Andrew Fields is looking for a little bit of redemption.
Last season the Ord junior finished fifth in the Class D State Cross Country Meet. That finish helped the Chants win the state title.
That’s not bad, especially for an athlete who was running with the flu.
Fields will be one of the many runners competing in the state country meet Friday at the Kearney Country Club. The Class D girls will be the first race of the day and will get under way at noon.
Fields said he was hoping for a better finish, but considering the circumstances, he was fine with a medal.
“What happened (at state) last year happened and I really can’t change that, but I was able to finish and help the team win the title,” Fields said. “I felt like I could have ran better and had a better race.”
Fields has prepared himself for doing better at this year’s state meet. He increased his summer workouts by running 6-8 miles a day. It’s worked so far for Fields, who has not lost a race this season. That included the Class D, District 3 Meet where he beat Kenesaw’s Lane Tibbs by a minute.
“I felt I’ve run to the ability that God has given me and about as good as I could have done during a lot of the races this year,” Fields said.
Ord coach Derry Trampe said he’s been pleased with what Fields has done this season.
“He’s been running very well this year and with a lot of confidence,” Trampe said. “Hopefully he can have that for one more meet and carry that over into the track season. He’s very dedicated running year round. He runs during the summer quite a bit and takes part in a lot of road races.
“He just gets out there right away when the race starts and just continues to get stronger throughout the course of the race. The longer the race, the stronger he’s going to get. He never seems to wear down.”
While Fields has done his part for the Chants, other members also have done their part. The Chants won the Class D-3 meet last Thursday in Alma.
Ord tied Kenesaw with 33 points, took the district title when the Chants’ fifth runner beat the Blue Devils’ No. 5 runner.
Philip Langthaler, Flagan Petska, Clinton O’Neel, Robert Peterson and Ethan John are the other Ord runners.
Fields said he thinks being the defending Class D state champions hasn’t put any extra pressure on the Chants.
“I think we’ve handled it pretty well,” Fields said. “We’ve seen a lot of good teams this year that are coming out. We’ve had to work a little bit harder this year but we’ve done a good job in performing this year. I think we are capable of a top-five finish at state.”
Trampe said he thinks a top-five finish is attainable too. However, he said he feels Nebraska Christian is the favorite, while Ainsworth is the likely challenger to the Eagles.
“Anything can happen down there but we will have to run better than we did at districts,” Trampe said. “We’ll need to come out a little bit stronger than what we did there as well. But overall I like where we are at. If we run well, I think a top five finish is a good goal for us but again, we’ll have to run well.”
Meanwhile, Nebraska Christian easily won the D-2 district with 20 points, 16 more than runner-up Yutan. Jahn Landrigan, Hans Epp and Warren Dexter finished in the top four at the meet.
Adrian Epp, Neil Lin and Jerron Tiemeyer are the other Eagle runners. Nebraska Christian won the Class D title in 2010 and was runner-up to Ord by one point in 2011.
Nebraska Christian coach Janet Landrigan said there are expectations for the Eagles to do well.
“There is some expectations for those around us as well as ourselves,” she said. “We try to temper that with some humor and some excitement with just trying to doing well. We’ll just have to run to the best of our ability and whatever happens, happens.”
The city of Grand Island will be represented at the state cross country meet.
The Grand Island Central Catholic boys qualified its entire team after tying for third at districts. The GICC runners include Kaleb Puncochar, Derrick Broekemier, Joseph O’Connor, Mitch Maginnis, Devon Beck and Caleb Wardyn.
Alli Masat was the only GICC girl to qualify.
Grand Island Senior High will take two boys to the state meet in Colin Appel and Machol Chol, while Northwest qualified one girl in Megan Billington.
State Cross Country schedule
Class D girls, noon
Class B girls, 12:30 p.m.
Class D boys, 1 p.m.
Class B boys, 1:30 p.m.
Class C girls, 2 p.m.
Class A girls, 2:30 p.m.
Class C boys, 3 p.m.
Class A boys, 3:30 p.m.
Road construction hinders access to NSAA Cross Country Championships
The University of Nebraska-Kearney and the City of Kearney have advised the Nebraska School Activities Association that construction currently taking place on Second Ave. in Kearney (the main north/south corridor off of I-80), could delay fans attending the 2012 NSAA Cross Country Championships.
The NSAA Cross Country Championships are scheduled to begin at noon at the Kearney Country Club this coming Friday, Oct. 19.
The City of Kearney and UNK are encouraging NSAA Cross Country teams and fans coming off of I-80 to use an alternate route to alleviate traffic congestion in town.
— After exiting I-80, take 2nd Ave. to 11th St. and turn left, going west, to 30th Ave.
— Turn right and go to Hwy 30/24th Street, the location for NSAA State Cross Country Championship parking.