Chieftain cross country teams take fourth at GEHS
Thursday provided an almost chilly late afternoon on the intimate Gardner-Edgerton cross country course.
Tonganoxie competed in the meet on a rural course that required three laps along the winding and wooded course.
Both Chieftain teams finished fourth out of eight teams -- 49 runners competed in the boys meet, while the girls meet had 59 runners.
Andy Kolman led the boys team with an eighth-place finish, while Megan Holton led the girls team.
Although the GEHS meet was small, the boys race had plenty of top competition -- four state-ranked teams competed at the invitational. Anderson County's David Cox, who set a meet record at last year's Tonganoxie Invitational and was a state medalist, won Thursday's race with a time of 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Iola, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, placed third with 77, while No. 2 Anderson County finished second with 67. Gardner-Edgerton, No. 8 in 5A, won the meet with a score of 34. Tonganoxie is ranked No. 9 in the coaches' poll.
THS coach Phil Williams recognized the meet could be a preview of potential state champions in early November.
"It was a pretty tough meet for a small meet," Williams said.
The Chieftains had three boys medal in the race -- Kolman placed eighth with an 18-minute, 25-second time, Corey Brest finished in 14th with an 18:51 time and Matt Chenoweth placed 17th for the Chieftains with a final time of 18:55 on the GEHS course.
"Matt Chenoweth has gotten better the last couple races," Williams said.
Next was John Davis, who finished in 25th (19:26) during his first year on the squad.
"Freshman John Davis has shown a lot of potential," Williams said.
Others competing Thursday were Ben Brest (28, 19:44), Colt Coffin (30, 20:00) and Justin Smith (31, 20:01).
In the junior varsity meet, Brett Garrett placed 13th with a 20:39 time, Tyler Davidson was 29th (22:42) and Jacob Ferris (48, 25:55).
In the girls varsity race, Holton paced the Chieftains with a 14th-place finish and a 14-minute, 20-second time. Tonganoxie's field ran in a fairly tight pack as six seconds separated the top three runners and 42 seconds separated the top five runners. Jennifer Wagner took 16th (14:25), Kelley Stauch 17th (14:26), Elizabeth Smith 24th (14:50) and Kezia Huseman 27th (15:02).
Amanda Chenoweth was 37th with a 17:24 time and Rachel Smith was 51st with a 17:53 time.
Williams said the girls squad has been doing a better job of moving its pack higher in the race. And on Thursday, Holton led the way.
"Megan Holton obviously had a great finish for our girls," Williams said.
In the junior varsity race, Kayla Hammons placed 54th with an 18:33 time.
Tonganoxie next will compete Thursday in the Mill Valley Invitational. The Kaw Valley League meet is Oct. 16, while regionals are Oct. 25 and the state meet is Nov. 1.
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