Cross country shines, despite odd weather
It was cold Thursday. The skies were clouded and threatening to spit on Desoto at any time.
But despite all that, Chieftain cross country runners put up one of their best team showings of the year last Thursday at the Desoto Invitational, with the boys taking first and the girls taking second at the meet.
"The weather was less than ideal, but I told the kids not to use that as an excuse." said coach Phil Williams. "And we came out and competed more aggressively than we had the whole year,".
Both races were battles between Tonganoxie and Mill Valley for first-place honors.
In the boys race, the Chieftains beat Mill Valley by 18 points.
All seven Chieftain boys finished in the top thirteen. Junior Alan Davis, who finished in second with a time of 16:39, led the team. Sophomore Kyle Norris came in 15 seconds behind Davis, taking third with a time of 16:54.
But the boys had beaten Mill Valley the last time the two teams met.
Not so for the girls.
Last time the girls matched up with Mill Valley, Tonganoxie was beaten by more than 20 points.
This week the Chieftain girls lost by only three.
Williams attributed much of his team's success to the way it pulled together and finished high as a pack.
Sophomore Laura Korb was the leader of that pack on Thursday. She finished in third with a time of 13:09.
Junior Alicia Stauch came in next for Tonganoxie, running the course in 13:52 and placing seventh.
The five remaining Chieftain runners finished in the next 13 places.
In his last junior varsity meet since dropping from varsity while he recovered from illness, senior Matt Needham took first with a time of 18:19.
Williams said Needham should be fully recovered by Thursday's Kaw Valley League meet in Tonganoxie.
The Chieftains also took the next three places, with freshmen Ben Brest and Tyler Davidson finishing in second and third and sophomore Brian Gravatt taking third.
Freshman Elizabeth Smith took fifth in the junior varsity girls race, running the two miles in 15:38.
Thursday's league meet begins at 4:30 p.m.