For the first time in school history, Wilber-Clatonia has a boys' state cross country medalist. Actually, the school now has two.

Dawson Hoover and Tommy Lokken both earned medals in the Class D boys’ race Oct. 25. Hoover placed 13th in 17:30.8, and Lokken was 14th in 17:37.9.

“It was absolutely awesome,” Coach Nick Behring said.

Behring admitted he was a little nervous early in the race. Lokken likes to start quickly and stay with the frontrunners. He was in the top five for about half the race, then fell back.

Hoover starts back a little farther then works his way up. He was able to pass Lokken for 13th.

The team, which includes Luke Sykes, Garrett Pecka, Logan Herndon and Pedro Hernandez, finished seventh.

Coach Nick Behring said that was one of the highest finishes ever for WCHS cross country at state. All six runners improved their times from the UNK Invite in September, as well.

Hoover and Lokken each improved by over a minute, Sykes and Herndon by over two minutes and Hernandez and Pecka nearly three minutes.

“The kids peaked when they needed to,” Behring said.

Mikayla Pecka represented the girls’ team and placed 60th with a time of 22:32.1, also an improvement from her time at the UNK meet.

Behring said he was proud of all the runners.

“They ran extremely well,” he said.

The boys’ team is already looking ahead.

“They are so close. They’re already thinking about next year,” Behring said.

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