Fort Calhoun track and field coach Mandy Taylor had words of encouragement for each of the first three runners competing in Tuesday's 3,200-meter race.
“Good job,” she said, clapping as Jacob Rupp ran by on the final curve of the FCHS track. “Looking good Jacob.”
Lance Olberding passed next.
“Nice work Lance,” Taylor said. “Way to be strong.”
Then it was John McKennan.
“Good work John,” she encouraged. “Looking good.”
The three Pioneers swept first, second and third of the 2-mile event as the FCHS boys claimed runner-up team honors at home with 94 points. The girls were also second, scoring 85.
The Yutan boys earned first with 134 team points, while the Tekamah-Herman girls scored 106 for their championship honors.
Overall, Fort Calhoun athletes won seven events. Rupp and Bria Bench led the way with two individual victories apiece.
Rupp won the 1,600 run in 4:50.98 and the 3,200 in 10:46.71. Bench earned first in the same two races on the girls' side, doing so in 6:00.3 and 12:42.31, respectively.
The Pioneers' Michael Pratt won the shot put, too. His top throw covered 43 feet, 2 inches, besting second-place Chandler Carrier of Scribner-Snyder by nearly 2.5 inches.
The FCHS boys also won two relay events. The team of Lawson Tjardes, Olberding, McKennan and Rupp won the 3,200-meter race in 9:42.4.
The Pioneer combination of Matthew Claus, Andrew Pace, Billy Coon and Pratt, meanwhile, won the 400 thrower's relay in just 53.8 seconds.
In addition to Olberding's efforts in the 3,200 run, Angel Nelson and the girls' 3,200 relay team — Tess Skelton, Kylie Perfetti, Rianna Wells and Kierra Weaver — won silver medals. Nelson's top long jump attempt covered 14-9.5, while the four-person lineup finished 2 miles in 12:55.
Olberding (1,600 run), McKennan (3,200 run), Xander Slatten (110 hurdles), Grayson Bouwman (triple jump), Skelton (800 run), Bench (high jump) and Abigail Ryan (shot put) added third-place Fort Calhoun finishes as well as the Pioneers earned runner-up status.