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Sunday evening when the Nebraska Cross Country Coaches Association released its first-week team rankings the Chadron Cardinals ‘girls’ cross country team was featured atop the list.

With six first-place votes, the Cardinal girls were easily ranked first above all other Class C girls’ groups. The rankings are the first to come from the NXCCA this season. Aurora was ranked second and Minden was ranked third.

According to their release, the NXCAA’s rankings are based off a weekly coach’s poll and will be completed on a bi-weekly basis.

On Friday, the first-ranked Cardinal girls’ team was first-place at the Gering Invite. The Cardinals scored 22 points, six fewer than Pine Bluffs in second place and 28 better than Mitchell in third place.

The Chadron girls didn’t manage to place a runner in the top-three in Gering, but sophomore Mackenzie Butts and freshmen Makinley Fuller and Aspen Graves swept fourth through sixth respectively. Close behind was freshmen Micaiah Fuller in eighth and sophomore Leila Tewahade was 17th followed by senior Savanna Sayaloune in 20th.

Butts finished her race in 22 minutes, 7.69 seconds for her first top-five finish of the season. Behind her, Makinley Fuller finished in 22:10.94, Graves finished in 22:17.94 and Micaiah Fuller crossed the line in 22:58.25.

Mitchell’s Regan Hodsden took the girls’ title with a time of 20:43.66.

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The Chadron boys’ runners also had a productive meet, finishing in second place, four points behind Mitchell.

Junior Nathan Burch also had his first top-five finish of the season as his 18:50 was good for fourth place. Cardinal sophomore Carter Ryan wasn’t far behind in sixth place with a time of 19:07. Chadron freshmen Gavin Sloan earned eighth place with a time of 19:30. Outside of the top ten, Cardinal freshmen Caden Galbraith was 13th with a time of 20:14.

The Crawford boys didn’t record a team score, but did place two runners in the top-15, led by sophomore Lawson Nolan who finished in tenth place with a time of 19:44. Freshmen Ty Brady finished the race in 20:15 to earn 14th place.

Two Ram girls also competed at the Invite. Junior Jillian Brennan placed 12th with a time of 23:50.72 and sophomore Madison Swanson had a time of 25:15.72 to place 25th.

According to the results of the race, Hay Springs’ lone varsity runner, Hannah Wohl, finished her race in 28:21.91 to place 25th among junior varsity runners.

Saturday Chadron will host runners from all three schools at their annual Chadron High School Cross Country Meet at Chadron State College.

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