Seward’s cross country teams ran good races at the state meet Oct. 25 in Kearney. The boys’ team finished third in Class B, with Nathan Nottingham placing ninth. The girls’ team was sixth, with Keegan Beisel placing fifth.
“It was a good day,” Coach Kurt Holliday said. “I was pretty pleased and very happy. The kids competed hard. All ran to their ability or better.”
All four boys’ scorers turned in times faster than 17:30, which was the team’s goal, Holliday said.
“We knew it would be tough to beat Omaha Skutt and Lexington, but we weren’t too far out of second place,” he said.
Nottingham finished in 16:52.7 and was three seconds from the school record on the University of Nebraska at Kearney course. To earn a medal as a sophomore was impressive, Holliday said.
Four seniors followed Nottingham across the finish line. Ethan Ideus was in the medal mix for most of the race but started to stagger about 20 meters from the finish, Holliday said. He did fall but picked himself up and finished 24th in 17:23.8.
“It’s heartbreaking he doesn’t get a medal,” Holliday said. “He knows he gave it his all, and he’ll never regret it.”
Isaac Rolf finished 27th, Brennan Taylor 28th and Matthew Sherman 68th. Michael Peery finished 84th.
The girls’ team moved up from 11th at the UNK meet in September to sixth at state.
“The whole season has been this way,” Holliday said. “They worked hard and believed and gave it their all every meet.”
Beisel brought home fifth place in 20:03.4. She ran in second place most of the race, but runners from Gering passed her late, Holliday said.
“She will continue to be a frontrunner for us,” he said. “She did a lot of learning last year. You could tell her maturity and experience this year.”
Freshman Karnie Gottschalk earned 20th in her first trip to state. Elizabeth Gokie was 43rd, Tayvah Straub 68th, Samantha Hughes 78th and Abby Baack 84th.
In looking ahead, Holliday said the girls could be in contention for a state trophy next season because the top five runners return.
Seward will graduate Baack, Meghan Meyer, Camryn Jensen and Jenna Potratz from the girls’ team and Ideus, Taylor, Rolf, Sherman, David Clark, Jacob Jurchen, Garrett Erickson, Eddie Lee and Cordell Vrbka from the boys’ team.
Holliday said it was good to see the senior class go out on a good note.
“They can be proud of the season and their accomplishments,” he said.
Parents also contributed to the season with dinners, signs and support, for which Holliday was grateful.