Aquinas Cross County 10.3 (copy)

Aquinas' Payton Davis builds separation from the rest of the competitors at the very beginning of the race of the Aquinas Invite on Oct. 3. Davis took the individual championship on Oct. 8 in Lincoln and the Monarch boys won their first conference title in almost 40 years.

It had been more than 30 years since Aquinas had last won a cross country conference championship. Those three decades of waiting came to an end on Oct. 8 in Lincoln when the Monarch boys finished two points ahead in the standings and added to the trophy case.

Aquinas beat out Columbus Scotus thanks to another win from junior Payton Davis. Davis added to his medal collection with a time of 17 minutes, 39 seconds, topping Scotus' Benjamin Juarez by 25 seconds.

“The guys searched and did find a medal in the Centennial Conference championship display. We think it said 1980 was the last time, but we can’t confirm that date. It may have been written in ancient hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, or Hebrew," coach John Svec joked. "Man, that was a long stretch … 1980! Even in the years when our boys were state champions in 2002 and 2003, we were third place and runner-up."  

Other Aquinas results included Peter Sisco in sixth place with an 18:24, Will Eller placing ninth with an 18:48, Terrance Wachal coming in 18th with a 19:13, Xavier Fiala taking 21st with a 19:31 and Jake Witter running 22nd with a 19:48. 

“All our boys had strong efforts, but Terrence Wachal had the run of his year thus far," Svec said. "We hope that the tough competition and challenges of the season have us prepared for districts and, God willing, state.”

The girls did not have enough runner to qualify for the team standings, but Jocelyn Stara ran well enough for 16th place with a time of 23:11. 

"Jocelyn had a bit of a spell and was only able to finish 16th, one off of a medal," Svec said. "She should be healthy and ready on Thursday.”

Ella Moravec placed 24th with a 24:45 and Meghan Burwell came in 38th with a 27:45. 

Scotus won the girls championship, and Hastings St. Cecilia's Alayna Vargas won the girls race with a 20:13.  

Aquinas will compete at the D-3 district on Thursday in Pender with a shot at going to state on the line. 

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East Butler cross country was also in action competing at the McCool Junction Invite on Oct. 10 

Colby Jelinek led the boys with a fourth-place finish running a 19:46, Michael Polivka took fifth with a 20:42, Justin Dvorak came in sixth with a 20:47 and Matthew Janak placed 10th with a 21:36. 

Olivia Bohac led the Tiger girls with a fourth-place finish running a 23:25, Sydney Christensen placed 10th with a 25:12, Cassie Kubik ran a 25:52 for 12th place and Lanae Aerts came in 14th with a 26:05. 

McCool Junction won both the boys and girls race. Tyler Neville of McCool Junction led the boys race with an 18:10, and Madison Gerken of McCool Junction ran a 20:32 for first. 

East Butler will compete in the D-1 district on Thursday at Camp Kateri in McCool Junction.


David City cross country competed at the Southern Nebraska Conference championships on Thursday in Milford, but no results were available.

Milford won the boys and girls race.  

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net 

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