Tournament Season begins

Cross Country’s final regular season meet; team now shifts focus onto championship meets


Photo Courtesy of Millard West Cross Country

Senior Dekyan Behrens works up a hilly portion of the course enroute to a second place finish. He was proud of the way he competed and the race he had. “It was also a great day personally, finishing second place was amazing although it wasn’t a P.R. (personal record) it was an overall great experience and a great memory made with the XC (cross country) team,” Behrens said.

Joseph Ebmeier, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, October 10, the Millard West Cross Country team competed in the fourth Covid Conference Meet, this time at the Gretna course. The team competed against Millard South, Millard North, Gretna, Papio, Creighton Prep and Marian. During the meet, Millard West ran its top junior varsity runners in the varsity race, while the other JV runners still competed in the JV race. This is because it was the final race before the championship meets, and it was a way to get runners to compete at the highest level.

The boys varsity team consisted of seven runners. They were only separated by 1 minute and 20 seconds which means they had a strong pack run going. The first place finisher for Millard West was freshman Porter Bickley with a time of 17 minutes and 24.89 seconds; he came in tenth place overall. Finishing soon after Bickley was junior William Frazer with a time of 17 minutes and 36.26 seconds; he finished in thirteenth place total. Crossing the finish line directly after Frazer, in fourteenth place, was junior Christian Naujokaitis with a time of 17 minutes and 36.49 seconds. Coming in nineteenth place, fourth for Millard West, was junior Drew Figura with a time of 17 minutes and 45.58 seconds.

Finishing in twenty-fourth place overall, fifth for the Wildcats was senior Daniel Nixon with a time of 17 minutes and 56.08 seconds. Coming across the line in thirty-fourth place was senior Tyler Matrangos with a time of 18 minutes and 28.99 seconds. Rounding out the Millard West team was senior Addison Hayes with a time of 18 minutes and 44.29 seconds. The varsity team finished in fourth place with a total of 80 points. It’s not their best showing this season, but they are still proud of what they accomplished. 

The varsity girls team consisted of six runners, they were separated by only 1 minute and 43 seconds. The highest finisher for Millard West was sophomore Callie Kirchner in twenty-second place with a time of 21 minutes and 46.23 seconds. Right after Kircnher, in twenty-third place, was Sammy Ullman with a time of 21 minutes and 56.86 seconds. Coming in third place for the Wildcats was sophomore Meredith Burklund with a time of 22 minutes and 40.24 seconds; she was in thirty-seventh place overall. Directly after Burklund was senior Meghan Knudson with a time of 22 minutes and 46.74 seconds. Soon after Knudson was sophomore Abby Hutteger with a time of 23 minutes and 19.74 seconds; she came in forty-third place. In forty-fourth place was Norah Kurz with a time of 23 minutes and 22.66 seconds. The varsity girls team finished in fifth place with 163 points. 

“I am always proud of our varsity teams’ performance,” Burklund said. “I think we all could’ve run a little faster but overall I am very proud of us and we ran our best that we could and that’s all we could ask for.”

Outside of the varsity races the Wildcats did well, too. In the boys JV race, senior Dekyan Beherns came home with a second place finish overall with a time of 18 minutes and 37.84 seconds. Also in the boys JV race Millard West took four of the top ten spots. The boys JV team took home first place in their race, a great way to end their season. In the girls JV race, Keri Haltom brought home a fourth place finish with a time of 23 minutes and 17.33 seconds. The Wildcats took two of the top ten spots and combined for a third place finish, a strong way to end their season as well.

“I was very proud of JV’s last race today; it was a great day for the boys to go out and give it their all,” Behrens said. “The hard work and pushing each other to get the best times we could was worth it to place first as a team and to have four of us in the top ten.”

The top seven runners on the Millard West team also competed  in the District Championship on Thursday, October 15. The Wildcats have had a very strong year all around and will have to continue that success into the remainder of the season.