From the first time they stepped on a cross country course in 2019, to the last time, no one could beat the Boone Central Lady Cardinals.
Boone Central completed an unblemished season Friday by winning the Class C girls crown in the NSAA State Cross Country Championships at the Kearney Country Club.
It’s a rare and special achivement.
The Cardinals tallied 44 points in the state competition, easily outpacing runner-up Milford (57) and season-long challenger Scotus (62). Friday marked the fifth time Boone Central defeated the Shamrocks in 2019 head-to-head competition.
Card coaches and fans couldn’t have asked for more on a splendid late fall day, as all eight Boone Central runners – six girls and two boys – turned in their best performances of the season.
Junior Jordan Stopak paced the championship run, placing third individually in a time of 19:56.37. Freshman Alicia Weeder (20:53.76) and sophomore Morgann Johnson (20:55.63) were just out of the medals in 19th and 20th, respectively, and junior Autumn Simons (21:44.62) completed the team score in 46th. Freshman Kyra Kruse (23:46.42) finished 89th and sophomore Tessa Hamling (26:21.45) 96th.
“All eight runners ran their best times – four of them on their first time on the course,” commented Boone Central Coach Justin Harris. “I’m very happy for the girls to be able to finish the season undefeated. That wasn’t the goal at the beginning, but they started to realize it was possible.
“Jordan ran a smart, steady race. Alicia ran an awesome last thousand meters to go from the upper 20s to 19th. Morgann has been so consistent all year for us and Autumn took over a minute off her best time on the course, as she gutted out the finish. Kyra and Tessa were able to exprience the challenges of the course and will now have a better idea of what they need to do to prepare for it.”
Two Cardinals represented Boone Central in the Class C boys race. Junior Bradley Schindel placed 23rd in a time of 17:41.0 and sophomore Harrison Dodds finished 77th with a 19:05.04 clocking.
“Bradley ran a good race, which was faster than last year, but was unable to take home a medal,” Harris said. “The lack of intense workouts during his injury time probably started to catch up with him. There were a few kids who beat him that he had beaten earlier in the season. He gave great effort in the finishing 800 meters, but didn’t have the kick he had earlier in the year.
“Harrison had a great experience and improved by two minutes from last year. He has learned how good a runner he can be, and I hope to see continued improvement.”
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