OMAHA — The North Platte boys cross country team punched their ticket to the Class A meet for the first time since 2013 on Thursday.

Behind the efforts of individual medalists Evan Caudy and Joel Bradley, the Dawgs solidified a place at this year’s state meet with a runner-up finish in the A-1 District championship at Papillion-La Vista High School.

“On paper we were seeded 5th going into districts, but I told the boys that paper rankings mean very little,” North Platte head coach Jake Hasenauer said. “Before the race I told the boys that no team is as tough as the North Platte Bulldogs and I firmly believe that today.”

The Bulldogs finished second as a team for the first time since 2010, posting a cumulative time of 1:28:52.60 and falling just 4-minutes, 29.76-seconds short of Lincoln Southwest for the title.

Caudy crossed the finish-line first for the Bulldogs at 16:46, earning a third-place medal alongside Bradley, whose 17:12 finish warranted an eighth-place medal. North Platte’s Thomas Moss, Tayler Kleinow and Jonah San Miguel all finished in the top 30.

Zarah Blaesi finished seventh on the girls side, joining Caudy and Bradley as North Platte’s only individual medalists on Thursday, an outcome that didn’t surprise Hasenauer.

“These three have placed high in each of our meets this year, so it was exciting for them to all punch their ticket to state,” Hasenauer said. “They knew they had to put their best foot forward and they did.”

Blaesi churned in a time of 20:26.13 to lead the Lady Dawgs, who as a team finished seventh ahead of just Omaha Northwest.

“We knew going into the meet it was going to be a challenging course and lots of great competition,” Hasenauer said. “I’m very proud of both teams and their efforts. The work these kids have put in over the summer and fall is what led to today.”

The North Platte boys team and Blaesi will compete in the Class A state championship on Oct. 25 at the Kearney Country Club near the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The Class A girls race is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. and the boys’ race an hour later at 1:30 p.m.

“We are grateful for all the support,” Hasenauer said. “This is a special team and they have amazing character, a will to succeed and are more than just a team — they’re a family.”

Full Class A-1 District results:

Girls team results

1. Lincoln East

2. Lincoln Pius

3. Millard North High

4. Lincoln High

5. Papillion-LaVista

6. Gretna High School

7. North Platte

8. Omaha Northwest

Girls top 15 individuals:

1. Berlyn Schutz, Lincoln East 19:06.58

2. Kylie Muma, Lincoln East 19:33.62

3. Jenna Muma, Lincoln East 19:34.34

4. Taylor Searcey Lincoln East 19:34.44

5. Lizzy Kramer, Lincoln Pius X 19:45.81

6. Allison Louthan, Millard North High 20:04.78

7. Zarah Blaesi, North Platte 20:26.13

8. Laura Martin, Lincoln Pius X 20:26.47

9. Izzy Apel, Lincoln East 20:26.74

10. Gretchen Braak, Millard North High 20:29.36

11. Regan Ehlert, Gretna High School 20:40.38

12. Kennedy Bartee, Lincoln High 20:43.49

13. Eve Weber, Lincoln East 20:45.25

14. Allyson Korus, Lincoln Pius X 20:51.05

15. Kayla Adams, Gretna High School 20:55.93

Boys team scores:

1. Lincoln Southwest

2. North Platte

3. Omaha South

4. Papillion-La Vista

5. Norfolk

6. Lincoln Southeast

7. Lincoln High

8. Omaha Northwest

Boys top 15 individuals:

1. Tyler Boyle, Lincoln Southwest 16:29.75

2. Trevor Acton, Lincoln Southwest 16:43.65

3. Evan Caudy, North Platte 16:46.56

4. Felix Cruz-Tapia, Omaha South 16:47.73

5. Drew Snyder, Lincoln Southwest 16:52.90

6. Jack Nolley, Lincoln Southwest 17:07.36

7. Grant Reid, Lincoln Southwest 17:09.18

8. Joel Bradley, North Platte 17:12.79

9. Matthew Protzman, Norfolk 17:15.15

10. Adam Ali, Omaha South 17:20.03

11. Collin Kotz, Papillion-La Vista 17:32.11

12. Max McConnell, Lincoln Southwest 17:37.04

13. Tyler Bartolome, Lincoln Southwest 17:38.23

14. Ethan Foix, Papillion-La Vista 17:38.70

15. Jakob Tadlock, Papillion-La Vista 17:41.43

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