The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz
Sports Writer 

Lady Raiders XC Wins State

Boys’ Team Earns Runner-Up


October 27, 2021 | View PDF

Sidney’s Lady Raider Cross Country Team won their first State Championship in school history, securing the Class C Title on Friday in Kearney.

The girls finished with 64 points, edging out Lincoln Christian who earned runner-up honors with 67 points.

The finish capped an outstanding year for the Lady Raiders’ team, coming on the heels of a C5 District Title win on October 14th.

The State Meet was run with perfect weather, and the girls were calm and relaxed prior to start.

Head Coach Donna Wiedeburg said “I was between the 3-4K mark and as the race started unfolding, I knew based on their pack time that the girls were having possibly their best race of their season on the perfect day. I stood at the last corner and as each runner went by me I could see they were all continuing to pass people on their way to the finish chute and I figured it would come down to Lincoln Christian and us as top two, as both of our teams were the first I saw to have our first 4 runners finish. I had very bad cell service so I couldn’t get results on my phone so I was very glad to get a call from our AD Paul Newland letting us know we had won as I was walking back up the hill to our team camp. Telling the team and watching them explode with excitement was a memory I will never forget.”

The boys’ team came in to the State Meet with very high expectations, and fell just short of earning a State Championship of their own, coming in second place with 58 points to first place Fort Calhoun’s 46.

Wiedeburg said, “The boys were locked in and focused and had a great start. They all ran well. It just came down to Fort Calhoun running better on that particular day. We knew going in to watch for Milford, Broken Bow, and Fort Calhoun and after I saw the pack time for Fort Calhoun from their district meet, I knew they were going to be tough to beat.”

She added, “Our boys team should hold their heads high as this group of boys have led their team to the State Meet for 4 years in a row and brought home 4 Top 3 State finishes, and 3 State trophies in 4 years - State Champions (2018), Runner-Up (2020), Runner-Up (2021).”

For the girls, sophomore Talissa Tanquary led the team with a fourth place finish at 20:16.9 followed by senior Lydia Peters in 15th at 20:48.2. Sophomore Jenju Peters finished 25th at 21:39.4 and junior Rheo Dykstra finished 54th at 22:37.3. Senior Erika Meakins finished 100th at 24:38.1 and freshman Ileana Neufeld-Ponce finished 105th at 25:01.1.

For the boys, senior Daniel Bashtovoi finished 9th at 17:27.5 followed by senior Cameron Brauer in 14th at 17:35.6. Senior Mitch Deer finished 17th at 17:49.8 and senior Treyson Johnstone finished 30th at 18:13.8.

The two freshman runners, Noah Canas and Jashawn Davenport, finished 55th and 105th respectively, with times of 18:43.9 and 20.20.9.

Wiedeburg noted that the success of the program could not have happened without the support of the community, saying, “The results of this season are a reflection on a school and a town that supports us in incredible ways. We absolutely would not be as successful without the support of those around us. Some examples are the people who donate to our program to help make sure all of our athletes have proper shoes and can attend camps, our incredible cafeteria staff who has made sure we were well during our meets, our head football coach who got us all strong this summer and our weights coaches who kept us strong all season, our teachers who support these athletes every day in the classroom, other coaches who help at our meet and help motivate the kids every day, our parents for supporting our team, the assistant coaches that help this program run on a daily basis, and our administration for trusting in us and giving us the support we need to run this program.”

Wiedeburg noted that Sidney will be losing some great talent due to graduation, but is confident that talented underclassmen will fill those roles and keep Sidney at the top of the leaderboard in Cross Country for years to come.

With the confidence the younger runners are gaining, reflected in the minutes they’ve shaved off of their times this year, the deep Sidney Cross Country team is ready for a bright future.


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