Freshman runner has best race of career
Alex Hauk could develop a detailed checklist of ways she gets motivated during cross country meets.
Hauk's running partner, sophomore Andie Jeannin, constantly pushes her. Additionally, Hauk's only a freshman, so she's looking to prove she can handle a season's worth of varsity races. There's also her musical motivation, in the form of Kanye West's current hit, "Stronger," which constantly plays through her head.
Finally, there's a written form of motivation: "Run through the pain," the message that Hauk wrote on both palms of her hands before Monday's Tonganoxie Invitational at the district's 80 acres on Washington Street.
"What it means to me is even if you feel like you have to stop, you just have to keep reminding yourself to run and take one for the team," Hauk said.
Hauk responded to the message on her palms. Monday was the first time all season Hauk finished at the top of the THS girls time sheet. Hauk also finished better than Jeannin for the first time all year.
Hauk's personal-best time of 17 minutes, 7 seconds in the 4K run propelled the THS girls to a sixth-place finish in the home meet. Hauk placed 15th, while Jeannin finished in 20th with a time of 17:40.
Hauk beat her best time by 34 seconds. She ran a 17:41 Sept. 13 at the McLouth Invitational.
Wamego won the meet with 48 points.
Addy Phelps (35th place, 18:46), Christy Weller (39th place, 19:06), Kaitlyn Saathoff (46th place, 19:32), Lauren Himpel (48th place, 19:37) and Katie Chenoweth (49th place, 19:38) rounded out the Chieftain finishes.
Monday was a windy day at the course. Runners had to adjust to the swirling winds, which were often in the athletes' faces.
"Running against the wind, I try to take longer strides, and if we're going up a hill, I lean over more so I can make it up the hill," Hauk said.
Jeannin ran with a cast on her arm Monday. The sophomore fractured her wrist in gym class earlier in the year. She previously wore a brace, but doctors took X-rays and determined it was fractured. Jeannin will wear the cast for about three more weeks.
The THS boys team finished third of 13 teams with a score of 121. Wamego and Mill Valley finished ahead of the Chieftains.
Junior Matt Brock was the top THS runner with a 5K time of 17:14, his best time of the season by 33 seconds. Brock's performance earned him fourth place individually.
Junior David Powell was the next THS runner to cross the finish line. Powell finished in 18:37 and placed 21st individually.
It was Powell's best time this year. He hadn't broke 19 minutes in THS' three previous races.
"I think I did a lot better than I expected," Powell said. "I wanted to beat Wamego (26 points), but that would have been hard, I guess."
Powell then took a look at the separation between Tonganoxie's 121 points and Mill Valley's 87.
"We can beat that," Powell said.
Powell said the Chieftains had to work on closing gaps between their runners. One of his goals is to get closer to Brock's times.
"I hope he does that," THS coach Phil Williams said. "Of course, when Matt's running well, it's hard to cut that distance down. But I think he's trying and he'll get there. He'll get closer."
Tonganoxie's next meet is Saturday at the Rim Rock Invitational in Lawrence.
Girls team scores:
1. Wamego, 48
2. Eudora, 68
3. Mill Valley, 115
4. Anderson County, 149
5. Perry Lecompton, 151
6. Tonganoxie, 152
7. Kansas City Christian, 166
8. De Soto, 172
9. Bishop Ward, 203
10. Wellsville, 249
11. Santa Fe Trail, 253
12. Spring Hill, 288
1. Breanna Briggs, Wamego, 15:49
2. Beth Neilsen, Wamego, 15:53
3. Reagan Rockers, Anderson County, 15:57
15. Alex Hauk, THS, 17:07
20. Andie Jeannin, THS, 17:40
35. Addy Phelps, THS, 18:46
39. Christy Weller, THS, 19:06
46. Kaitlyn Saathoff, THS, 19:32
48. Lauren Himpel, THS, 19:37
49. Katie Chenoweth, THS, 19:38
67. Gelia Gardner, McLouth, 21:54
Boys team scores:
1. Wamego, 26
2. Mill Valley, 87
3. Tonganoxie, 121
4. KC Christian, 135
5. Santa Fe Trail, 137
6. Anderson County, 156
7. De Soto, 173
8. Hiawatha, 213
9. Perry Lecompton, 221
10. Spring Hill, 257
11. Wyandotte, 258
12. Wellsville, 294
13. Pleasant Ridge, 311
1. Tanner Spreer, Wamego, 17:07
2. Riley Woodward, Wamego, 17:12
3. Ben Motley, KC Christian, 17:13
4. Matt Brock, THS, 17:14
21. David Powell, THS, 18:37
28. Justin Soetaert, THS, 18:55
31. Dalton Lawson, THS, 19:00
41. Patrick Holton, THS, 19:26
45. Joel Dunning, THS, 19:42
58. Matt Titterington, THS, 20:11
77. Martin Lucas, McLouth, 21:41
86. Jarrod Bechard, McLouth, 23:46