THS girls cross country wins home quadrangular
The distance from point A to point B was a half-mile farther for the Tonganoxie High girls squad Thursday at the team's home quadrangular on the district's 80 acres on Washington Street.
This year, Kansas State High School Activities Association officials bumped up distances for girls meets from two miles to 2.5 miles.
For junior Christy Weller, who won her third Tonganoxie quadrangular title with Thursday's top time of 17 minutes, 34 seconds, the hilly Tonganoxie course wasn't easy to conquer with the additional distance.
"It's a lot harder," Weller said, referring to the distance and the course.
Last year, Tonganoxie home meets were held at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds, a terrain far less rugged than the 80 acres course. Weller still walked away winning her third Tonganoxie quadrangular -- two at the 80-acre site and one at the fairgrounds.
Because of construction of a new middle school on the district's Washington Street property, meets were moved to the fairgrounds last year, but returned for this season now that the middle school is nearly complete.
"I love it out here, definitely a lot more than the fairgrounds, although the fairgrounds is a lot easier," Weller said.
The Chieftain girls also rolled to their third straight Tonganoxie quadrangular team title. The squad also won the meet in 2004 and 2005.
In her first high school meet, freshman Andie Jeannin finished second with a 17:42 time, while senior Jennifer Wagner placed fourth with an 18:21 time.
Sophomore Addy Phelps, also competing in her first meet, finished fifth with an 18:34 time.
As Weller did her freshman year, Jeannin has started out as one of the team's top runners.
"I wasn't expecting to get that good," Jeannin said. "I was just happy to get that close behind Christy."
Jeannin said she "was tired, but felt pretty good" after the race, but admitted that about 10 minutes before the meet, nervousness was setting in.
Unlike Weller, however, she didn't have to transition to the additional half-mile.
"I never knew what it was like to run two miles, so I didn't feel anything," Jeannin said.
THS coach Phil Williams said the extra half-mile shouldn't be a factor.
"We've run that distance at Rim Rock every year," Williams said. "In fact, the first year I didn't tell them until after the meet and they didn't even notice."
The remaining three THS runners in the varsity race finished consecutively -- Kezia Huseman 13th (20:03), Laurie Chenoweth 14th (20:10) and Katie Chenoweth 15th (20:29).
Huseman had her career best finish in the race, Williams said.
"I was real proud of our girls," Williams said. "I thought all seven of them ran a real good race."
Boys cross country
Sophomore Matt Brock continues to be Tonganoxie's top runner on the boys team, but he and his Chieftain teammates couldn't hold off Kansas City Christian, the defending Class 3A state champions.
KC Christian has been a state champion in four of the last five years. The Panthers didn't win a state title in 2004, but won the 3A boys crown in 2003 and 2002. And in 2001, the team captured the Class 2-1A title.
Thursday, the Panthers won the meet with 17 points. Tonganoxie placed second with 39, while Lansing, which didn't send all its varsity members, finished third with 80. Basehor-Linwood competed, but did not have five runners, the number required for a full squad.
"I underestimated them a little bit," Brock said about KC Christian. "They got first at state last year. They surprised me, but I was confident in my placing."
Brock finished the day in fifth place -- the highest finish of any non-KC Christian runner -- with a time of 18 minutes, 17 seconds.
Chris Price, who recently transferred from Cheney, finished sixth with a 19:08 time.
David Powell placed eighth (19:43), Colin Perkins ninth (19:43) Chris Downs 11th and Michael Shaw 12th (20:55).
Justin Smith finished 14th with a 21:09 time.
Williams said this year's boys team is off to a good start and, after one meet, appears to be strong.
"I think our boys are improved from last year and Kansas City Christian handled us pretty well," Williams said.
The Chieftains will compete Thursday at the Maur Hill Invitational in Atchison.
Tonganoxie's varsity runners will join the junior varsity squads at the McLouth Invitational. Traditionally, Tonganoxie sends its junior varsity squads to McLouth to compete at the varsity meet, but this year the varsity will also compete there because the Rim Rock Invitational this year falls two days after the Gardner-Edgerton meet. The varsity normally competes at both, but because they fall close to each other on the calendar, Tonganoxie will not attend the GEHS meet.
Tonganoxie quadrangular results
1. Tonganoxie, 25; 2. Basehor-Linwood, 35; 3. Kansas City Christian, 78. Lansing did not field a full team.
Individual THS results
1. Christy Weller, 17:34; 2. Andie Jeannin, 17:42; 4. Jennifer Wagner, 18:21; 5. Addy Phelps, 18:34; 13. Kezia Huseman, 20:03; 14. Laurie Chenoweth, 20:10; 15. Katie Chenoweth, 20:29.
1. KC Christian, 17; 2. Tonganoxie, 39; 3. Lansing, 80. Basehor-Linwood did not field a full team.
Individual THS results
5. Matt Brock, 18:17; 6. Chris Price, 19:08; 8. David Powell, 19:43; 9. Colin Perkins, 19:43; 11. Chris Downs, 19:59; 12. Michael Shaw, 20:05; 14. Justin Smith, 21:09.