Weller, Kolman lead Chieftain harriers at Maur Hill invite
The rookie and the veteran have done it again.
Freshman Christy Weller Weller won her second cross country meet in as many tries Thursday at the Maur Hill Invitational. Senior Andy Kolman, meanwhile, put in a career-best time as he won the boys race.
Weller actually sat in seventh place for much of the race. With a quarter-mile left, however, she caught fire. She caught the leader with 100 yards left and sprinted in for the win.
"She ran a gutsy race," THS coach Phil Williams said. "For a freshman, she really did a great job."
Weller finished the race in 13 minutes, 4 seconds, although she wasn't at full-strength. She informed coaches throughout the race that she wasn't feeling well, but managed a furious comeback in the last leg.
Kolman didn't have to rally in his race.
Pressured by a runner from St. Joseph-Benton (Mo.), Kolman was pressed hard for most of the race. The senior set a personal best with a time of 16:56 and won the race by about 50 yards.
"That's probably one of the faster times in the state at this time," Williams said.
The Tonganoxie boys finished second as a team behind St. Joseph-Benton.
"They're real tough," Williams said about Benton. "I'm not disappointed with how we ran."
Williams noted the team had a "pleasant surprise" with freshman Colin Perkins placing 20th as Tonganoxie's No. 5 runner.
"He ran an extremely good race for the first time at the varsity level," Williams said.
The girls team finished their race in fourth place.
The Chieftains likely would have placed higher, but they were without their No. 2 runner Jennifer Wagner, who was sidelined with a minor knee injury.
"We would have easily been third if not second," Williams said.
Basehor-Linwood and Tonganoxie both had 116 points, but BLHS won the tiebreaker as its No. 5 runner was higher than the Chieftains. Jackson Heights won the meet with a score of 54. St. Joseph-Benton placed second with 60.
The THS coach also was "really pleased" with how Rachel Bouza ran in the girls race.
The Chieftains gear up this week for two meets. The entire varsity girls team aside from Weller will run Thursday at the McLouth Invitational. With many of the girls participating with the THS band Saturday at K-State Band Day in Manhattan, Weller will be the only girls' runner competing at the Rim Rock Classic.
The boys junior varsity team will run at McLouth, while the varsity will head to Rim Rock Farm, located between Lawrence and McLouth, for the marquee event.
The McLouth Invitational begins at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Rim Rock Classic starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.