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Barbara Houlsworth
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Wildcat runners start new season with titles

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HARTINGTON —  Both the Hartington boys and girls cross country teams got 2019 off to a great start last week.

Both teams had great individual finishes and won team championships in the Hartington Invitational at the Hartington Community Complex.

The HNS boys tied with Osmond for the team title.

Carson Noecker got out in front early and easily out-ran the rest of the field to win gold. His teammate, Brayden Kathol, came in over 90 seconds behind him to take runner-up honors to  give the host Wildcats a 1-2 individual finish.

Noecker’s run didn’t surprise his coach.

“Carson ran well. We knew he was a talented young man and that the potential was there,” HNS Coach Mandy Hochstein said. “We were very happy about his success. He trains hard and loves to run. We are excited to see how he develops as the season continues.”

Kathol also had a great outing, Coach Hochstein said.

“Brayden Kathol ran well, coming in second. 

“He has gotten stronger each year since his injury and he, too, adds much to this team,” she said.

Depth will be a big key to success for the local team this year, Hochstein said.

“We are excited to have 7-10 very strong runners and many new talents as well,” she said.

The HNS girls team was not able to compete for any team titles last year because they weren’t able to field a full team. The addition of two more runners has put the Cats back on the medal stand, though.

The Wildcat runners have the numbers to field a full team this year, and they are out to prove they are ready to win.

Paige Steinman of Pender easily outdistanced the field to win the girls’ gold medal in 20 minutes, 58.82 seconds, but a trio of HNS runners finished in the top six to edge Pender out for the team title.

Sara Burbach finished as the meet runner-up. Her temmates. Jayda Bernecker and Sara Reifenrath, finished fifth and sixth. Makenzie Arens finished in 11th to help the local team earn the title.


1. Hartington-Newcastle, 23; 2. Pender, 24; 3. Battle Creek, 32; 4. Osmond, 72, 5. Winnebago, 72.



1 Steinman, Paige, Pender; 20:58.82;  2 Burbach, Sara, Hartington-Newcastle, 21:14.85;  3 Steinman, Piper, Pender, 21:23.11;  4 Stusse, Afftynn, Battle Creek, 21:34.41;  5 Bernecker, Jayda, Hartington-Newcastle, 21:55.63;  6 Reifenrath, Sara, Hartington-Newcastle, 22:05.90; 7 Bolling, Lindsey, Battle Creek, 22:49.14;  8 Bishop, Maggie, Battle Creek, 23:33.36;  9 Krueger, Jessica, Pender, 23:49.02; 10 Kumm, Brooklyn, Plainview, 23:54.35;  11 Arens, Makenzie, Hartington-Newcastle, 24:06.41;  12 Schram, Mackenzie, Ponca, 24:14.68; 13 Bodlak, Alexis, Pender, 24:20.76; 14 Price, Jayla, Winnebago,  25:32..17; 15 Oltmanns, Maddie, Battle Creek, 25:49.48; 16 Cleveland, Madeline, Winnebago, 26:05.96; 17 Lade, Raina, Battle Creek, 26:19.87; 18 Beacom, Lexi, Osmond, 26:57.09; 19 Folkers, Allison, Randolph, 27:09.95; 20 Krienert, Hayle, Osmond, 27:49.61; 21 Wagner, Riley, Osmond, 27:49.72; 22 Hassler, Zoe, Battle Creek, 28:21.87; 23 Sudbeck, Mackenzie, Hartington-Newcastle, 28:30.48; 24 Vance, Vanessa, LCC, 30:10.51;  25 Kumm, Jozie, Osmond, 30:32.93;  26 Garnett, Kylie, Winnebago, 31:04.95; 27 Paredes, Isavel, Pender, 31:05.56. 28 Means, Amani, Winnebago, 33:13.53.

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