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Sughroue runs to silver medal at girls Class B state cross-country meet

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lorri Sughroue/McCook Daily Gazette Molly Sughroue shows off her silver medal won at the 2012 Class B girls state cross-country meet Oct. 19 in Kearney.
KEARNEY, Neb. -- Looking at McCook High School junior Molly Sughroue, cross-country running enthusiasts might not label her as a distance ace.

Those folks would be wrong.

Sughroue came close to winning the Class B girls gold medal at the state cross-country meet Friday, Oct. 19, at the Kearney Country Club. Molly finished second in the B girls race with a career-best time over the Kearney state meet layout. Sughroue was clocked in 15 minutes, 10.8 seconds over the 4,000-meter (2.6-mile) hilly course.

A late surge by York freshman Erin Lee probably kept Sughroue from a gold-medal effort. Lee won the Class B gold medal with her time of 14:55.1.

McCook cross-country coach Tom Sughroue said Molly actually led the race for about a mile. But Lee surged ahead of Sughroue and stayed in front to the finish line. Ali Ehler of Sidney finished third at 15:21.1, and Lexington's Vanessa Ambriz was fourth in 15:22.8.

COACH SUGHROUE said the Class B girls division at state last Friday featured 17 returning state meet medalists. Several of those returning medal winners had moved up from Class C last season.

"That spoke volumes for the quality of runners in that race," the Bison coach said. "Molly ran an excellent race. I thought she had a really good race."

Coach Sughroue labeled Molly's silver medal as a huge accomplishment for her, after his standout competitor had finished fifth at the 2011 state meet.

The Bison mentor was asked about Molly's secret to success in cross-country running.

Determination was his answer.

"She's in great physical shape," Coach Sughroue said. "She wants to be good, and she works at it and she works hard at it. It's a matter of choice, and she's chosen to be the best she can possibly be, and she knows that it requires some work."

THE McCOOK COACH said Molly started running when she was a young girl, as she was following older sister Jessa, also a multiple state meet medalist who now competes in cross-country and track and field at Doane College in Crete.

Coach Sughroue believes Molly's strong effort in cross-country helps her succeed on the track in the spring. Molly competes in the 400-meter dash and 800-meter dash in track and field, just like older sister did. Both sisters excelled in those events, but Molly has bragging rights. She broke the McCook school record in the 400 last spring and she is second in the all-time Bison girls 800 charts behind Carol Nunnally.

Both Molly and Jessa Sughroue have their names on several of the top 10 times in McCook history in both the 1,600-meter relay and the 3,200 relay events.

THE BISON GIRLS had one other entry at state. Senior Veronica Bair ended her prep cross-country career in 78th place at state with her time of 17:56.1.

Bair had a leg injury last fall that caused her to miss the 2011 state meet. This year Coach Sughroue changed Bair's summer training regimen, and also held her out of several late-season meets because the leg injury was flaring up again.

Bair competed at conference and districts, and Coach Sughroue said Veronica's district performance was probably her career race, as she placed 14th to earn a trip to state.

"In my mind, I think that was her best race of her career, from start to finish, and she wound up qualifying for state," Sughroue said. "She had a great season to go out as a senior."

Seward's girls won the Class B girls team title with a low score of 41 points. Plattsmouth was second with 63 points. York was third with 87 and Lexington fourth with 91.

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