The Nebraska City cross country  team had three runners qualify for state competition after a solid district performance on Thursday, Oct.12 at Omaha Skutt.
Chloe Schaulis, Abbie Heiser, and James Kearney are heading to state after impressive showings.
Schaulis and Heiser both earned medals with  Schaulis finishing 13th in 22:18 and Heiser finishing 14th in 22:19.
Coach Schaulis said it was a fantastic effort by Schaulis and Heiser as both runners had to pass numerous runners after finding themselves in the 20th to 25th place group.
Schaulis noted that the Pioneer team gave it their all and the senior leadership on the squad will be missed.
Other times were Brianna Fulton, 27th, 24:10; Jessinia Hincapie, 28th, 24:34; Amanda Anderson, 25:37; and Kaycee Driever, 29:13.
“This was the best finish for the girls in several years,” Schaulis said.  “The girls were only 11 points out of a third place finish.”     
Nebraska City’s future looks bright for the girls as the top three are only freshman, Schaulis said.  
There were eight teams that participated at districts, five of which made it to state last year, thus it was a tough and talented district.
In the boys’ event, Nebraska City placed seventh with 122 points.
Leading the way was Kearney who placed 14th with a time of 18:15 and earned a trip to state.  
Other times were Jack Vlahos, 34th, 21:08; Jesse Rodiguez, 35th, 21:09; Mason Hamilton 22:47, Christian Tietz, 23:07; and Josh Stidd, 24:44.  
The Nebraska City boys will be returning five of their top runners next season.
“I’m so proud of how much this team has improved and progressed throughout the season.” Coach Schaulis said. “We have not qualified three runners since 2002.”
Expectations are high as Coach Schaulis feels this group will compete and perform well in state.
“The girls are hungry, as they are already talking about qualifying as a team for next year.” Schaulis said.
State cross country will be  at the Kearney Country Club on Oct. 20.