Cross country rolls into home race
HIAWATHA - The Tonganoxie cross country team should be confident when it runs at home at the Tonganoxie Invitational Thursday.
The varsity boys enter the race having won their first three races of the season including last week's competition at Hiawatha, and the girls are improving.
Last Thursday at Hiawatha, the boys placed first out of eight teams. The girls placed third out of seven teams.
The boys came out strong, following the lead of Alan Davis. After half a mile, Tonganoxie runners were in second, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th.
But a pack of three Hayden runners moved into the second, third and fourth positions.
"I was a little worried early in the race about Hayden," said Phil Williams, Tonganoxie cross country coach.
While Hayden runners finished in second and third, Tonganoxie as a team was able to finish 33 seconds apart.
Jacob Hoffhines finished fourth in 18:24, Davis finished fifth, Kyle Norris finished sixth, Andy Snapp finished 10th and Jordan Smith finished 11th.
Williams said Hoffhines and Norris both ran well.
Hoffhines' finish in only his third race for the Chieftains was encouraging. Williams said he started to kick earlier at Hiawatha.
"He's finding out he can sustain his kick longer than he thought," Williams said.
Laura Korb paced the girls. She finished third in 12:45.
She battled for second the entire race, but a Hayden runner passed her with the finish line only 20 yards away.
Erin Seymour was the second Tonganoxie runner across the line. She placed 15th in 14:23.
Williams said the girls would have to narrow the gap between Korb and the second-place runner if they wanted to compete.
Junior varsity notes
Running as a varsity team, the Tonganoxie boys finished fourth out of 10 teams last Thursday at the McLouth Invitational.
Williams said the boys might have had a shot at winning, but Chris Thomas injured his shin and was unable to finish the race.
The girls only had four runners not enough to compete in the team competition.
Tony Aligo placed second, Chris Martin placed ninth and Tyler Wise placed 10th in the junior varsity race at McLouth.
The squad will compete at home Wednesday.
The large race will include 17 teams from the area.
Williams said the boys could face competition from Bonner Springs and Eudora.
In the girls race, Lansing and Anderson County (Garnett) will be among the favorites to win.
The freshman boys run at 4 p.m. The junior varsity boys and girls run at 4:30 p.m.
The varsity girls run at 5 p.m.
The varsity boys run at 5:30 p.m.