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Plattsmouth athletes qualify for state cross country meet

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BELLEVUE – Plattsmouth runners penciled a trip to Kearney Country Club on their team calendars with state-qualifying efforts on Thursday morning.

The Plattsmouth girls and boys cross country teams collected state berths during the District B-1 Meet at Platteview Country Club. The PHS girls earned a second-plaque plaque and the Plattsmouth boys captured a state ticket with a third-place team result.

PHS head coach Todd Nott said he was pleased to see the Blue Devils do well against many quality opponents. The Plattsmouth girls edged Platteview 45-47 for second place in team standings, while the PHS boys finished seven points ahead of Elkhorn to pocket third place. Both teams had three district medalists.

“Our kids did what they needed to do,” Nott said. “They knew there would be some tough competition here, but they stepped up and ran well today.”

Natalie Briggs, Mila Wehrbein, Jozlyn Barnes, Jolie Dix, Ava Nolde and Emily Macias-Palomar formed the state-qualifying group for the PHS girls. Briggs (20:54.58, 5th), Wehrbein (21:39.09, 11th) and Barnes (21:43.24, 13th) took part in the awards ceremony after the race. Dix (22:27.57, 16th), Nolde (23:49.26, 22nd) and Macias-Palomar (24:39.80, 28th) placed in the top 30 spots.

Nott said all six Blue Devils ran well during one of the coldest meets of the season. Briggs stayed with the top pack throughout the race and Wehrbein, Barnes and Dix gave the team key points with their efforts.

Nott said Nolde played a pivotal role in the team race by finishing ahead of Platteview’s fourth runner, who placed 25th. If Plattsmouth and Platteview had ended the day tied on the scoreboard, then the tiebreaker would have been which team had the faster fifth-place runner. Nolde’s effort meant the Blue Devils would have easily won that potential scenario.

“Ava did a great job of getting in between their third and fourth runners,” Nott said. “Every point is big when it comes to team standings, so to see her run the way she did was great.”

Omaha Skutt won the girls team championship with 20 points. The Skyhawks had four runners finish in the top eight spots.

Omaha Skutt also claimed the boys team title with a perfect score of 10. The Skyhawks claimed the first six spots in the race. The six runners crossed the finish line within 21 seconds of one another.

Elijah Dix, Sam Campin, Carter Moss, Alex Lozzi, Darek Reicks and Daniel Barajas formed the state-qualifying group for the Blue Devils. Dix (17:31.34, 9th), Campin (17:50.34, 11th) and Moss (18:16.62, 15th) earned medals. Moss collapsed less than 50 feet from the finish line but was able to crawl across the tape to secure his medal.

Nebraska City edged Plattsmouth 49-53 for second place. Nott said the Blue Devils relied on efforts from the three medalists and Lozzi (18:36.02, 18th), Reicks (18:53.38, 21st) and Barajas (19:28.16, 22nd) to remain in third place.

“We knew Nebraska City was for real,” Nott said. “We’ve seen them before several times and they have some good runners. We knew everyone was going to have to run well in order to get one of those top three spots, and I thought they did that.”

Nott said he was pleased with the route that athletes followed at Platteview Country Club. He said it was a good experience for the Blue Devils just before the state meet.

“This was a true cross country course,” Nott said. “It was not an easy route but the footing was awesome and it made everyone work, which is what we’ll have to do next week too. This was great preparation for Kearney.”

Nott said the Blue Devils also enjoyed seeing a large number of students and teachers at the race. PHS classmates lined spots along the route and cheered for the runners when they moved past. They then ran to other places on the course to give more encouraging words.

“That was fun to see,” Nott said. “The kids really appreciated that. To see that kind of support from the students and faculty here made the day even better.”

The Blue Devils will compete in the Class B State Meet at Kearney Country Club on Friday, Oct. 22. The Class B girls race will begin at 2:30 p.m. and the Class B boys event will start at 3:30 p.m. Awards ceremonies will be held near the finish line.

Girls Team Results

Omaha Skutt 20, Plattsmouth 45, Platteview 47, Elkhorn 55, Omaha Mercy 80, Nebraska City 101, Ralston 112,

Top 15 Results

1) Anika Richards (SKT) 20:04.98, 2) Olivia Lawrence (PLV) 20:19.23, 3) Taylor Grasz (ELK) 20:28.34, 4) Gabi Westfall (SKT) 20:34.70, 5) Natalie Briggs (PLT) 20:54.58, 6) Lydia Stewart (PLV) 21:05.39, 7) Anna Labenz (SKT) 21:19.90, 8) Josie Pogge (SKT) 21:29.38, 9) Sara Espinoza (ELK) 21:34.27, 10) Sophia Higgason (SKT) 21:38.37, 11) Mila Wehrbein (PLT) 21:39.09, 12) Raquel Skerston (RAL) 21:41.10, 13) Jozlyn Barnes (PLT) 21:43.24, 14) Isabel Clarke (PLV) 21:45.67, 15) Annabelle Carney (MCY) 21:50.34

Plattsmouth Results

Natalie Briggs 20:54.58 (5th), Mila Wehrbein 21:39.09 (11th), Jozlyn Barnes 21:43.24 (13th), Jolie Dix 22:27.57 (16th), Ava Nolde 23:49.26 (22nd), Emily Macias-Palomar 24:39.80 (28th)

Boys Team Results

Omaha Skutt 10, Nebraska City 49, Plattsmouth 53, Elkhorn 60, Platteview 81, Ralston 99

Top 15 Results

1) McCoy Haussler (SKT) 16:50.65, 2) Jack Wade (SKT) 16:57.93, 3) Alex Kennedy (SKT) 17:06.37, 4) Alex Rice (SKT) 17:07.30, 5) Thomas Richter-Egger (SKT) 17:08.04, 6) Tommy Rice (SKT) 17:11.13, 7) A.J. Raszler (PLV) 17:20.97, 8) Mason Houghton (NCY) 17:27.07, 9) Elijah Dix (PLT) 17:31.34, 10) Alex Rico (NCY) 17:34.00, 11) Sam Campin (PLT) 17:50.34, 12) Brayden Geiger (ELK) 17:51.41, 13) Ethan Walters (ELK) 18:00.79, 14) Hayden Beccard (NCY) 18:09.24, 15) Carter Moss (PLT) 18:16.62

Plattsmouth Results

Elijah Dix 17:31.34 (9th), Sam Campin 17:50.34 (11th), Carter Moss 18:16.62 (15th), Alex Lozzi 18:36.02 (18th), Darek Reicks 18:53.38 (21st), Daniel Barajas 19:28.16 (22nd)

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