BLOOMFIELD - Three-time defending state champion Rylee Rice will have a chance for a four-peat. The Ainsworth senior led the Bulldogs to the girls team championship of the D-4 district at Rolling Hills Country Club south of here.
Rice's winning time of 19:53 was 53 seconds ahead of runner-up Christina Martinson of Bloomfield/Wausa. Lutheran High Northeast's Alison Stineman qualified for state for the fourth time (the first two with Elkhorn Valley) by finishing third.
The top three girls' teams - Ainsworth, Bloomfield/Wausa and Battle Creek - qualified as teams for state, which is set for Friday, October 25 in Kearney.
Connor Arens of Crofton won the boys race in 17:23, seconds ahead of the Ainsworth duo of Qwentin Kappelmann and Ty Schlueter who finished second and third.
Osmond won a tight boys' team race with 44 points. Norfolk Catholic and Ainsworth tied for second with 50 points each. Norfolk Catholic won the fifth-runner tie-breaker to garner the runner-up trophy. All three teams are qualified for next Friday's state meet.