The Norfolk Catholic boys and Crofton's Jordyn Arens are searching for more in this year's Nebraska state cross country meet Friday at the Kearney Country Club in Kearney.

Arens dominated the hills in Kearney last season, as well as last week's D-2 district meet.

As a freshman, she finished nearly a half-minute ahead of the competition in Kearney.

"I'm really just trying to have fun and run," Arens said. "I try not to get in my head too much and just enjoy running."

Chasing Arens will be D-3 district medalist Katherine Kerrigan of Ainsworth, who is also a sophomore and placed third at last year's state meet.

"We have really put in the work over the summer to get better," Kerrigan said. "We know as a team, to get better you have to work in the offseason as well as during the fall."

The Bulldogs won the D-3 district as did the Warriors in D-2 and should be in the mix at Kearney.

"We want to go down there and try to relax and just run our race," Ainsworth coach Jared Hansmeyer said. "We have put in the work; now it's time to enjoy all of that hard work."

North Central and Neligh-Oakdale both qualified as teams from D-3, as did Wisner-Pilger and Oakland-Craig from D-2, joining the Bulldogs and Warriors.

The Norfolk Catholic boys are looking to take the next step in Kearney this season after finishing five spots behind David City Aquinas last year.

"We want to just go down there and enjoy the great competition," Knight coach Jon Krings said. "We are a team that runs well in the hills, and there are plenty of hills at state."

Norfolk Catholic won the D-2 district 20 points ahead of Stanton, with Laurel-Concord-Coleridge placing third and grabbing tickets to Kearney.

Homer's Grant Lander repeated at the top of D-2 individually followed by Stanton's Kolter Van Pelt and Norfolk Catholic's Ben Hammond.

Van Pelt finished fourth at last year's state meet while Hammond placed seventh.

Ainsworth's Ty Schlueter was runner-up in D and looks to take the next step this year.

"I got up at 6:45 every morning this summer and ran 7 to 10 miles," Schlueter said. "I've put in the work, and my plan is to win down there in Kearney."

He understands what he is proclaiming.

"There is great competition down there, which I really like," he said. "A lot of things can happen, but I really want to do this."

Tilden-Elkhorn Valley took the team title in the D-3 district paced by Waylon Warneke.

The Bulldogs were second followed by Atkinson West Holt led by Tyler Jelinek.

A pair of North Central runners, Raden Orton and Mason Hagan, finished behind Schlueter last week.

The Class D girls are set to run first in Kearney at noon on Oct. 22. The Class D boys are scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Kearney Country Club.

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