The tradition continues. In the 35-year history of the Malcolm boys’ and girls’ cross country program, the Clippers have sent someone to state each year. Most of those years, a full team goes. Not only will a full Malcolm team go again this year, they will go knowing that coming home from the state meet with a trophy is a real possibility.
Running in Class C for the first time in over 20 years, the Malcolm boys traveled to the C-3 district meet in Aurora Oct. 17 and claimed the district title with a 28-point team score. Aurora finished second with 32. Milford also qualified with its third-place finish with 47 points.
John Swotek continued his strong senior year campaign. Swotek was the first boy to cross with a time of 16:55.
“John has worked very hard to become the runner he is,” Malcolm head coach Brie Pulec said. “He put in tons of summer mileage and has a great work ethic. He always pushes himself no matter how he is feeling.”
Swotek had company collecting hardware. Three other Clippers earned medals. Ty Brockhaus finished third at 17:24, while John Boesen and Dillon Beach finished 11th and 13th, respectively.
“Those guys are definitely right where they need to be,” Pulec said. “They showed they are mentally capable of pushing past the pressure of a fast, competitive race.
“They were neck and neck the with other teams the whole race, and they didn’t buckle under pressure.”
Logan Thomas was the lone Malcolm girl to earn a trip to the state meet. The senior grabbed the fourth-place medal with her time of 20:37.
“Logan has done a lot of her harder workouts with the boys and that has helped her tremendously,” Pulec said. “It has pushed her to run strong races this year.”
The state cross country championships are Friday, Oct. 25, at the Kearney Country Club. Thomas and the Class C girls will race at noon. The gun will fire for the Class C boys at 1 p.m.
The only Class C team to beat Malcolm this season is Sidney as they were nine points better than the Clippers at the Kearney Invite. As the top two ranked teams in Class C, it could very well come down to those two teams for the team championship.
“We have an excellent chance of winning,” Pulec said. “It will take the same drive the boys showed at districts.
“We’ve won two state championships in a row and even though we moved up a class, everyone knows about us. Our boys will have a target on their back. That means we are going to have to race harder than we’ve raced all season.”