McLouth girls nab team title at home invitational
Three meets, three plaques.
The McLouth High girls cross country team continued its early tear Thursday at its home invitational.
The Bulldogs scored 44 points in the meet, 22 points ahead of second-place Kansas City Christian.
Hallie Watson led the way for MHS. Hallie Watson finished in fourth place at the meet. She ran the race in 13 minutes, 21 seconds. Teammate Hilary Turner finished seventh with a time of 13:36, while Erin Watson (13:43) and Christy Gunther (13:46) finished 11th and 12th respectively. Erica Meyer finished in 15th (14:01), while Neva Gardner was 29th (14:32).
With KC Christian finishing second, the meet could serve as a preview of the Delaware Valley League meet next month.
"We'll take what we can get," MHS coach George Karn said. "Our girls ran well. We're improving and gaining confidence."
After taking 12th on Sept. 11 at the Wamego Invitational, Hallie Watson again finished as McLouth's top runner. She challenged for first place throughout much of the race, but had to settle for fourth. Karn expects Watson to be McLouth's top runner.
"She ran a pretty good race," Karn said. "She'll get stronger.
"We just finished two-a-days a few days ago."
Most encouraging about Thursday's home meet for Karn was how the group ran as a team.
Having your top five runners finish in the top 15 usually spells success.
"They're a team," Karn said. "That's what I like most about them."
Finishing behind McLouth and KC Christian were Doniphan West (98), Tonganoxie (111), Royal Valley (116), Perry-Lecompton (122), Wathena (163), Bishop Seabury (198) and Oskaloosa (242).
Silver Lake had the meet's top runner, but did not send a full team.
The Bulldogs will have another big test with the Tonganoxie Invitational on Thursday in Tonganoxie. The meet begins at 4 p.m.
Boys cross country
McLouth finished in third place at its own meet. Defending state champion Kansas City Christian won the invitational with 29 points, while Royal Valley scored 49. McLouth scored 96, Jefferson County North 114, Oskaloosa 137 and Jeff West 161. Perry-Lecompton and Troy rounded out the team scores with 173 and 175 respectively.
"We turned around and beat JCN after they beat us at Wamego," Karn said.
Scott Smelser led the Bulldogs with a fifth-place finish. He broke the 18-minute barrier for the first time in his career with a 17:59 showing.
Nick Edgell placed 12th with an 18:43 time and Dustin Rainey was 27th with a 19:52 time. Vinny Brauer placed 31st with a 20:04 time, while Justin Drinnon finished 40th at 20:32.
McLouth will compete next in the Tonganoxie Invitational at 4 p.m. Thursday in Tonganoxie.