One final stop before State
Tonganoxie will have quite the home meet come Saturday.
Playing host to 15 teams, the Chieftains' cross country course off Washington Street will be the site for a 4A regional.
After heading to Topeka for regionals the last few years, Tonganoxie will be at home, marking the first time in state history it will be the host school. Running on its own friendly confines could be just what the Chieftains need. After winning its first six meets, the Tonganoxie boys team faltered at Shawnee Mission Park twice once at the De Soto/Mill Valley Invitational and again Thursday at the Kaw Valley League Meet. The performance marked the first time since 1995 the team didn't win the league crown.
The boys, though, are expected to be in full force. Levi Huseman should be back after missing the last few races because of illness.
"He's gonna be OK, I think," THS coach Phil Williams said. "He shouldn't be too far off of what he was, so we should be in pretty good shape."
Tonganoxie usually fares quite well on its home course, but the winding path will be trampled with skilled feet Saturday.
With Baldwin and Mill Valley in the field with the Chieftains, the regional boasts three of the top 5 teams in the state.
Baldwin is ranked No. 1, Tonganoxie No. 2 and Mill Valley, which won the KVL title Thursday, is No. 5.
Last year, Wamego, Tonganoxie and Clay Center were ranked No. 2, 3 and 4 going into their regional.
"Quite often it happens that way," THS coach Phil Williams said.
On the girls' side, Baldwin is also the top-ranked team in the state, while the Chieftain girls are ranked in the lower half of the top 10.
Along with Baldwin, Tonganoxie and Mill Valley, various teams from northeast Kansas will also be competing, including Atchison, Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Ward, De Soto, Eudora, Lansing, Louisburg, Maur Hill, Osawatomie, Piper, Prairie View and Spring Hill.
The girls race begins at 2 p.m., while the boys start at 2:30 p.m.
Both Chieftain squads will be looking to improve on last week's finishes at the KVL meet.
"I think they know what they have to do this week," Williams said.