The Ord High School cross country teams continued their successful season this past week as they finished high and brought home several medals from the annual Ainsworth Invitational. The girls had two medal winners in the meet and finished fifth in the team standings with 52 points. “I thought our girls ran much better this week when compared to last week”, Coach Derry Trampe commented. “We were more competitive, and we had better times at this meet on a course that is a little longer. We are improving and that is all we can ask for right now. I look for our girls to get stronger every week.” Ainsworth won the team title with 11 points and West Holt finished second with 22 points. Rounding out the team scoring were: North Central (33), Valentine (35), Burwell (53), Twin Loup (74), and Mullen, Boyd County, and Sandhills/Thedford did not field enough runners to score as a team.
The boys were able to medal six runners in the meet on their way to a runner-up finish. The Chants scored 21 points to finish second and were just 5 points out of first. West Holt won the meet with 16 points. “We have a good group of boys that run together well”, Trampe stated. “We need to close the gap on each other a little more and on our competitors. If we do this, we will start to win some of these meets this season.” Rounding out the team scoring were: North Central (34), Valentine (35), Boyd County (45), Sandhills/Thedford (59), Ainsworth (61), and Mullen, Burwell, and Twin Loup did not field enough runners to score as a team.
Masaki Arisawa led the way for the boys again this week as he finished third in the race in a time of 18:21 over the 5,000-meter course. “Masaki continues to run well in our meets”, Trampe said. “He is a consistent runner and just needs to become more familiar with the way the races are run. He will have a good year this year.” In addition to Arisawa, the Chants had five more runners finish in the top 20 to bring home medals from the meet. Owen Lane was 8th in 19:15, Elijah Pollard was 11th in 19:28, Grady Moudry was 13th in 20:01, Brodie Klimek was 16th in 20:33, and Garret Severance was 17th in 20:38. “Owen has been a nice addition to the team this year”, Trampe noted. “He is a tough runner and competes every step of the race. Elijah is a steady performer that doesn’t get out as fast as the other guys, but he runs a consistent pace throughout the race and moves up in places. Grady continues to show how much he has improved over the last year as he ran more than a minute faster than he did last season on this course. He is going to have a very good year as well. I was really pleased with how Brodie ran in the race because his time was over 2 minutes faster than last season. He has worked very hard to be a good competitor. Garret did not have his best day. I think he got out a little fast and then tried to slow his pace down and he just could not recover from that. The good news is that he didn’t have his best race and still finished with a medal.” Hayden Kluthe just missed earning a medal as he finished in 22nd place in a time of 21:42. “Hayden’s time was not that far of the time he ran last season but he just looked like he struggled in the middle mile of the race”, Trampe said. “He works very hard in practice, and it will click for him at some point this season.” Also competing for the Chants were Gage Sintek (31st in 23:49), Braden Bruha (38th in 25:14), Isaac VanLeer (39th in 25:33), and Skyler Probst (44th in 28:14). “I thought Gage ran one of his best races in the last 2 years”, Trampe commented. “He ran a solid second mile and then finished the race strong. Isaac is battling some illness and it makes it tough for him to run. I am pleased with the effort he puts in each week. Braden and Skyler ran solid races, but I feel that both have more to give. Hopefully, they will find that mental focus to work through the middle of the race and be competitive with the runners around them.”
Izzy Jeffres and Skylar Kokes both brought home medals from the meet in the girl’s race. Jeffres finished in 16th place in a time of 27:09 and Kokes was right behind her in 17th place in a time of 27:20. “Izzy looked like she felt a lot better this week”, Trampe said. “She is still working through some pain in her hips, but she ran a consistent race and held her position throughout. Skylar is starting to figure out how to compete in cross country. She is new to the sport but she runs a very competitive race. I have been really pleased with her progress.” Koryn Klein ran more than a minute and a half faster this week than last and finished in 29th place in a time of 30:33. “Koryn is getting in shape and running more competitively”, Trampe said. “This is a tough sport and you can see her getting stronger each week and I look for her time to continue to fall all season.” Eliasbeth Bengston finished in 32nd place in 32:54. This was more than 2 minutes faster than she ran on this course last year. “Elisabeth continues to impress me with the improvement she is making”, Trampe commented. “She is running the entire race and is competing with the girls that are close to her. This is what she will need to do to continue bringing her times down all year.”
The junior high teams had a successful day as well with both the girls and the boys finish in second place in the team races. The boys scored 15 points to finish just 2 points behind Ainsworth (13). The girls scored 27 points to finish well behind the meet champion West Holt (9). “It was great to see our junior high kids have a lot of success at this meet”, Trampe said. “We were able to bring home a lot of medals and the kids are really competing well. They will be a nice addition to our high school teams in the next couple of years.” Two girls brought home medals as Allison Wheeler and Avery Bruha finished in 6th and 7th to earn medals. Wheeler finished the 1-mile race in 6:50 and Bruha finished in 6:54. Sophie Zangger also competed in the race and finished 31st in a time of 9:51. Gavin Whited, Kyptan Scheideler, and Conner Krcilek all brought home medals from the meet. Whited was the runner-up in the race in a time of 6:40. Scheideler and Krcilek finished 7th and 8th respectively to earn medals. The two runners raced each other to the finish line as Scheideler finished in a time of 7:25 and Krcilek finished in 7:26. Leo Wolf just missed the medals as he finished in 12th place in a time of 7:44.