Pioneer boys win home XC invite, while Eagles sweep races

AHS' Green, May earn 1st-place medals

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The Fort Calhoun boys team won its home cross-country invite Thursday, but two Arlington Eagles claimed individual titles on the Fort Atkinson course.
Junior Keelianne Green won her fourth 5-kilometer race in four tries, while sophomore Nolan May broke through and won his first of the fall.
“Today felt a little different,” said the first-time victor.
Overall, the AHS boys finished second to the Pioneers — who had every runner finish 17th or better. The Eagle girls, meanwhile, were second to Douglas County West as FCHS claimed fourth.
“It was a good time,” Calhoun senior Jacob Rupp said.

FCHS enjoys home advantage
About a mile into Thursday's varsity race, Pioneers Bria Bench and Kaitlyn Thalman smiled as they ran on a cleared path through tall grass at Fort Atkinson. The latter said she did it to keep a positive mindset.
“A lot of people were cheering me on, which made me smile even more,” Thalman added. “They just made me believe I could finish.”
Every FCHS runner did with seven putting forth top-15 efforts. Ely Olberding, Rupp and Lance Olberding were fourth, fifth and sixth to lead the Pioneer boys with times of 17:27.3, 17:37.6 and 17:41.7, respectively.
The trio was met by plenty of fanfare at the line, too.
“Honestly, the finish is probably the best finish on a course we run besides, maybe, Kearney,” Rupp said. “The amount of people that line up to the barracks is pretty cool.”
Freshman Travis Skelton added an 11th-place finish for coach Kyle McMahon's home squad, while Johnathon Schwarte was 15th and Lawson Tjardes was 17th.
Bench led the Fort Calhoun girls in sixth with a time of 21:06.5. Dala Drowne was eighth in 21:34.9, and Thalman was 20th before Harley Schwarte in 28th and Xinzhi Huang in 33rd.
The Pioneers' Gage Nixon earned top honors in the junior varsity standings as well, while Maelie Nelson and Will Dennis claimed FCHS Invite junior high race wins. Rae Ann Massey, Bella McLaughlin, Clara Godfrey and Emily Barta added top-10 finishes, too, helping the junior high girls claim a team win.

Eagles earn pair of 2nds
Coach Michaela Curran told May that Thursday was his day.
Sure enough, the Arlington runner made a late push near the final turn and won the Fort Calhoun 5K.
“When I got toward the end, everybody was yelling, 'Catch up to him! Catch up to him,'” the sophomore said. “And I wasn't planning on passing the guy in first.”
But May did, finishing first in 17:01 — 2.2 seconds ahead of second-place Platteview runner, A.J. Raszler.
“It feels awesome,” the Eagle said. “It feels awesome knowing I gave it my all and that it's possible to get up there now.”
Green, meanwhile, continued her season-long domination with her fourth race win. The Arlington standout won the girls' race in a career-best 18:47.7, which was nearly 2 minutes better than her next challenger.
Hailey O'Daniel was the second Arlington runner to finish the girls' race, clocking in at 20:56.2 for fifth. The freshman felt Fort Calhoun competition pushed her Thursday.
“Knowing that they're in my district made me really strive to get the next person,” she said. “I felt really good today.”
Whitney Wollberg added a 13th-place finish, while Brynn Eckhart was 17th and Kelise Cook-Krivolavek was 21st. Brooke Hilgenkamp added a 26th-place finish, too.
On the boys' side, AHS' Connor Flesner was seventh behind May and company in 17:54. Dallin Franzluebbers earned eighth in 18:13, too, as Kolby Tighe, Luke Hammang and Barrett Nielsen finished 18th, 19th and 25th, respectively.
April Klein and Lane Johannes were the Eagles' top JV finishers, while the Arlington junior high boys topped their team standings. Jack Blake, John Morrison, Luke Sharp and Ethan Hilgenkamp were top-seven finishers.

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