Return to Flyers home page

Club Information
Practices
Meet Schedule & Results
Nebraska Junior Olympics
National Junior Olympics
Cross Country

Coaches & Volunteers
Athlete Roster
Throwers Page
Flyer Family News

Alumni Page
Hall Of Fame
Photo Album
Links
Calendar Calendar
Flyer Store
E-mail the Flyers
Click for a larger image CROSS COUNTRY

Cornhusker Flyers Cross Country: A Nebraska tradition of excellence for 37 years

The Flyers were founded in 1977 by executive director John Wissler, who is president of the USA Track & Field (USATF) Nebraska Association and also chairperson of the National Youth Track Coaches Association.  The Flyers are a nationally-known and respected cross country program.  Many Flyer alumni have gone on to have successful collegiate cross country careers, establishing state, regional, and national reputations along the way.

Competing in their colorful uniforms, the club has achieved the reputation of "Nebraska’s national team", sending more athletes, year in and year out, to the National Junior Olympic Championships than any other club in the state.  The Flyers have appeared in the last 28 national championships in such diverse locales as Bernalillo, New Mexico and Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Our Cross Country coaches

Scot Rainbolt, srainbol@icloud.net -- Coach Rainbolt begins his 2nd year coaching the Flyers cross country runners, after 18 years of working with the club's high jumpers and hurdlers.  Among the highlights of Scot's coaching career are a Millard South girls track & field state championship in 1994, being selected to coach at the Olympic Training Center in 1995, and his Millard South boys cross country team winning the state championship in 2006.  He retired from Millard Public Schools in 2008.

Maria Bledsoe, jemarrott@aol.com, (402) 689-7585 -- Coach Bledsoe is very passionate about running and loves to takes the average person and help them, through hard work and discipline, accomplish something they didn't think was possible.  Among her racing accomplishments are: high school 2-mile record holder and top five all-time mile record, Missoula Marathon 7th-place division winner, and 2-time Boston Marathon qualifier and finisher.

2016 Season Age Divisions and Race Lengths

17-18 Boys/Girls -- born in 1998 or 1999 -- 5,000 meters (~3.1 miles)
15-16 Boys/Girls -- born in 2000 or 2001 -- 5,000 meters
13-14 Boys/Girls -- born in 2002 or 2003 -- 4,000 meters (~2.5 miles)
11-12 Boys/Girls -- born in 2004 or 2005 -- 3,000 meters (~1.9 miles)
9-10 Boys/Girls -- born in 2006 or 2007 -- 3,000 meters
8 & Under Boys/Girls -- born in 2008 or later -- 2,000 meters (~1.3 miles)

2016 Season Roster

13-14 Boys 13-14 Girls
Benjamin Schulze
Henry Slagle
Isabel Reutzel
11-12 Boys 11-12 Girls
Xander Koski
Benedict Nunez
Tommy Vasquez
Daphne Crews
Norah Kurz
Evelyn Schulze
9-10 Boys 9-10 Girls
Aiden Cunningham
Wesley Havelka
Ryan Kugler
Emanuel Nunez
Sebastian Reutzel
Marigold Helvey
Amelia Schulze
8 & Under Boys 8 & Under Girls
Brett Bettis
Ethan Cunningham
Marley Helvey
Joshua Shapiro
Taj Somasegeran
Isabel Nunez
Maya Reker
Abigail Schulze

Note for School Athletes

Junior High/Middle School -- If you enjoy running cross country at your school, you can continue running with the Flyers after your school season ends, or during your school season with the permission of your school’s coach.

High School -- If you don't want your cross country season to end after your last school meet, and desire to compete with other talented Nebraska athletes on the same team, contact us when your season is over.  High school athletes may not participate until after the state high school meet.

Meet and Practice Information

There are two basic parts of the meet season.  The first part is a series of meets that are sponsored by Omaha-area high schools.  These meets are usually 8th grade and under, with awards given at most of them.  The second part is the Youth Athletic and Junior Olympic competitions where you compete only against athletes of your own age.  Awards are given at all of these meets, with the opportunity to advance to Regional and National competition.  The number of meets each athlete enters and participates in is up to the individual, although a few meets require the athlete to place so high at a previous qualifying meet before they may enter and compete.

Most practices will be held at Walnut Grove Park, 151st and Q Sts. in Omaha.  There will generally be two or three practices each week, usually starting at 6:00 p.m., and maybe an occasional Saturday morning practice at Lake Zorinsky.  See the Calendar for the most up-to-date practice schedule.  The coaches realize that families will sometimes have schedule conflicts and there will be times when an athlete must miss practice.  Our expectation is that kids will take the responsibility for running on their own when they are unable to get to club practice.  Cross country is a sport which demands diligence and perseverance.  Therefore, it is expected that kids run on the "off days" when there is no scheduled Flyers practice.

For more meet and practice information, go to the club's Team App web site.

National Cross Country Champions

7 Individual National Champions
Jan Hall - 1981 Young Women - St. Louis, Missouri
Nate Nielsen - 1982 Midget Boys - Cincinnati, Ohio
Dana Carne - 1996 Intermediate Boys - Lexington, Kentucky
Morgan Beachler - 1997 Bantam Girls - Portland, Oregon
Jared Kenney - 2004 Midget Boys - Schaumburg, Illinois
Emily Sisson - 2005 Youth Girls - Smithfield, Rhode Island
Justin Liedke - 2008 Bantam Boys - Mechanicsville, Virginia

3 Team National Champions
1981 Intermediate Boys - St. Louis, Missouri
1981 Youth Boys - St. Louis, Missouri
1996 Intermediate Girls - Lexington, Kentucky

All newcomers are encouraged to attend enough practices to make sure cross country is something they want to do before paying the membership fee and officially joining.  Please be aware that members of the summer track program qualify for a travel stipend, while new members do not.

Other Cross Country information

There are no tryouts to join the Flyers.  You don't have to have championship talent to participate, just the desire to experience distance running and the willingness to work towards improvement.  Our coaches will determine your current ability and fitness level and prescribe workout goals accordingly.  Personal goal-setting and improvement is always emphasized over place-finish in competition.  Participation in cross country improves athletic ability and endurance for other sports, including basketball, baseball, and soccer.

Pictures

USATF National Junior Olympic Championships - Atlanta, Georgia - December 14, 2002
Intermediate Girls, 2nd place - left to right, back row: Head Coach John Wissler, Kym Bennett, Lindsey Poole, Kacie Beachler, Mallory Masterson, Megan McGrath, Coach Matt Musiel; front row: Merideth Snow, Jessica Sanders, Tiffany Bence

Metro Conference Championships - Chalco Hills - October 10, 2002
Flyers competing for their high schools - left to right, back row: Tony Salerno-Millard South, Mark Gibilisco-Burke, Jack Lemke-Benson, Ben DeLay-Bellevue West, Gene Pinckney-Bellevue West, Nate Preston-Benson; middle row: Tyrone Kracht-Millard West, Kym Bennett-Bellevue West, Nate Nordstrom-Benson, Kaitlin Hartnett-Central, Cassie Perkins-Bellevue West, Jenny Rubin-Papillion-LaVista, Jessica Sanders-Millard South; front row: Megan Millea-Marian, Allison Hartnett-Central, Merideth Snow-Millard West

West Omaha Wind Invitational - Millard, Nebraska - October 15, 2000
Flyer participants

Wayne Invitational - Wayne, Nebraska - October 3, 2000
Girls - left to right: Kacie Beachler, Morgan Beachler, coach John Wissler, Merideth Snow, Allison Hartnett
Boys - left to right, back row: Mark Gibilisco, Ryan Fisher, Jeff Thomas, coach John Wissler; front row: Anthony Oberle, Jordan Sutherland, Logan Wilson, Jacob Eary

USATF Region VIII Junior Olympic Championships - Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin - November 21, 1999
Bantam Boys, 1st place - left to right, back row: coach John Wissler; middle row: Logan Wilson, Caleb Zimmerman, Alex Heyl, Jacob Wilson; front row: Jacob Eary, Jesse Parker, John Rutford, Xavier Metzger