Fremont High School is entering next week's Class A state cross country meet with a lot of momentum.
After winning the Heartland Athletic Conference championship last week, the Tigers raced to the A-3 district title on Thursday afternoon at Valley View Golf Course.
Wes Ferguson (16:10.72) edged teammate Jose Gonzalez (16:11.23) for the individual title as the Tigers finished with 34 points. Papillion-La Vista South, on the strength of six runners in the top 15, were the runner-up with 45.
The Tigers also had six runners in the top 15 -- actually the top 13 -- as they held off the defending Class A champions.
"We are definitely pleased with how the day went," Fremont coach Sean McMahon said. "Wes and Jose cranked it up a notch with about 600 meters left. They both made moves at the end and it was fun for the crowd and fun for them. I don't think either one of them cares who got first or second. I think all they care about is that the Tigers went 1-2. They are both in it for the team."
Gonzalez and Ferguson are both ready for the Class A state meet Oct. 19 at the Kearney Country Club.
"They are both fit and confident," McMahon said. "They love racing together. I absolutely love the pack running of this team and how they've come together. I think around the UNK (University of Nebraska at Kearney) Invite it started clicking for us."
Matthew Klein of the Tigers was eighth in 16:30.67. Senior Ben Schulz was 11th in 16:38.38 and sophomore Owen Wagner was 12th in 16:40.06. Another senior, Reed Johannsen, was 13th in 16:44.02.
The district medal shows the progress that Johannsen has made since his ninth-grade season.
"He was that fun-loving freshman that came along for the ride," McMahon said. "He came out, but didn't really see himself as a runner. But he started to improve as a sophomore and he kept getting better."
Last year, Johannsen was one of the Tigers' top five junior varsity runners.
"He got in the mix during the summer," McMahon said. "Inch by inch and season by season he has closed the gap to get where he is now."
Ross McMahon of the Tigers was ill and didn't compete. Teammate Edmund England took his spot and finished 26th in 17:29.08.
Coach McMahon said that while the Tigers are happy about the district title, they know there is more work yet to be done.
"They look very locked in," he said. "They are content about how today went, but they aren't looking at it like this was the end of anything. I really like the vibe and the confidence of this group."
The boys Class A race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. The Tigers finished third behind the Titans and Lincoln Southwest in 2017.