Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Tom Southard
The Observer 

Kimball Cross Country At District Today


October 17, 2019

Tom Southard / The Observer

Kimball freshman Matthew Johnson might be small in stature, but he is mighty big in heart and has been Kimball's top boy runner several races this season. This past week he led the Horns in both conference races, finishing 15th in the WTC Conference race and 17th in the SPVA Conference race with an all-time personal record time.

After back-to-back conference races this past week, the Kimball High Cross Country Team heads to Bridgeport today for their District race with a start time of 3 p.m.. The District meet is the race that determines what teams, and which individuals, advance to the State competition.

A smart move by conference officials saw them move their schedule meets up to avoid the weather that moved through the area last week and the runners were rewarded by some good running conditions.

On Tuesday, the Western Trails Conference meet was held at Bayard, and a highlight for Kimball was the boy's junior high team finishing 2nd and 2 of their 9 runners were top ten finishers with Fernando Raymundo taking 3rd place with his time of 12:11 over the 3,000 meter course. Cody Brinkman ran 6th in 12:21. Braylon Miller finished 15th in the field of 36 runners with his time of 13:02, Joseph Bremer was 23rd in 14:49, Trenton Hottell 27th in 15:33, Brandon Paxton 29th in 16:12, Aaron Gillming 32nd in 17:01, Patrick Howard 34th in 17:16, and Draco Miller 36th in 17:47.

Kimball only had 3 girls in the junior high division with Shannen Marks placing 18th with a time of 16:51, Ashlie Barker 29th in 20:02, and Kylie Osborn 31st in 21:22.

The Kimball High girls also had only 3 runners finish as standout Chantel Malson had to stop running, and did not finish the race due to her knee hurting bad enough. Raven Johnson ran 28th in 28:53 over the 5,000 meter race. Brandi Councilman was 32nd in 32:47, and Alycia Vrbas 34th in 36:09.

No top ten finishes for the Kimball High boys but good finishes by Matthew Johnson in 15th place with his time of 20:28 and Connor Cluff in 16th place with a time of 20:33. Rene Raymundo ran 23rd in 21:28, Cole Henton 34th in 24:37, Xavier Thomas-Lewis 42nd in 26:38, and Lane Wasielewski 43rd in 28:40.



With only a night's rest, the Longhorns headed to Grant the following day for the SPVA Conference race and Chantel Malson was back on the course with a knee brace in place and ran a very good personal record time of 21:25.56 to finish 4th! Coach Tiffany Johnson said "Chantel ran really well. We were not certain how the knee would bother her but I told her she would have to make the decision and she came through in awesome fashion." Raven Johnso ran 31st in 27:18, Brandi Councilman 37th in 30:13, and Alycia Vrbas 40th in 33:58.

Matthew Johnson was once again Kimball's top boy runner as the determined young freshman ran 17th with a personal record time of 19:21.78 edging out team mate Connor Cluff who was 18th with his personal record time of 19:40.54. Every Kimball boy ran record times with Rene Raymundo clocking 20:41 for 23rd place, Cole Henton ran a season best time of 21:59 for 29th place, Xavier Thomas-Lewis ran 37th with a personal record time of 23:33, and Lane Wasielewski ran a personal record time of 25:44.71 to finish 44th.

Coach Johnson said "I am so proud of Matthew and Connor for breaking the 20 minute mark, and for these two boys and Rene Raymundo for having two great meets on back-to-back days".

As mentioned, the Kimball runners are at Bridgeport today (Thursday) for the District race with a start time of 3 p.m.. It would appear that Miss Malson has a very good shot at qualifying for the state meet, and hopefully other Longhorns can come through with the state qualifying race.


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