LINCOLN — Four Fremont High boys cross country runners finished in the top 10 to help the Tigers easily win the District A3 team title Thursday at Pioneers Park.
C.J. Martinez won the race with a time of 16:45.34 while Chase Cate was third in 17:06.05, Wes Ferguson fourth in 17:06.56 and Ben Schulz eighth in 17:28.08.
Martinez clocked his best time ever at Pioneers Park. He was in second as he descended into the Pinewood Bowl but later held a 4-second lead and then cruised up the final hill to claim the title.
“It was great to see C J get the win today. He has been such a steady senior leader for us all summer and season. The guys can lean on him for anything, and he is always there for them,” FHS coach Sean McMahon said. “He got out really well today, and was sitting a few seconds off the leader at the halfway point. From that point on, he was on a mission to win it for his team.”
But Cate, Ferguson and Schulz were just as important, McManon said. He said Cate and Ferguson held off a very strong start by the Omaha Central team who were in command through 3 kilometers.
“It was at that time that Chase made a big move and caught up to Wes and Ben and told them to go with him. That move took them into the top 10, and they kept marching forward literally to the last 100 meters when Chase and a hard charging Wes took the 3rd and 4th spot,” McMahon said. “That really made our crowd go crazy. Three in the top four is pretty special. Ben won his individual kick battle and took the 8th place spot to calm everyone’s nerves that they had a couple of kilometers back.”
Jayden Kumm (19th, 18:05.87) and Manny Harmon (20th, 18:07.33) also played their part.
“They may not have felt it was their best day, but they had a big impact by keeping focused and staying in the hunt for the team win,” McMahon said.
The Tigers still have their eyes on the ultimate prize.
“The district meet is about moving on to the next week,” McMahon said. “It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it isn’t about trying to run fast times. The course made for slow conditions in all of the districts, but we still had guys rally through that and put up some of their best times of the year. That is what racing in October is all about.”
The state meet will be 1:30 p.m. for the Class A boys Oct. 20 at Kearney Country Club.
Team Scores — 1, Fremont 35; 2, Omaha Central 53; 3, Pius X 69; 4, Lincoln High 97; 5, Lincoln Northeast 102; 6, Grand Island 143; 7, North Platte 184.
Individual Top 15 and Fremont Finishers — 1, C.J. Martinez, Fre, 16:45.34; 2, Gavin Skorupa, Pius, 16:53.60; 3, Chase Cate, Fre, 17:06.05; 4, Wes Ferguson, Fre, 17:06.56; 5, Elijah Connatser, LNE, 17:15.79; 6, Nick Larson, OC, 17:19.64; 7, Peter Cuddy, LHS, 17:26.44; 8, Ben Schulz, Fre, 17:28.08; 9, Joe Mayberger, OC, 17:29.72; 10, Ethan Kilton, OC, 17:40.83; 11, Ian Becerra, LHS, 17:41.45; 12, Nick McElroy, Pius, 17:43.31; 13, Max Conahue, OC, 17:45.41; 14, Vincent Wieser, LHS, 17:48.34; 15, Eric Seger-Pera, OC, 17:52.82. 19, Jayden Kumm, Fre, 18:05.87; 20, Manny Harmon, Fre, 18:07.33;