Locals ran in the annual torch run in June 25. Pictured above left to right is Bryson Kennedy, Hope Stone, Traci Kennedy, Kim Stengel, Marissa Foster, Brooke Moore, Brooke Hatfield, and Darbe Dodson. Photo by Amber Hickert
The 2013 Cornhusker State Games Torch Run began Thursday at the Norfolk National Guard Armory, 817 S. 1st St. in Norfolk. Five soldiers from the Nebraska National Guard, including SSG Jessie London, Norfolk, SGT Cory Nelson, Omaha, SSG Justin Olson, Pierce, SGT Blake Thompson, Kenesaw and SSG Joshua Wessel, Humphrey, will run the first leg after brief opening remarks at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday’s leg of the Run ends with an estimated 6:45 p.m. arrival at Frankfort Square in Columbus. Honorary runners into Columbus include standout high school student-athletes Alyssa Fraundorfer of Humphrey and Molly Gottschall, Alesa Foltz, and Skylar Ericson, all of Columbus.
Runners will relay the Torch from Columbus to Fremont Friday after which the Torch heads west to the panhandle to join the LiveWellNebraska tour for next week’s west-to-east statewide swing. Tour stops, featuring appearances by Nebraska Olympic medalists Jordan Larson and Curtis Tomasevicz, will be made in Scottsbluff (June 24), North Platte (June 25), Kearney (June 26), Grand Island (June 27) and Lincoln (June 28). Specific details of the Torch Run Arrival and Tour Stops, which are open to the public, can be found under the special events tab at CornhuskerStateGames.com.
In the tradition of the Olympics, the Torch Run, which is sponsored by the Nebraska National Guard, symbolizes the spirit of the State Games, which offer competition in more than 60 sports for Nebraska athletes of all ages and abilities from July 19-28 in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. The Torch Run officially concludes with the lighting of the caldron by a mystery athlete at the Games Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 19 at Lincoln’s Seacrest Field.
Officials reported today that Games entries have already topped 5,500 and reminded athletes that the deadline for most sports is Monday, July 1. So far, the top five sports in participation include Soccer (545), Energy Walk/5k (522), Volleyball (434), Basketball (372) and Track & Field (310).
Frauendorfer of Humphrey is the 2013 Lincoln Journal Star Girls Prep Athlete of the Year and will play volleyball at Wayne State beginning this fall. She helped Humphrey win back-to-back state titles in volleyball and was the valedictorian for her class. Gottschall, Foltz and Ericson all plan to continue athletic careers at Central Community College in Columbus.
Those interested can follow the progress of the Cornhusker State Games Torch Run and view photos on the Torch Run Facebook page or at LiveWellNebraska.com. More information can be also found at CornhuskerStateGames.com.