KEARNEY — It may not have been how she wanted her cross country career to come to an end, but for McCool Junction senior Brooklyn Swantek, what she accomplished in her four years at McCool speaks volumes. What she did for the program will be remembered for years to come.
About one mile into the Class D girls championship race, Swantek knew she just didn't have it in her legs.
“I don't think my legs were there today. I kind of tightened up after the first mile and I knew that the rest of the race was going to be a struggle,” Swantek stated. “I felt fine before the race, it's just one of those things that you don't know about until you get started and running. It was just a terrible day. I was really hoping for a lot more and just disappointed.”
The McCool Junction senior ran a time of 16:57.4 that earned her the 33rd place finish.
The Mustang boys had high hopes of being among the top four to five teams, but a tough course at the Kearney Country Club got the best of a lot of runners on Friday.
The top finish turned in by the McCool boys was 11th place by senior Coleman Cogswell with a time of 17:32.3. Teammate Shane Smith was in 20th with a clocking of 17:58.4.
Following the race Cogswell said the day went about as he expected it to.
“The second mile I tried to push the pace, but someone ahead of me was pushing it even more and I just tried to keep up and it was tough,” Cogswell said. “I gave it everything I had and ran my best. I really was hoping to be in the top five but it just didn't work out that way. Cogswell reflected back on his career at McCool Junction. “I am really going to miss it. It will sink in tonight when I am at home and it will hit me then. I hope to run track and cross country in college, but at this point I haven't decided where.”
Rounding out the McCool Junction times and places were, Preston Cole (18:49.9 for 67th), Caleb Stutzman (19:08.10 for 76th), and Joe Neville (19:18.6) and Daniel Bauer (19:40.8).
McCool Junction head coach Ryan Underwood said any day is a good day when he gets to watch his runners in action. “Anytime I get to watch these kids run, it's a good day,” he said. “It's also very bittersweet because you want these guys to achieve their dreams and do well. I felt bad for Brooklyn, but I hope she can look back on what she has accomplished. I don't think she realizes what she has meant to me and to this program and how much she will be missed. She will never use an excuse for how she runs, but I just had the feeling today it was not there for her today.”
Brooklyn said she hopes to run in college and right now she is still looking into where that might be.
“This was a very rewarding season and we are losing some very good runners to graduation,” but the program is in a good place right now,” said Underwood. “The boys finished in the top three of every meet this year with today being the exception, but the girl's team because of Brooklyn going out and getting girls to be part of the program and the boys program all have some strong runners coming up.”
The four seniors who ran their final race were Swantek, Cogswell, Caleb Stutzman and Daniel Bauer.
Fillmore Central's Rachel Hoarty was the lone Panther entry into the Class C field and she turned in a time of 17:12.40 and that was good for 39th place.