With nearly all of its participants from the past two years returning, the Chadron High School cross country teams expect to fare well again. The Cardinals will open their season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Scottsbluff Invitational Meet and will also enter the meet at Gering on Sept. 3 before hosting their home meet on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Coach Willie Uhing, entering his 13th season as a Chadron cross country coach, most of them as the head mentor, has a large number of aspiring runners on the teams. The boys’ roster has 25 names the girls’ team has 15 members.
The Lady Cardinals have been a force the past two years. They won the Class C-6 District title and placed fourth at the state meet in 2019 and were second at the district meet and finished fifth at state a year ago.
Last year’s team won all four of its meets in September and it marked the sixth time in the last 11 years that the Chadron girls have qualified for state. They have placed among the top five teams at the state showdown, always held at Kearney, four of the six years.
The boys’ team has barely missed qualifying for state the past two years, placing fourth at the district meet both times. Three Chadron boys finished among the top 15 at districts last year to qualify for state individually.
A four-time state qualifier, Nathan Birch, graduated in May, but the remaining two 2020 qualifiers, Carter Ryan, now a senior, and Gavin Sloan, a junior, have returned. Other varsity runners from a year ago such as senior Garrett Reece and juniors Caden Galbreath and Glen Hinman also return.
The girls’ team has of its the runners who competed at state in 2020 on the roster again. They are seniors Mackenzie Anderson, Aliyah Mills and Leila Tewahade, juniors Makinley and Micaiah Fuller and sophomore Grace Pyle.
Also back after being slowed by injuries last season are juniors Aspen Graves and Emma Witte.
Overall, the girls roster includes five seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. The boys squad contains four seniors, nine juniors, seven sophomores and five freshmen.
On the regional scene, the most disappointing news is that Madison Seiler of Gering, last year’s Class B girls’ state champion, suffered a torn knee ligament playing softball this summer and probably will not be able to run this fall.
The Cardinals’ schedule:
Aug. 26—at Scottsbluff, Sept. 3—at Gering, Sept. 11—Chadron Meet, Sept. 18, at Alliance, Sept. 23—at Ogallala, Oct. 1—at Scottsbluff, Oct. 7—at Sidney, Oct. 14—at Class C-6 District, Oct. 22—at State at Kearney.