Twice as nice: THS teams dominate McLouth Invite
The McLouth Invitational's cross country course is a good 90 percent on grass. The other roughly 10 percent is on the track, where runners complete the race by covering three-fourths of its radius.
By the time Tonganoxie sophomore Andie Jeannin reached the track Thursday, she needed a breather. Maybe some water or a sports drink. Jeannin received no such remedy. She did receive a boost from freshman Alex Hauk, who was neck-and-neck with Jeannin at the finish line.
"I felt really bad at the end, like I almost wanted to stop," Jeannin said. "I just wasn't ready for Alex to beat me yet. She pushes me so much."
Jeannin crossed the finish line exactly one second ahead of Hauk with a time of 17 minutes, 40 seconds, good for third place individually.
The Chieftains had remarkable depth and also placed runners in fourth (Hauk's 17:41) and sixth places (senior Christy Weller's 18:26).
The Tonganoxie girls won the team title Thursday with 36 points. A half-hour later, the boys made it a clean sweep with a victory of their own and 68 points total. The McLouth Invitational included 16 teams.
"I felt a little bit like we were the biggest school here so we should win," THS coach Phil Williams said of the several Kansas Class 2A and 3A schools on hand. "It's a confidence booster, and we're going to need that."
Jeannin finished as the top THS girls runner for the first time this year. Weller, who typically finishes atop the Chieftain results sheet, felt under the weather Thursday, according to Jeannin and Williams.
Had Jeannin ever finished ahead of the established No. 1 Chieftains runner?
"I did last year, once or twice," Jeannin said. "But she wasn't feeling very well that time either."
McLouth awarded medals for the Top 20 finishers in the 4K girls race. Tonganoxie claimed six of those spots.
"Our girls are deep enough, between our seven runners, to where if one of the girls has trouble, we're still going to be pretty good," Williams said.
On the boys' side, junior Matt Brock was the top Chieftains runner at 17:47 in the 5K, good for third place individually. Brock actually envisioned himself finishing better.
"I'm not really satisfied because I got first here last year," Brock said. "I think there was a lot better competition this year. My time even went down a little bit, probably because more people pushed me. Last year, I had no one push me."
Tonganoxie's No. 2 runner, junior David Powell, placed 14th with a time of 19:16. Freshman Justin Soetaert finished in 16th place with a time of 19:24, while senior Patrick Holton placed 20th with a time of 19:38.
Despite the Chieftains' four medalists and their top spot, Williams saw room for improvement, particularly for future races.
"We kind of have some gaps between our runners that we need to fill," Williams said. "Those have to close up if we're going to compete against the good teams we'll see next week. We're going to get beat if we don't close those up."
Williams referred to Thursday's Tonganoxie Invitational, which will involve 23 schools, including three of the top 4A schools in the state -- De Soto, Wamego and Tonganoxie on the girls' and boys' sides.
McLouth Invitational Results:
Girls team scores:
1. Tonganoxie, 36
2. Perry Lecompton, 70
3. Jefferson West, 84
4. Kansas City Christian, 88
5. Christ Prep, 97
6. Royal Valley, 147
7. Doniphan West, 173
Girls individual times:
1. Taryn Brees, Jefferson West, 16:31
2. Katie Hirsch, Perry Lecompton, 16:34
3. Andie Jeannin, THS, 17:40
4. Alex Hauk, THS, 17:41
6. Christy Weller, THS, 18:26
11. Addy Phelps, THS, 18:53
12. Lauren Himpel, THS, 18:55
20. Kaitlyn Saathoff, THS, 19:41
22. Katie Chenowith, THS, 19:49
41. Gelia Gardner, McLouth, 21:49
Boys team scores:
1. Tonganoxie, 68
2. Kansas City Christian, 82
3. Christ Prep, 115
4. Silver Lake, 121
5. Royal Valley, 126
6. Jefferson West, 129
7. Perry Lecompton, 132
8. Doniphan West, 172
9. Pleasant Ridge, 227
10. Bishop Seabury Academy, 254
11. McLouth, 304
Boys individual times:
1. Jarod Barker, Silver Lake, 17:17
2. Nick Anning, Kansas City Christian, 17:31
3. Matt Brock, THS, 17:47
14. David Powell, THS, 19:16
16. Justin Soetaert, THS, 19:24
20. Patrick Holton, THS, 19:38
22. Matthew Titterington, THS, 19:50
28. Dalton Lawson, THS, 20:00
31. Tommy Heskett, THS
55. Martin Lucas, McLouth, 21:55
63. Grant Smelser, McLouth, 22:40
68. Jarrod Bechard, McLouth, 23:10
74. Cody Cline, McLouth, 24:10
77. Steven Nowlan, McLouth, 26:14