KEARNEY, Neb. — Erin Lee is back.
Seven weeks ago, the York sophomore's season was in doubt. The defending Class B girls cross country champion suffered heatstroke in triple-digit temperatures at a season-opening meet in Albion.
“They said there were 15 meters left when I started staggering. I don't remember crossing the finish line (she finished second),” Lee said. “The doctor said if there hadn't been a hospital in the town I wouldn't have made it.”
She was kept overnight for observation, missed the next four meets and couldn't finish the next one.
Only at districts did she feel close to her old self.
After winning there, she repeated as state champion Friday at Kearney Country Club. She ran the new 5,000-meter distance in 18:56, 5 seconds ahead of runner-up Taylor Muncie of Scottsbluff.
“This feels great,” Lee said. “After the start to the year, I didn't think I'd be here.”
Lincoln Pius X, which was runner-up last year in Class A, returned to Class B for its fifth title in 10 years. Repeat boys winner Matthew Barraza led Scottsbluff to its third title in four years.
Lee said she took at the lead Friday from Muncie at the two-mile mark “and I felt good from there.
“My last meet, districts, I felt well for the first time. It gave me confidence because we had some of the top teams in the state there.”
Barraza held off Omaha Gross senior Nick Larsen, who was runner-up.
“It got down to a guts race,” the Bearcat junior said. “He made me push.”
Scottsbluff had four medalists as it scored 29 points to 53 for runner-up Lexington. Anthony Parra was fifth, Shane Burkey 11th and Ben Willis-Teff 12th.
“We have three seniors and we wanted to send them off with a win,” Barraza said.
Pius' first four finishers were in the top 10 — Willa Koenig was third, Natalie Kurtenbach seventh, Ellie Beiermann eighth and Sarah Kottwitz 10th.
Pius totaled 25 points to 75 for runner-up Plattsmouth, with defending champion Seward third at 98.
Video: Nebraska state cross country meet highlights