Boone Central/Newman Grove’s cross country runners proved they were not the least bit fazed by competition in the 2012 state championships Friday at Kearney.
Far from it.
The youthful Lady Cardinals – in particular, freshman Hannah Schmitz – performed superbly on an excellent day for running and eclipsed even their district performance.
In her initial state competition, Schmitz placed fourth in the Class C girls race, pacing a Boone Central/Newman Grove team comprised of three freshmen, two sophomores and a junior to a third-place finish.
The BC/NG boys also had a strong day, finishing seventh in Class C, although team leader Calvin Koziol struggled to cap off his superb senior season.
The results were certainly pleasing to veteran Cardinal Coach Tom Dickey.
“Our goal was to come home from Kearney smiling – and we accomplished that for the most part,” Dickey commented. “There were some things we would have hoped to do better, but I am really satisfied with our results.
“The effort, though, I am ecstatic about! The kids were very determined to improve on their (district) finishes of the week before and they all did it!”
Schmitz, who made near-constant improvement all season, peaked with a tremendous run Friday over the challenging Kearney Country Club course, taking fourth in a time of 15:22. That is the best girls mark all-time on the course by a Boone Central runner.
Sophomore Catherine Weeder clocked a time of 16:30 – #7 all-time on the UNK course – to place 16th, just one position out of the individual medals.
“When the leaders came into view at the mile mark, I saw Hannah in about seventh place and I thought that was really great – but she just kept getting better!” Dickey said. “It is extremely rare to place fifth in a district meet, then turn around and get fourth at state. She ran an incredible race!”
The Boone Central/Newman Grove boys, C-3 District champions, had a solid performance at Kearney even though it was a frustrating day for Koziol, himself a C-3 champ.
“The boys had nearly the same results as the girls, save for the unfortunate sagging by Calvin,” Dickey noted. “For some reason, Calvin’s usual strong second half just wasn’t there Friday. It was really sad to see kids passing him toward the end and he could do nothing about it.
“I was very impressed with his determination. Many other kids in the same boat would have dropped out, or stopped and walked, but he knew he needed to finish for the sake of the team. I’m really proud of him.
“Trevor Salber ran the best race of his career. He could see Calvin struggling quite a ways in front of him and made a determined effort to catch and help him. He knocked nearly a minute off his time here last season to place 21st.”
Further details, results in Print & Online editions of Albion News