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Chadron girls have highest placing ever at State

Staying Strong

Chadron High junior Makinley Fuller, running just a stride behind Elena Kuehner of Aurora, was the Lady Cardinals’ leader at the State Class C Cross Country Meet at Kearney on Saturday, finishing in 10th place. She soon passed Kuehner, who placed 14th.

Chadron High junior Makinley Fuller, running just a stride behind Elena Kuehner of Aurora, was the Lady Cardinals’ leader at the State Class C Cross Country Meet at Kearney on Saturday, finishing in 10th place.  She soon passed Kuehner, who placed 14th.  

After placing fourth two years ago and fifth last year, the Chadron High School girls moved up to third place in Class C team standings at the Nebraska State Cross County Meet at Kearney on Friday. It’s the highest finish for the Cardinals at the state meet, and extended the program’s stellar legacy.

As a team, Chadron girls now have qualified for state seven of the last 12 years and have finished fifth three times--2013 and 2014 along with 2020--fourth in 2019 and now third.

“Using the term ‘competitive’ to describe the day is an understatement,” said Coach Willie Uhing. Makinley (Fuller) bounced between sixth and 16th before gutting out her 10th place finish in a stacked field. Emma (Witte) vastly outperformed her ‘on paper’ time, even after a slow start, capturing 31st among the 118 runners.

”Grace Pyle maintained a respectable state time of 22:18, and Leila Tewahade ran the best race of her career, anchoring the ladies to their third place finish. It was a massive accomplishment for this team. I’m also really proud of Aspen (Graves) and Aliyah (Mills). They ran their hearts out,” Uhing added.

The coach also complimented Gavin Sloan, the only Chadron boy to qualify for state, to his improvement as both a runner and a competitor.

The girls’ C championship was won by western Nebraska rival Sidney. The Red Raiders scored 64 points, three fewer than Lincoln Christian, while the Cardinals had 95 points, one less than fourth place Douglas County West. Arlington and Wayne were fifth and sixth with 101 and 103 points.

Fuller is the only runner to be on all three of the Cards’ recent top five state meet finishes. Her time Saturday of 20 minutes, 39.7 seconds is her fastest, three seconds better than her 2019 mark when she was 16th overall. Last year, she was 28th in 21:10.8.

Pyle’s points also counted last year, when as a freshman, and led the Cardinals with a 24th place finish. Witte also ran at state as a rookie in 2019, but was sidelined by an injury last year. This year’s time of 21:50.3 was almost two minutes faster than Witte’s freshman mark.

Besides being part of a team that made school history on Friday, when she arrived at home after the state showdown Tewahade learned she had been voted the Chadron High homecoming queen. She also was the No. 4 “counter” on the 2019 team, and was one of the two “pushers” last year, after she had missed much of the season with an arch problem.

There were some interesting sidelights among the girls at the state meet. One of them involved the Class C state champion, Keelianne Green, a junior from Arlington. She played softball her first two years of high school, but never lost a race after switching sports this fall. Her time of 18:50 Friday broke the state record by 28 seconds and was good for a 34-second victory.

Green previously competed in track and field, but as a jumper and sprinter, not a distance runner.

Second place for the second year in a row was Ogallala sophomore Lindee Henning. While she couldn’t keep pace with Green, she beat her other rivals by 30 seconds and improved her last year’s mark by four seconds.

Last year’s state champion, Alexus Sindelar of Pierce, placed 13th this year in 20:44.2. Her mark a year ago of 19:18.1, was the record that Green broke.

Third place this year went to Sadye Daniell of Lincoln Christian in 20:04.7, six seconds faster than her time last year when she placed sixth. Sidney sophomore Talissa Tanquary was fourth Friday in 20:16.9, about two seconds faster than last year’s mark when she was 12th.

Danie Parriott of Conestoga was fifth this year after being the Class C winner in 2019. She also was fifth last fall.

Another state meet highlight involved Gering junior Madison Seiler, who repeated as the Class B state champion after missing all but the last month of the season while recovering from a broken ankle that she suffered in July while playing basketball, not softball, as previously reported. Her winning time this year was 19:29. That was about 35 seconds slower than a year ago, but no one complained.

The Sidney boys continued to excel at state. They finished second in the Class C team standings with 58 points, a dozen more than Fort Calhoun. Milford was third with 70.

The Red Raiders have now placed among the top three in C four straight year, winning the title in 2018, followed by third in 2019 and second last year. Dan Bashtovoi was ninth, Cameron Brauer 14 and Mitch Deer 17th this year. All three are seniors.

The Class C gold medalist for the third year in a row was Carson Noecker of Hartington-Newcastle in 15:19, the state record and some 3.5 seconds faster than a year ago. His winning time as a freshman was 16:03.

He also won the Class C 3200 meters at the state meet in 9:24.56, a half minute ahead of the runner-up.

Girls’ Team Scores

1, Sidney, 64; 2, Lincoln Christian, 67; 3, Chadron, 95; 4, Douglas County West, 96; 5, Arlington, 101; 6, Wayne, 103; 7, Pierce, 111; 8, Broken Bow, 120; 9, Aurora, 134; 10, Broomfield, 134; 11, Fort Calhoun, 143; 12, Milford, 149; 13, Minden, 171; 14, Columbus Scotus, 209; 15, Boone Central, 258.

Individuals

1, Keelianne Green, Arlington, 18:50.1; 2 Lindee Henning, Ogallala, 19:24.5;3, Sadye Daniell, Lincoln Christian, 20:04.7; 4, Talissa Tanquary, Sidney, 20:16.9; 5, Danie Parriott, Conestoga, 20:21.5; 6, Darla Nelson, Bloomfield, 20:26.8; 7, Callie Arnold, Pierce, 20:32.5; 8, Hailey O’Daniel, Arlington, 20:36.3; 9. Lilly Kenning, Milford, 20:37.4; 10, Makinley Fuller, Chadron, 20:39.7.

11, Mallory Applegate, Cozad, 20:40.8; 12, Ella Buhlke, Central City, 20:41.8; 13, Alexus Sindelar, Pierce, 20:44.2; 14, Elena Kuehne, Aurora, 20:45.4; 15, Lydia Peters, Sidney, 20:49.2; 16, Karyn Burkholder, Cozad, 22:0.9; 17, Ava Schneider, Lincoln Christian, 21:05.2; 18, Kyla Krusemark, Wayne, 21:12.6; 19, Lauren Henning, Ogallala, 12:15.4; 20, Sawyer Benne, Lincoln Lutheran, 21:15.6. Also: Emma Witte, Chadron, 21:50.3; 44, Grace Pyle, Chadron, 22:19.1; 61, Leila Tewahade, Chadron, 22:46.0.

Boys’ Team Scores

1, Fort Calhoun, 46; 2, Sidney, 58; 3, Milford, 70; 4, Lincoln Christian, 111; 5, Gothenburg, 119; 6, Broken Bow, 126; 7, Arlington, 134; 8, Lincoln Lutheran, 145; 9, Aurora, 147; 10, Minden, 152.

Individuals:

1, Carson Noecker, Hartington-Newcastle, 15:19.6; 2, Luke Bonifas, Adams Central,16:42.0; 3, Jacob Rupp, Fort Calhoun, 17:08.3; 4, Ely Olberding, Fort Calhoun, 17:08.3; 5, Lance Olberding, Fort Calhoun, 17:19.8; 6, Dyami Berridge, Winnebago, 17:22.6; 7, Carter Hohlen, Lincoln Christian, 17:23.7; 8, Nolan May, Arlington, 17:25.3; 9, Daniel Bashtovio, Sidney, 17:25.5; 10, Conner Wells, St. Paul, 17:28.6.

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