Blair sophomore runners Sophia Baedke and Jacob Rupp have, admittedly, had some tough cross-country races as of late.
Those disappointments, however, could do nothing to stop them Thursday at the Boys Town Cross-Country Invitational. Both 10th-graders earned third place in their varsity races, helping push their BHS boys and girls teams to meet titles. The Bears edged Elkhorn and Gretna in those respective team races.
“This meet I finally, at least, was able to place pretty high,” Rupp said of his own personal performance. “I've just been trying to focus a lot more before the race and trying not to get super distracted.”
The Bear finished in 17:53.24, while Ryan McArdle of Douglas County West was first in 17:25.5. Rupp's teammates, Aiden Klanderud and Zac Boswell, also notched top-10 finishes in sixth and seventh. Ethan Funk claimed 11th and Mason Bell was 14th in 18:23.3. Nick Wayman was 21st.
In the girls' race, Baedke was Blair's standout. She earned her bronze in 21:06.6, stepping up as two of her varsity teammates — Mary Roskens and Grace Galbraith — rested after a competitive race earlier in the week.
“It was very different,” Baedke said of running without those two Bears. “But I had to prove myself as an individual runner.”
The sophomore did, but she wasn't alone. BHS freshman Hailey Amandus took fifth just before finish line, clocking in at 21:35.9. Lillian Knudtson was 10th, while Katie Matney earned 28th.
The Bears return to Boys Town on Wednesday for the Eastern Midlands Conference meet. It begins at 4 p.m.