Goessel teams qualify for state

Photo courtesy Brian Lightner<p>The Goessel boys? and girls? cross country teams are headed to state after qualifying at the Class 1A regional hosted by Pleasanton Saturday. Pictured, front (left to right)?are:?Kitty Illing, Edel Miller, Nate Impson, Julia Nightengale, Maddy Meier; (back row) Freddy Scheffe, Sarah Wagner, Lauren Rymill, Devon LeRoy, Leighton Wagner, Zach Wiens, Saskia Clostermeyer, Jennifer Meysing.<p>

Both Goessel cross country teams qualified for state following their performances at the Class 1A regional hosted by Pleasanton Saturday.

The boys? team won the meet with a score of 39 thanks to three top-10 finishes among a field of 44 runners.

Coach Brian Lightner said he knew his boys? team would be competitive, but winning the meet was a pleasant surprise.

?This was a very competitive meet, and I was hoping just to have the team qualify for the state meet,? Lightner said. ?For them to win the meet is a testament to their focus, determination and desire to move on to the next level together.?

Devon LeRoy led the way by finishing fifth in 19 minutes, 3.35 seconds. Freddy Scheffe was eighth (19:55.47) and Zach Wiens ninth (19:57.09). Nate Impson was 30th (23:37.9) and Leighton Wagner, who had not raced in a month, 36th (24:14.32).

Meanwhile, the girls? team finished second with 37 points behind St. Paul (29) and ahead of Wetmore (50).

?The champion, St. Paul, boasts the two-time defending state champion in Jenny O?Bryan and created an obstacle too big to overcome,??Lightner said. ?The girls separated themselves from the third-place team. Although they wanted to repeat as champs, I am very proud of how they ran the race and competed.?

Two Bluebirds turned in top-10 finishes: Julia Nightengale was eighth (23:31.34) and Jennifer Meysing, who was competing for the first time in a month, 10th (24:14.85).

Lauren Rymill was 13th (24:44.55), Saskia Clostermeyer 16th (personal-best 25:55.3), Maddy Meier 29th (personal-best 28:02.56), Edel Miller 31st (30:24.94) and Sarah Wagner 32nd (30:37.31).

Coming?The Bluebirds will compete at the Class 1A state meet in Wamego Saturday. The boys will run at 10:45 a.m. The girls will race at 1 p.m.

This marks the second time both Bluebird teams have qualified for state in the same year. Both teams also qualified in 2008.

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