KEARNEY — Kearney High’s girls cross country team brought back its top-six runners from last year’s team this season.
The Bearcats depth was on display Monday afternoon in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Invitational at the Kearney Country Club. They posted a fifth-place team finish with 169 points in Class A, which was behind first-place Fremont, who had 48 points.
It was a notable result for the Bearcats, who have performed well this season without junior Hannah Godwin. Godwin placed fourth at last year’s state meet but has been inactive this season due to an injury and hopes to be back "within the next couple of weeks," coach Pat McFadden said.
"Our girls have done just an awesome job of picking it up, though," McFadden said. "We are minus Hannah, but we are still the 10th-ranked team in the state. That says something about this team. This is a big race and a lot of the best schools are here. This is a pre-state meet."
The Bearcats had two top-30 finishers with senior Grace Bonsall leading the way with a time of 20 minutes, 46.4 seconds for 15th place. She started the race strong and was in the top 10 until about the 3-kilometer mark, she said.
Bonsall was about 95 seconds behind Lincoln East freshman Berlyn Schutz, who eased to a first-place result. Schutz’s time was about 27 seconds faster than second-place finisher Olivia Rosenthal of Papillion-La Vista South.
"For the 2K I was right on pace, and I kind of felt a little uncomfortable that I was a little too close to the front," Bonsall said. "Then a little after the 3K, I just kind of hit a wall. I didn’t finish exactly how I wanted to."
Junior Emma Bond placed 27th with a time of 21:29.1 and was the Bearcats’ second-best runner.
Sophomore Beatrice Lebsack finished 37th, senior Kayla Poggioli was 44th and freshman Maggie Trenkle was 50th to round out the top-50 finishers for the Bearcats.
"Our girls competed like nobody else in this field," McFadden said. "They went after it, and that’s what we talked about was getting after it no matter what kind of day you’re going to have. You have to put it on the line and say that this is for the Bearcat pride. They did an awesome."
The Bearcats will run the hilly 5-kilometer Kearney Country Club course for the Heartland Athletic Conference meet on Oct. 10. The state meet also is at KCC for the state championships.
Class A Team Results
1, Fremont 48; 2, Lincoln East 51; 3, Papillion-La Vista South 85; 4, Elkhorn South 156; 5, Kearney 169; 6, Millard West 208; 7, Omaha Marian 216; 8, Millard North 218; 9, Elkhorn 249; 10, Omaha Central 277; 11, Gretna 288; 12, North Platte 347; 13, Grand Island 351; 14, Papillion-La Vista 359; 15, Omaha Westside 422; 16, Columbus 465; 17, Omaha North 476; 18, Bellevue East 510.