BEEMER — Fremont Bergan tuned up for next week’s home cross country invitational by placing fifth Thursday in the boys division of the Wisner-Pilger Invite.
Hartington-Newcastle won the team title at Indian Trails Country Club in Beemer with 27 points while BRLD was second with 38. Wisner-Pilger was third with 62 followed by Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family (105) and Bergan (111).
Bergan coach Wyatt Morse was happy with the Knights’ effort.
“The weather is always a big factor at this meet,” he said. “While the temperatures weren’t as hot as in years past, the humidity didn’t help the running conditions. The team had a strong performance against a quality field. We definitely saw improvements from last week so that is a good takeaway.”
Carson Noecker of Hartington-Newcastle won the boys race in 17:02.84. Brandon Mitzel of West Point-Beemer was the runner-up in 18:38.63. Freshman Max Nosal led Bergan by placing 16th in 20:36.
“I’m very pleased with our boys finishing fifth,” Morse said. “That is probably our best finish since I’ve been coaching.”
Nosal was one of two medalists for Bergan on the boys side. Teammate Ben Simonson was 20th in 20:45.
“Ben ran a great race,” Morse said. “He has made so much progress from last season. He gave it everything he had and held on to get the last medal. Max didn’t have the best of races, but was a competitor and hung in there to earn a medal.”
Nathan Fuchs was 37th for the Knights in 21:59. Brenton Pitt (43rd in 22:25), Sam Sleister (69th in 23:51) and Jobe Sullivan (78th in 24:37) also competed.
Two Bergan girls also earned medals in the varsity race.
Jadin Ostrand was 18th in 25:21 while Emma Larson was 19th in 24:31. Lauren Carlson finished 67th in 36:51.
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“Emma and Jadin had some trouble with the famous hill two miles into the race,” Morse said. “Going up, they lost some ground, but they were able to turn things around to earn a medal. Both thought the first mile was a big key to their success as it put them on a good pace for the rest of the race.”
Amanda Aerts of East Butler was the girls champion in 22:17.36. Paige Steinman of Pender was second in 22:17.47 while Alison Stineman of Lutheran High Northeast was third in 22:36.83.
Pender won the girls team title with 30 points. Hartington-Newcastle was second with 35 while Battle Creek was third with 64.
In the boys junior varsity race, Spencer Hamilton of Bergan finished 10th in 25:06 while teammate Tyten Vance was 12th in 25:45.
“Both Spencer and Tyten were determined to take home a medal,” Morse said. “Both of them did which was good to see.”
The Knights will host their annual invitational at 4 Thursday afternoon at Camp Calvin Crest.
“Next week is a big week with homecoming and our home invite,” Morse said. “I’m excited to see our kids improve again next week.”
Boys Team Scores — Hartington-Newcastle 27, BRLD 38, Wisner-Pilger 62, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 105, Fremont Bergan 111, Elkhorn Valley 133, Winside 140, East Butler 159, West Point-Beemer 159, Madison 162, Battle Creek 165, Summerland 179, Pender 191, LCC 233, Winnebago 239, Ponce 244, Oakland-Craig 248.
Girls Team Scores — Pender 30, Hartington-Newcastle 35, Battle Creek 64, Humphrey St. Francis 74, Oakland-Craig 75, East Butler 83, West Point-Beemer 93, Summerland 123, Wisner-Pilger 141, Winnebago 152, BRLD 189.