Girls take third at state

Pictured with their third-place state cross-county trophy are, from left: Hannah Kuehl, Ashley Funk, Haley Schroeder, Gabrielle Berns, Kiana Stender, Carissa Moyna and Emily Asche. Alternates, not shown, were Megan Nemechek and Anna Tuecke. Photo by Bev Hamann


By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer


The Central girls’ cross-country team finished third in a field of 15 teams participating in Class 1A in the state cross-country meet held Saturday.  Pekin finished 1st and Pocahantas Area took 2nd place.  A total of 127 runners participated.

Haley Schroeder finished 19th (15:48}, Ashley Funk, 21st (15:49), Kiana Stender, 53rd (16:37), Gabrielle Berns, 55th (16:40), Hannah Kuehl, 68th (16:52), Emily Asche, 69th (16:55), and Carissa Moyna was  86th (17:34).  Anna Tuecke and  Megan Nemechek were alternates.

“We knew coming in to the state meet that the top five or six spots would be closely contested and the final team scores proved that to be correct,” Coach Mark Bauder said. “While Pekin certainly rose to the occasion and did distance themselves somewhat from the other top five teams, there was a hard fought battle between the next four teams. Our girls gave everything they had to give on this day and finished a very respectable third place once again.”

“While our overall times were not quite what we had hoped for, it seems as many other runners also were not quite what they were last year as well,” Coach Bauder continued. “However, we had many bright spots. We scored 25 fewer points than last year, our number five runner was 20 seconds faster than our number five last year, our team spread was just barely over one minute, we had two girls in the 15’s (Haley Schroeder and Ashley Funk) as opposed to only one last year, and we recorded our seventh top-four finish in the last nine years. When you think that 128 teams began the season in class 1A and we finished third, that is always a very high accomplishment. And the district meets begin with potentially nearly 900 runners, so for our girls to finish from 19th to 86th is truly something to be proud of.”

Bauder thanked the Central Athletic Boosters for their support and all the fans who made the long trip to the event and stayed for the  award presentation. 


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