 points. Senior Edward Grentz came across the finish line first in the 64-runner field. His time was 16:43. Fellow senior Chase Watson was in third with 17:19. Cody Mueller, another senior, took sixth place with a time of 17:36 and sophomore Maxwell Avila was 16th at 18:20. Junior Joseph Pieper finished 33rd at 19:28 and sophomore Chris Ruiz was in 50th overall with a time of 20:42.

With 86 team points, the Mitchell girls finished sixth in the eight-team field. They also had some outstanding individual performances. Junior standout Celeste Cardona topped the field with a 19:40 time and junior teammate Madison Watson was second at 20:16. Freshman Natsha Perez finished the course with a time of 27:00 for 43rd place and senior Maddie Holsten was right behind in 44th and a time of 27:21.

The state championship tournament is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23 at the Kearney Country Club.

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