Hartington-Newcastle runner Carson Noecker earned headlines Monday during the University of Nebraska-Kearney High School XC Invitational, finishing his 5 kilometers on the NSAA state course in just 14:51.
The time bested every competitor by more than a minute during the all-class event.
All the same, though, Washington County athletes also claimed top finishes and results at Kearney Country Club. Fort Calhoun earned a second-place team finish in Class C, while Arlington senior Keelianne Green won her race of 181 runners.
Blair also tested itself at the event viewed as a state championships preview by Nebraska's cross-country coaches, runners and supporters.
Czapla, Fricke lead Bears
The Lexington boys and the Norris girls earned Class B firsts in Kearney, while the Blair Bears were ninth and 12th, respectively.
Allie Czapla led BHS with its top finish. She was 18th in 21:13.05, while Reece Ewoldt clocked in at 21:18.54 and was 21st out of 166 runners. Lainey Bilau added 84th-place effort in 23:31.54 as well.
Dawson Fricke, meanwhile, led coach Carson Norine's boys team with a 26th-place finish. He finished 5-kilometers in 17:43.7 ahead of teammates Calin O'Grady (38th), Ted Lueders (43rd) and Zac Keeling (47th) among others. O'Grady finished his Monday afternoon run in 18:02.16.
Eagle wins girls' race
Green won the Class C girls race by 23 seconds, helping her AHS team to seventh in the team standings behind Lincoln Christian — the UNK Invite's championship lineup.
The Gothenburg boys, meanwhile, edge out second-place Fort Calhoun and the third-place Eagles.
Green beat 181 runners for her win, finishing 5 kilometers in 19:29.6. Arlington's Hailey O'Daniel beat 177 runners, claiming fifth in 20:33.55, while Whitney Wollberg was 55th.
Nolan May led coach Michaela Curran's boys in eighth. He crossed the finish line in 17:18.41 with the mass majority of 301 runners yet to do the same.
Kevin Flesner added a 23rd-place effort for the Eagles. He clocked in at 18:15.45, while Dallin Franzluebbers was 26th in 18:21.7. Luke Hammang (28th), John Morrison (36th) and Kolby Tighe (38th) notched top-40 results, too.
Pioneer boys take 2nd
The last time the Fort Calhoun boys ran in Kearney, they won a Class C state championship.
On Monday, though, the Pioneers proved themselves as contenders again with a runner-up effort. Lance Olberding led it, finishing sixth in 17:13.94. Ely Olberding, his brother, was 11th in 17:38.04, while Travis Skelton earned 25th in 18:18.86.
FCHS' Will Dennis (27th), Lawson Tjardes (31st) and Gage Nixon (44th) produced top-50 results, too.
Leading the 10th-place Fort Calhoun girls was Kaitlyn Thalman in 22:21.7. She was 28th, while Bella McLaughlin was 45th and Bria Bench was 51st, respectively.
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