KEARNEY, Neb. — Jeralyn Poe won her record third girls gold medal, and Wyatt McGuire went one better than his older brother as a state champion.
Poe, a Lincoln North Star junior, ran a season-best 18:15 to finish 12 seconds ahead of Millard South junior Katie Spencer in the Class A girls race at Kearney Country Club.
McGuire, a senior at North Platte, won the Class A boys race four years after his brother Brady was champion. Wyatt's time of 15:27 held up for the all-class gold, which eluded his older brother.
Millard South was the Class A boys team champion for the first time since 2006. Lincoln Southwest won its first girls team title.
Poe said Spencer stuck with her for the first 4,000 meters of the new 5,000-meter championship distance for girls.
“The last 1,000 I picked it up and got a lead,” Poe said. “I felt a lot stronger. Our coaches gave us our legs back for this race. I trust them.”
Poe said she expected to have nerves before the race, but woke up Friday raring to go.
“I was pumped,” she said. “I felt whatever I needed to do, I could do it today.”
She said she got a boost from a email from the cross country team at Minnesota — one of the major colleges recruiting her — and from those watching the meet.
“The crowds are huge,” Poe said. “They propel you and get you through the tough parts.”
Next year, she will try to be the first four-time Class A winner since Shona Jones of Hastings in 1985. The state meet began awarding an all-class gold medal in 1993.
Southwest got a 3-4 finish from senior Anna Hurlburt and junior Emily Berzonsky, with Hannah Wolkenhauer 17th, Taylor Augustyn 23rd and Abigail Burke 25th. The Silver Hawks, with 60 points, dethroned returning champion Lincoln East, which was runner-up with 82 points.
Millard South edged defending champion Fremont 50-58 for the boys title. Reno Law led the Patriots by finishing third. Nathan Wendt was eighth and Ben Wellwood ninth. Daniel Shriver was 19th and Waylon Matson 21st.
Fremont had four in the top 14 — Ty Hansen (sixth), Landon Wolfe (11th), Arturo Garcia (12th) and Jacob Klein (14th) — but its fifth runner finished behind Matson.
North Platte's McGuire ended an undefeated freshman season for Millard West's Seth Hirsch.
“I broke away from him going up the last hill and used the downhill to get away from him,” McGuire said. “I was third to him at the UNK. I got better in my workouts, and I peaked at the right time.”
The McGuires are the first brothers to win Class A titles since Banti Iteffa of Lincoln Southeast won in 1992, three years after older brother David was champion while at Fremont.
Video: Nebraska state cross country meet highlights