1995 State Cross Country Champion
State Title — a Team Effort
Winter 1995 Michaeleen p.5
After placing third at the Plattsmouth Invite and second at the Wahoo invite, the Mount Michael cross country team went undefeated over its next five races in route to capturing its first state championship since 1986. Led by senior Pat Barry’s eleventh place overall finish, the Mount Michael harriers outdistanced runner-up and defending champions Minden by a score of 45 to 61. Pierce was third with 82.
Other members of the Class C State Championship team were sophomore Ben Luettel, placing 21st overall and 12th in team race, sophomore Wes Schieber, placing 22nd overall and 13th in team race, senior Rob Zechmann, placing 28th overall and 15th in the team race, sophomore Joe Wolpert, placing 29th overall and 16th in the team race, and junior Sean Moylan, placing 36th overall and 21st in the tam race.
During the season the varsity ran a s a pack and relied on its depth to capture the Bennington, Nebraska City, and Boys town Invitationals. At the District Meet, Marry placed 4th followed by Wolpert 8th. Luettel, Moylan, Schieber, and Zechmann then placed 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th, helping the knights to easily outdistance runner-up Pierce by a score of 35 to 51. It was Mount Michael’s first District cross-country title in eight years.
The Knights also made a splash in the junior varsity races this past fall. Led by junior Eric Hrabovsky, who won every junior varsity race he competed in, and by sophomore David Ostronic, who was second in every junior varsity race that Hrabovsky won, the junior varsity harriers captured team titles at the Wahoo, Bennington, Nebraska City, and Boys Town Invitationals. At the Boys Town Invitational, the Knights scored a perfect ten by sweeping the first four finishes. Other junior varsity standouts, who consistently placed in the top fifteen in the junior varsity races, were juniors Jeremy Hall, Nick Sachs, and Scott Stieren. Sophomore standouts included Corey Broman, George Cook, Joe Salzbrenner, Steve Solsky, and Brandon Tamisiea.
Fifth-year coach John Gathje credited the successful season to good senior leadership from Barry and Zechmann, as well as from seniors Chris Beyer, John King, Chris Garcia, Joe McLean, Brian Noonan, and Mart Sampson. Gathje said, ‘The seniors made the season enjoyable for everyone, and their work ethic were a good example to everyone.”
With the loss of only Zechmann and Barry from the varsity and with the youth and strong work ethic of the underclassmen, Coach Gathje is already anxious for the next falls cross-country season to start.