Millard West Cross Country takes Districts

Wildcat varsity runners compete at Walnut Creek


Photo from SmugMug

The Wildcats attempted to stay together during the first part of the race, but they started to split up near the end. The Wildcat top three finishers all had relatively close times to one another, showing they ran as a pack. “Winning districts was a small step to accomplishing our goal of taking first in state,” Marshall said. “Although we won this race, we realized that state was going to be a close race with all the intense teams competing against us.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, October 15th, the Millard West Varsity Cross Country team competed in two district meets. The Wildcats boys team ran against Gretna, Lincoln Pius X, Millard South, Grand Island and Bellevue East, and the Millard West girls went up against Lincoln Southwest, Millard South, Gretna, Lincoln Southeast and Papillion-La Vista. The varsity boys team has had a strong season so far, taking first in several meets, and the varsity girls have had a good year too, placing second in many of their races.

The varsity boys sent seven runners to the race, and many of them placed in the top 10. Junior Sam Kirchner led the team taking second place overall, and first for Millard West with a time of 16 minutes and 39 seconds. Directly after Kirchner was senior Austin Goetsche with a time of 16 minutes and 52 seconds. He placed third in the race and second for the Wildcats and surpassed many of his previous meet times. Another runner who got a sub 17 for the Wildcats was sophomore Piercze Marshall who placed fourth in the race and third for the Wildcats. Marshall crossed the line with a time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds.

“I already knew we were going to win before the meet even started,” Goetsche said. “We could have done a better job packing up and staying together during the race, but I am proud of the time I got.”

The girls team sent seven runners to the race as well. Junior Emily Gilbert led the team with a time of 19 minute and 59 seconds taking third place in the race and first for the Wildcats. Taking second place for the Wildcats and sixth in the race, Junior Sydney Beaudin finished with a time of 20 minutes and 12 seconds. Also, finishing in the top ten, just 24 seconds behind Beaudin, was sophomore Isabelle Hartnett with a time of 20 minutes and 36 seconds. She finished in tenth place in the race and third place for Millard West. With these times, the varsity girls placed second in the race.

“I thought I was going to do well, but you can never tell with all the adrenaline that is going through your body,” Gilbert said. “We had a pep talk with the team before the race where we planned out when to surge and when to lay off, along with motivating each other toward our goal, state.”

Other highlights would be every Wildcat boys team finisher placed below 20, with three of them placing top five and five of them top ten. Along with this, the girls team had six of their finishers place below 20 and only one place above. Marshall ran his PR as well with a time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds.

“I was impressed with my time considering that it was at one of the harder courses,” Marshall said. “Our team has been metally preparing ourselves for a long time for this meet, and I feel the results reflect the work we have put in.”

The Wildcats will run in the state meet on Friday, October 23. They will face off against many other schools in a meet they have been working toward all season.