FC High School junior Kyle Leafty and senior Lainey Larsen will both compete at the State Cross Country meet Friday at Kearney Country Club after medal-winning performances at the C-1 District meet last Thursday at Boys Town in Omaha.
Leafty was District Champion, sprinting to the finish and edging Julian Agee of Boys Town by about two seconds; Lainey placed fifth and is headed to the state meet for the third consecutive year.
Leafty “ran a wonderful race,” FCHS Head Coach Cody Hawley said. “He stayed with the lead pack for the majority of the race and slowly started to make a gap on the field. Down the last stretch, there were only two runners left to contend for the title. He was able to sprint home and win the individual title.”
The Tiger guys finished fifth overall, four points behind 2014 state qualifier Omaha Concordia. Anthony Baker (22nd, 19:10), Dylan Leafty (23rd, 19:11), Brody Smith (37th, 20:03), Christian Bennett (46th, 21:52) and Dakota Fisher (50th, 23:13) competed well for the Tigers.
“Both teams finished competitively in their races,” Hawley said. “I was very proud of their efforts.”
The girls team finished seventh overall. In addition to Larsen, Cheyenne Dovel (21st, 24:06), Lauren Bierman (30th, 24:50), Mary Patnode (37th, 25:31), Kirsten Carter (39th, 26:13) and Morgan Roberts (43rd, 27:20) ran hard for FCHS.
Hawley said both Leafty and Larsen should fare well at Kearney.
“Both look to contend in the top 20 of their races and I wouldn’t be surprised to see each bring home a medal for the Tigers,” he said.