Cross country teams finish high in two meets
Tonganoxie cross country coach Phil Williams would have preferred to have Tonganoxie's quadrangular as its first meet. The smaller event would have been a warm-up, but lightning postponed it until Monday. Instead, the Chieftains started at the larger Maur Hill Invitational on Thursday in Atchison.
The sequence didn't make much difference. The boys squad took first at both, while the girls' placed fourth in Atchison and first in Tonganoxie.
The boys team dominated both meets. At Maur Hill, the Chieftains had five runners in the top 12 and seven in the top 20, including first-place finisher Alan Davis, who also won the Tonganoxie quadrangular. The senior finished at Maur Hill with a time of 17 minutes, 21 seconds. At Tonganoxie, his winning time was 16:25.73.
Tonganoxie finished second behind Platte City at Maur Hill last year, but the Missouri school didn't attend this year.
"I thought we had a good chance," Williams said. "We were certainly ready for a meet."
Williams was more surprised by the girls team.
After finishing eighth last year at Maur Hill, the team moved up to fourth this year.
Laura Korb took fourth with a time of 13:11. Alicia Stauch, Tonganoxie's second-best finisher, took 13th place this year. Last year, Tonganoxie's second-best runner took 36th.
Erin Seymour and Elizabeth Smith were 15th and 26th respectively, while Sarah Mages finished 46th.
"If that fifth runner were up a little closer, we would've been challenging for first place," Williams said. "Sarah Mages had allergy troubles that day. I know she'll improve."
The girls' had a slightly easier field at Tonganoxie on Monday the Chieftains fielded the only full team.
Korb won the girls' event by 54 seconds, but said the Rim Rock Invitational on Saturday near Lawrence will be a challenge.
"The course is a half mile longer," Korb said. "It's really hilly."
Rim Rock is the same site as the NCAA Championships three years ago. Saturday's invitational will also feature high schools from Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, along with Kansas. Williams said the meet would be a challenge. Wamego, last year's third-place finisher at state, is ranked No. 1 in 4A boys this year.
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