Contributor: The Nerd
If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I initially observed a few years that Class A boys rarely medal at State XC as freshmen or sophomores. That made me wonder how often boys earn 3 or 4 state XC medals. This question was in part triggered when Nerd Junior's won his third medal. It took me a few years but I finally was able to devote some time to researching the same question for Class A girls.
The NSAA cross country website at https://nsaahome.org/cross-country/ provides State meet girls results all the way back to 1980. However, I'm lazy, so I only researched back to the senior class of 1996. Given the recent success of freshmen girls at State, I started this project with the expectation that there would be far more 3X girls medalists than boys. I was partly right. In the last 25 years, there have been ten more girls (51) than boys (41) who have earned at least three medals, and there are far greater 4x medalists among girls (15) than boys (6). However, on an anecdotal basis, while it's far more likely to see a freshman girl medal than it would a boy, it is at times harder for a girl to see the type of year-to-year progression that is typical for maturing boys. I didn't keep track of freshman medalists who didn't earn at least three medals, but I suspect that number is far higher for girls (who earn quite a few medals as freshman) than boys (who rarely earn a medal as a freshman).
The last three girls to earn three medals were Hannah Godwin (Kearney and now at UNL), Elli Dahl (Fremont) and Bri Rinn (Lincoln Southwest). While Hannah graduated this spring, Elli and Bri still have a chance to earn their fourth medal this fall. The last four-time medalist was also just last year, when Kaylie Crews of Papio South achieved that mark. Class A has some incredible competition over the years, so the only girl to win State XC all four years is Jeralyn Poe of Lincoln North Star, who then competed at an extremely high level at Michigan State and Northern Arizona. Kelly Lindsey of Millard North also came close, earning gold medals her first three years before she was injured during her senior year.
In addition to Bri Rinn and Elli Dahl, junior Berlyn Schutz of Lincoln East has a chance to win her third medal this year. Junior Jaci Sievers (Elkhorn South) and Izzy Apfel (Lincoln East) are looking for their second medals, as are sophomores Claire White (Westside) and Peyton Svehla (Lincoln East). Defending champ Stella Miner transferred from Marian to Westside and is ineligible to compete this fall in her sophomore season, but she still could earn three medals by graduation.
As I noted in the boys' blog post, I'm sure many of you are wondering who would make the list for Class B, C and D. The data is on the NSAA website but it's a time-consuming task. If you have the time, I'll tell you how to compile the data.
Here's the list since the senior class of 1996, with four-time winners highlighted in green.