SEWARD – The Beatrice girls cross country team qualified for state on Thursday while Brayden Frerichs qualified individually for the Orangemen.
The Lady O finished third as a team in the B-3 District held at Seward.
Leading the way for the Lady O was Jamison Theye, who managed a sixth place finish while Veronica Pinkerton finished ninth.
Beatrice coach Lyle Claussen said Theye ran consistently between fifth and eighth place the entire race.
“She was just very consistent and ran a very strong race,” Claussen said. “Especially over the last half of the race.”
Claussen said Pinkerton started out well, then faded in the middle, but fought back.
“She was able to come back and take ninth and that ended up being a big turning point for us,” Claussen said.
Rounding out the state qualifying girls team was Linda Humble, Trinity Eichenberger, Josie Guernsey and Abby Ware.
Clausen said if the race had been scored after the first 4,000 meters, the Lady O probably would have finished fourth or fifth and failed to qualify for state.
“We had our leaders do what they do best and then we had girls like Linda and Triity who both passed a York girl down the stretch as well as a few other girls,” Claussen said. “That made the difference in the team points.”
Claussen said Guernsey and Ware also finished strong, which factored into them qualifying as a team.
“The race isn’t won in the first thousand meters, it’s won in the last half of the race,” Claussen said. “Our girls really personified that today. They just continued to work forward and stayed focused and because of that, they were able to qualify as a team.”
Frerichs finished fifth individually in the boys race and the top 15 individuals from each district advance to state.
“Brayden again just ran his patented race,” Claussen said. “He was as far back as 17th at one point, but came back and got fifth. He was really moving in the last 2,000 meters and came on strong.”
The Orangemen finished sixth as a team, which means they fell short of qualifying, but Claussen was proud of how they ran.
“We were probably the eighth ranked team going into the district and we finished sixth,” Claussen said. “The boys team also just kept working their way forward and I was pleased with their performance today. They showed determination and they did what we’ve been talking about and I couldn’t be anymore pleased.”
Norris experienced similar results in the B-3 District. Their girls team qualified for state while Zachary VanBrocklin finished third individually, qualifying him for state on the boys side.
The Norris girls, who finished second as a team behind Aurora, were led by sophomore Samantha Palermo, who was the B-3 individual champion. Senior Helly Helmberger finished fourth while freshman Libby Gourlay finished 12th and sophomore Hannah Susie finished 13th.
Those four Lady Titans will be joined by teammates Taylyn Petsche and Sydney Hobza at state.
Fairbury girls qualify for state
In Class C, the Fairbury girls qualified for state. They finished third in the C-3 District behind Adams Central and Minden.
Leading the way for the Lady Jeffs was freshman Mikwenna Lierman, who finished eighth and freshman Kacy Starck, who finished ninth. Joining them at state will be their teammates Josephine Blatny, Autumn Branson, Emily Burkley and Erica Mosher.
For the Fairbury boys team, junior Isaac Robertson qualified individually by finishing 14th.
Tri County, JCC girls qualify in Class D
In Class D, both the Tri County girls and the Johnson County Central girls qualified for state.
Johnson County Central finished second in the D1 District behind Malcolm. Senior Aleisha McDonald led the way for the Lady Thunderbirds with a second place finish while freshman Ashlei McDonald finished fourth.
They will be joined by their teammates Jordan Rodriquez, Sarai Ares and Jazi Ascheman at state.
Tri County managed a third place finish in the D-3 District behind Aquinas Catholic and McCool Junction.
The Lady Trojans had three top 15 finishers. Freshmen Andi Koch and Ella Crawford led the way with sixth and seventh place finishes respectively while Savanna Gerlach finished 12th.
They will be joined at state by teammates Madison Kirchoff, Claira Janssen and Sharon Chen.
The Sunland Area will have one boy competing at state. Wilber-Clatonia senior Riley Wehrer finished sixth in the D-3 District Meet, qualifying him for state.