SCOTTSBLUFF - Talissa Tanquary and Kylee Kampfe finished first and second, and the Sidney girls cross country team claimed third place at their season-opening race at the Panhandle Classic in Scottsbluff.

Tanquary crossed the finish line at 21:20 to start her senior season with a gold medal. Kampfe's runner-up finish time was 21:36. 

"It was a very good start to the new season," Head Coach Donna Wiedeburg said. "We had a number of runners who took 2, 3, 4 or more minutes off their time from the same course last year. That's an incredible feat considering it was a very warm day. We have a large incoming freshmen class and they know how to run well, now they are learning to race."

The Lady Raiders finished third as a team. Hemingford beat out both the Raiders and Scottsbluff to win the team title. They were led by Dakota Horstman who finished third in 21:40.

Senior Noah Canas led the Sidney boys team with a fifth place time of 17:34. 

"We have a very large senior class (21 seniors), the largest in my 18 years as a part of this team and they are fantastic leaders," Wiedeburg said. "They will leave a legacy behind them because the younger runners are watching them closely and will continue this culture and their traditions for years to come."

Hans Bastron, of Scottsbluff, won the individual race with a time of 17:30. 

Alliance won the team race with four runners in the top ten. The Bearcats were second and the Raiders were third. The Bulldogs were led by Trevor Zurn and Ben Cassatt-Reina, who finished second and third in 17:31 and 17:32.

"Watching these kids cheer one another on is such an incredible sight," Wiedeburg said. "We line the finish area and cheer each of our runners on. After the meet, we had a young runner from Alliance stop to thank us for being such a nice team and having athletes who are kind to, not only their own teammates, but to other schools as well."

Parker Wellnitz, of Hay Springs, was fourth at 17:33.