Published Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:45 am
Cross Country
York's Lee is Class B State Champion - again

KEARNEY – Back in early September a Class B State Cross Country Championship for York sophomore Erin Lee seemed a million miles away.

You might say she was more worried about her state of health and if she would even run at all again this year after the heat stroke scare in Albion near the start of the season.

It wasn't until the York Invite that the sophomore won her first race of the year and since then she has been unstoppable, including Friday at the Class B State Cross Country Meet at the Kearney Country Club.

Lee crossed the finish line in 18:55.5, just five seconds ahead of Scottsbluff's Taylor Muncie who she passed earlier in the race. She held off the Bearcat's junior to repeat as the Class B Champion.

Lee shared her thoughts on the year and how she feels after the up and down year.

“After everything that happened I didn't even think this would be possible after my heat stroke,” said Lee. “After I was out for meets and didn't even finish the other one, it's amazing that I was able to come back. I just stayed positive and worked real hard and it has all paid off.”

Lee said she passed the Scottsbluff runner at about the two-mile mark.

“I took the lead around the two mile mark or somewhere around there. I felt good from there. I was thinking the other runners were going to stay with me to the end. It's an amazing feeling,- it's hard to describe. I started to feel good again at districts last week and that gave me a lot of confidence going into the meet today. I have a lot of support and a lot of different towns cheering for me.”

The York girls finished in seventh place as a team; as they finished with 113 points.

In the team race Lincoln Pius X won the girls side with 25 points. Second was Plattsmouth with 75, third Seward (98), fourth was Omaha Skutt Catholic (100) and fifth was Elkhorn with 100.

The rest of the York team had Lauren Clark medaling with a 15th place finish in a time of 19:55, in 63rd was Lauren Boyer with a cocking of 21:47.4, Josie Lee was 66th with a clocking of 21:59.0, freshman Hannah Way was clocked at 23:42.3 for 81st, and Rebekah Turnbull was 84th in 24:26.3.

Josie Lee, Erin's sister said that the incident with Erin early in the year was very scary, but knew that if anyone could get back, it would be her.

“I am so glad she is so much better now and I am so proud of her,” said Josie. “She has been working so hard to get herself back in shape because she felt so bad when she couldn't run. When she went down I was terrified. I was searching for her and when I finally found her I just prayed that she would be okay. Erin is a very determined person. She has an iron will and when she wants something she is going to go out and get it.”

Lee also talked about the team and the girls coming back next year.

“We are very young. I think we are going to be a very good team and tough one for other teams to compete with as well,” Lee said. “We have a few eighth graders and upcoming freshman who are going to be very good.”

On the boys side in Class B, the only York runner to compete was senior Caleb Magner who ran a time of 17:57.7 for 45th place. Magner said after the race he may have started too fast.

“It was actually a pretty bad race, but it was a really good season overall,” said Magner. “My stomach started to cramp up midway through and I just didn't finish as hard as I usually do. I wanted to work hard on the up hills and the down hills and run my usual pace. Today was a fast pace and I probably started off much faster than I should have.”

York head coach Eric Rasmussen talked about York's effort today.

“We had two girls medal today which is really good. Erin was able to pull away at the two-mile mark and was able to get some separation,” commented Rasmussen. “She got a good solid lead going in the final 400 meters and was able to hold on. It was really good to see Lauren Clark medal, last year she missed it by one place and I'm glad she got up that one spot and we're really looking forward to her coming back. I think next year the girls will be able to compete with anybody as team. We have all of our girls coming back and we have some good middle school girls coming up that will help the program. It looks like a bright future. Caleb has had a really good year and he had a really good summer. He had some really good races and he has been our first runner all year long. He probably didn't run as well as he wanted to today, but he was able to finish on a high note.”

The Class B Boys Champion was Scottsbluff (29), second was Lexington (53), third Lincoln Pius X (62) fourth Mount Michael Benedictine (63) and in fifth was Omaha Gross Catholic (92).

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