Area Runners Qualify For State Cross Country

FAIRBURY – A number of of high school runners from around southeast Nebraska qualified for the state cross country competition following Thursday’s district meets. The top three teams in each district and top 15 individuals move on to the state meet.

The Thayer Central boys team was dominant once again, placing five runners in the top eight to run away with the D-3 district. Aubrey Fangmeier led the way with a second place finish, followed by Keegan Casey fourth, Damian Stewart fifth, Dylan Fischer seventh and Trey Fischer eighth. Wilber-Clatonia’s Riley Wehrer qualified as an individual by placing sixth in the district while Chandler Schelkopf of Fillmore Central was 14th.

Other individual boys qualifying for state were Fairbury’s Isaac Robertson, who took 14th in the C-3 district and Milford’s Zachary Pauley and Ethan Zegers, who were 12th and 15th respectively in that district. In Class B, Brayden Frerichs of Beatrice made it by finishing fifth in district three, Zachary VanBrocklin of Norris took third and Crete’s Daniel Ortiz was eighth

For the girls, Fairbury, Beatrice, Norris, Tri County and Johnson County Central are all sending their full teams to state. Fairbury took third place in the C-3 district to qualify, led by the freshman duo of Mikwena Lierman and Kacy Starck finishing eighth and ninth.

In B-3 Norris placed four runners in the top 15 including first place finisher Samantha Palermo to take second in the team standings. Behind Palermo, Kelly Helmberger was fourth, Libby Gourlay 12th and Hannah Susie 13th. Beatrice was third in the district with Jamison Theye placing sixth and Veronica Pinkerton ninth.

JCC was the second place team in D-1 with Aleisha McDonald finishing second and Ashlei McDonald fourth. In D-3 Tri County took third led by a sixth place finish for Andie Koch, seventh for Ella Crawford and 12th for Savannah Gerlach. Individual qualifiers in that district included Fillmore Central’s Grace Jacobsen, who placed second, and Thayer Central’s Kaizley Krupicka taking 9th.

The cross country state championships will be held Friday, Oct. 20 at the Kearney Country Club.

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