SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Mesuidi Ejerso would like to begin the season the same way it began.
The South Sioux City High School junior entered the season ranked first in the Class B boys division, and he wants to keep in that way going into Friday’s state cross country meet in Kearney.
Ejerso will be running at 3:30 p.m. Friday on the University of Nebraska-Kearney campus.
Ejerso has not lost a race yet this season in a race where it has involved Class B teams.
“Anytime you’re ranked No. 1, there is that pressure that you want to be No. 1 at the end of the season,” Cardinals co-coach Ramsey Fitzsimmons said. “That’s his ultimate goal. We’ll see how it’ll play out. It’s just something we take in stride.”
Fitzsimmons said that Ejerso hasn’t really had any runners to compete against, sans the Fremont Invite.
Other than that, the Cardinals junior runs by himself in meets, out in front and winning meet after meet.
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Fitzsimmons hopes he can see some good competition on Friday.
“Mesuidi is the type of runner who thrives on competition and he’s a competitive runner,” the Cardinals’ co-coach said. “He enjoys the experience of competitiveness. He does thrive on being against other fast runners.”
Ejerso placed seventh at last year’s Class B meet, as he ran that same course in 16 minutes, 50 seconds.
It was cold during last year’s meet, as wind chills dropped into the 20s.
The temperature in Kearney is expected to reach 69 degrees, and that’s the type of weather Ejerso prefers to run in.
“He’s looking for a bit of redemption on this course,” Fitzsimmons said.
Ejerso isn’t the only Cardinals runner competing on Friday.
South Sioux sophomore Ivan Morelos will also be running. His personal-best time on the Kearney course is 18:16.
Fitzsimmons said experience has been the big key for Morelos.
He ran at state last year, and even though he didn’t finish as highly as he wanted to, Fitzsimmons said he handled it well.
This time around, Morelos is aiming for a Top 15 medal.
“I think it’s in the back of his mind how close he can get to the Top 15,” Fitzsimmons said. “He put in the time in the summer. He’s got that year of racing under his belt.”
Here’s a school-by-school look at the other state qualifiers, sorted by class:
Class C girls
Battle Creek: Afftynn Stusse
Bloomfield-Wausa: Tiernee Wilken, Carrylee Martinson, Christina Martinson, Darla Nelson, Emily Woockman, Madie Ziegler
Hartington co-op: Ava Noecker, Jessica Opfer
Pierce: Callie Arnold, Payten Simmons, Alexus Sindelar, Katie Vogt, Aylla Weeder, Gina Wragge
Wayne: Norah Armstrong, Frantzdie Barner, Olivia Hanson, Laura Hasemann, Jala Krusemark, Kyla Krusemark
Class C boys
Battle Creek: Marshall Herman, Jaxon Kilmurry, Huntter Kreikemeier, Hunter Oestreich, Kenneth Warrick, Kolton Wiehn
BRLD: Brayden Hegge, Caleb Schlichting
Hartington: Carson Noecker, Parker Albers, Isaac Kuehn, Cole Rosener, Alan Santiago, Lukas Wortmann
Pierce: Bo Bockelman, Blake Bolling, Brock Bolling, Christopher Efta, Ashton Koch, Elijah Streff
Wayne: Jesus Zavala III
Winnebago: Dyami Berridge
Class D girls
Crofton: Jordyn Arens, Kiera Altwine, Rylie Arens, Ashley Tramp, Elizabeth Wortmann
Homer: Ali Albrecht, Tori Gaarder
Oakland-Craig: Brennan Ahrens, Madison Enstrom, Ellen Magunsson, Chaney Nelson, Charli Webster
Pender: Alexis Bodiak, Kairece Morris
Stanton: Madison McKie
Wisner-Pilger: Allie Hassler, Skye Liermann, Alea Rasmussen, Kayla Svoboda, Kyla Taylor
Class D boys
Crofton: Austin Guenther
Homer: Grant Lander
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge: Koby Detlefsen, Carter Korth, Dillon Olson, Tyler Olson, Preston Rose
Oakland-Craig: Dawson Meyer
Ponca: Brody Taylor
Stanton: Abraham Larson, Sonny Reyes-Salazar, Josiah Sholes, Isaiah Stark, Kolter Van Pelt
Wisner-Pilger: Bryant Peck