Boys don’t place at Wamego
Wamego The Tonganoxie boys cross country team advanced from the weakest cross country regional in the state.
At the state meet in Wamego Saturday, the Chieftains finished well behind the leaders in ninth place with 217 points.
It was small consolation that the Chieftains beat Sabetha and Eudora who also advanced from Tonganoxie's regional.
Baldwin, first as a team with 70, Wamego in second with 103, and Hugoton, in third with 114, all finished ahead of Tonganoxie.
Phil Williams, Tonganoxie cross country coach, was disappointed with the final results.
"We just didn't put all seven of our runners together like we have a few times this year," Williams said.
The team had high hopes throughout the season of placing at state. After winning a fourth-straight Kaw Valley League title and winning regionals, the Chieftains looked like a contender for one of the top three spots at state.
But the competition was tough, and the Chieftains fell short of their goal.
"We hoped to have one in the top 20 which we didn't have," Williams said.
Alan Davis was the first Tonganoxie runner to finish in17:35.19. He was 40th.
Jacob Hoffhines, who had led the team in recent weeks, dyed his hair before the race. He finished 42nd in 17:37.12.
Baldwin, Wamego and Hugoton each had three runners finish in the top 20.
Tonganoxie hasn't had a dominant runner who can go out and challenge for the win all season, but Williams said the runners were used to competing as a group without the promise of an individual winner.
Despite not placing at state, the Chieftains had an outstanding season.
And, with a number of young runners, the team should be competitive again next fall.
"I think we're going to be at least as good and hopefully better," Williams said.
Williams said Davis, Brett Becker and Tommy Powell all ran well at Wamego.
And, he noted that the state experience could only help the younger runners on the team.