Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Contributor: Nerd the Third
Three of the top eight finishers from 2020 are now freshmen at college programs - Jaedan Bunda (2nd, Skutt) at Creighton, Maddie Yardley (6th, Elkhorn) at UNO and Brooke Holzworth (8th, Scottsbluff) at Wyoming. Despite those losses, the 2021 field is exceptionally strong with eleven 2020 medalists returning in 2021.
Defending state champ Madison Seiler of Gering headlines the returners. She is coming off a strong track season where she medaled in all three distance events (2:22, 5:23, 11:23) at the State track meet. Kassidy Stuckey of York, 4th in XC last fall, finished 5th at State in both the 1600 (5:18) and 3200 (11:45). Britt Prince of Elkhorn North, who was 5th last fall and is being recruited by dozens of the top D-1 basketball programs, finished 2nd in the State 800 in 2:18. Samantha Rodewald, 3rd in fall 2020, ran 5:26 and 11:58 during the spring.
Interestingly, a few of the top performers at the Class B State track meet in May did not run XC last fall. Julia Karmazan of Elkhorn North, 3rd in the 1600 (5:18) and 1st in the 3200 (11:14) will likely play golf again this fall, while Brynn Hirschfeld of York, who was 1st in both the 800 and 1600 (2:17, 5:14) and 3rd in the 3200 (11:41), has played volleyball in prior years.
Platteview joins Class B this year while Omaha Gross moves to Class C. The list below includes the 15 fastest returners from Class B as well as Olivia Lawrence and Izzy Clarke from Platteview, who placed 10th and 13th, respectively, in Class C in 2020.
Madison Seiler, Jr, Gering (1st, 18:55)
Samantha Rodewald, Jr, McCook (3rd, 19:19)
Kassidy Stuckey, So, York (4th, 19:27)
Britt Prince, So, Elkhorn North (5th, 19:47)
Tandee Masco, Jr, Seward (7th, 19:57)
Keegan Beisel, Sr, Seward (9th, 20:05)
Ashley Hedquist, Sr, South Sioux City (10th, 20:11)
Olivia Lawrence, So, Platteview (10th in Class C, 20:17)
Corinne Mead, Sr, Elkhorn North (12th, 20:19)
Izzy Clarke, Jr, Platteview (13th in Class C, 20:19)
Hailey Amandus, Jr, Blair (13th, 20:20)
Sienna Dutton, So, McCook (14th, 20:21)
Eva Wentz, Jr, Omaha Duchesne (18th, 20:24)
Anika Richards, Jr, Skutt (20th, 20:30)
Taylor Grasz, Sr, Elkhorn (21st, 20:33)
Grace Cappel, Sr, McCook (22nd, 20:37)
Sara Espinoza, Sr, Elkhorn (23rd, 20:38)