Cardinal harriers cap impressive season at state


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Photos, Jeremy Buss

The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals finished their impressive 2018 harrier campaign with aplomb in Friday’s Nebraska State Cross Country Championships at the Kearney Country Club.
Jordan Stopak blistered the challenging state course in the second-fastest all-time Boone Central clocking to take Class C girls runner-up honors, while Samantha Weeder and Jonny Lindgren also garnered medals in the competition. The Lady Cardinals snared fifth place in the Class C team standings and the BCNG boys finished 10th.
All in all, it was a satisfying conclusion to a very successful season, Coach Tom Dickey acknowledged.
“We were really very pleased with the way the kids ran,” Dickey said. “Our goals going into the state meet were really simple – we were hoping for a ‘top 5’ finish for the girls and a ‘top 10’ by the boys. And we got both!
“It was really a satisfying feeling leaving the course. Not everyone was satisfied with their individual results, but as a whole it was a great finish to a fulfilling season!”
Stopak paced the Cardinals, running a personal best 20:05.6 to take second place behind Lucia McKeag of Ogallala. Weeder was 13th in 21:01, with Katie Goodwater (41st, 22:31) and Autumn Simons (65th, 23:29) rounding out the team score of 81. Julia Nore (86th, 26:11) and Lauren Pugh (88th, 26:24) were the other Boone Central/Newman Grove competitors.
“The girls were really up in the air going into the race. We realized Sam was still not her normal self after her tough district meet, and Katie, Lauren, Autumn and Julia all had some ailment that slowed them considerably,” Dickey noted. “But Jordan had nothing to stop her from excelling – and she did! Her runner-up finish was excellent considering the warm and windy conditions.”
Lindgren also earned a medal for the second straight year, running a time of 17:47 for 15th in the Class C boys race. Bradley Schindel (17:53) used a strong second half to finish 17th – just two spots from the medal stand.
The lead Cardinals received support from Caleb Kohl (79th, 19:36), Gavin Ienn (80th, 19:37), Scott Wright (81st, 19:38) and Harrison Dodds (97th, 21:11) in placing 10th in the team standings with 127 points.
“The boys were just really glad to be in the state meet as a team. But they attacked like they wanted to be champions!” Dickey exclaimed. “Jonny put himself in good shape early, and then was strong enough to hang on and nip a guy at the line for the 15th medal.
“The best race of the day was turned in by Bradley Schindel. He was running 42nd coming through the first mile and 32nd at the two mile mark, yet he was able to finish with probably the fastest final 1,000 meters of anyone in the race to finish 17th!“

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