THS boys didn’t expect 3rd-place finish
When Tonganoxie High cross country runners Patrick Rachford and Caleb Himpel headed to check out the Tonganoxie Invitational results after finishing their 5K run at on Sept. 21, they were oblivious to just how well their team had performed.
Then they saw the team standings. As expected, Mill Valley won and Santa Fe Trail was second. Then there was a pleasant surprise at No. 3: Tonganoxie.
Rachford had finished fifth in the boys race and Himpel was 12th, but Himpel said the two of them didn’t have a sense of how the rest of the THS boys had done.
“When me and Pat walked up to the results area, we were just shocked,” Himpel said, explaining they didn’t expect to see their team in third place.
The surprise, Rachford said, came from the runners feeling they hadn’t performed that well overall.
“We thought someone might step up and beat us out of third place,” he said.
Chieftains coach Phil Williams said he wasn’t as staggered by the team standings.
“I was hoping for a top-three, but you are never sure just how good many of these other teams are that you haven't faced,” Williams said. “We ran well, but certainly can run better.”
Specifically, the boys would like to have their top five times closer together. Dalton Harrington (22nd) and Keith Slater (27th) were both within 1:23 of Rachford.
“We weren't as close from numbers one through five as we were the week before,” Williams noted. “I think this team has a lot of potential for postseason success, and they are just beginning to figure that out.”
THS girls 7th
There was a bit of a surprise for Tonganoxie’s girls at the invitational, too, but not an enjoyable one.
The Chieftains’ top runner, freshman Emily Soetaert, got dehydrated during the race and was unable to finish.
Missing out on Soetaert’s potentially low point total gave THS a seventh-place finish at its home meet.
Her absence was felt, even as the race was going. Parker Osborne, who was Tonganoxie’s second-best runner (Alex Hauk finished 26th) after placing 32nd, said she had just completed her first mile when she saw Soetaert off to the side of the course, hunched over.
“I didn’t know what was going on because Emily’s a really strong runner — she’s not someone who’s just going to quit because she’s tired,” Osborne said.
Soetaert said she didn’t drink enough water the day before the invitational and was disappointed because she felt like she let down her teammates.
“I was pretty upset,” Soetaert said. “I felt like everybody else would be upset with me, too, like my team.”
Williams said Soetaert’s inability to finish affected the girls, and not just in the team standings.
“Subconsciously, they know that no matter what they do, they can not make up for losing the No. 1 runner,” Williams said of the Chieftains’ mental state during the race.
Osborne thinks the team will bounce back, though.
“Everyone has bad races,” she said. “We just happened to have ours then.”
At 5 p.m. on Thursday, in Shawnee, Tonganoxie’s teams will compete at the Maranatha Academy Invitational.
Team scores: 1. Mill Valley, 61; 2. Basehor-Linwood, 87; 3. Santa Fe Trail, 90; 4. Kansas City Christian, 91; 5. Anderson County, 139; 6. Bishop Ward, 147; 7. Tonganoxie, 152; 8. Pleasant Ridge, 152; 9. Jeff West, 1887; 10. Perry-Lecompton, 239.
Top 10: 1. Kristin Tippin, KCC, 16:19; 2. Bailey Parke, MVHS, 16:28; 3. Rachel Ash, KCC, 16:34; 4. Lily Young, KCC, 16:49; 5. Kelsey Wakefield, MVHS, 16:52; 6. Rachel Hattok, PRHS, 16:52. 7. Amanda Moody, ACHS, 16:54; 8. Makaela Willis, Spring Hill, 16:59; 9. Carrie Finson, JWHS, 17:06; 10. Frankie Oropeza, BWHS, 17:07.
THS results: 26. Alex Hauk, 18:31; 32. Parker Osborne, 18:43; 33. Emma Stilgenbauer, 18:43; 34. Taylar Morgan, 18:55; 42. Niki Beggs, 19:22; 46. Chris Tiner, 19:32; Emily Soetaert, did not finish.
Team scores: 1. Mill Valley, 37; 2. Santa Fe Trail, 67; 3. Tonganoxie, 99; 4. Basehor-Linwood, 103; 5. Kansas City Christian, 114; 6. Anderson County, 161; 7. Jeff West, 165; 8. Kansas City-Harmon, 236; 9. Pleasant Ridge, 245; 10. Wellsville, 284; 11. Perry-Lecompton, 307.
Top 10: 1. Josh Whittaker, SFT, 17:05; 2. Garrett Colglazier, SFT, 17:11; 3. Landon Scott, MVHS, 17:19; 4. Evan Bennett, ACHS, 17:27; 5. Patrick Rachford, THS, 17:40; 6. Brett Schmit, MVHS, 17:53; 7. Chris Gillespie, MVHS, 17:54; 8. Eli Alholm, KCC, 18:01; 9. Jon Oliva, BLHS, 18:07; 10. Jacob Rohrer, MVHS, 18:10.
THS results: 5. Patrick Rachford, 17:40; 12. Caleb Himpel, 18:21; 22. Dalton Harrington, 18:52; 27. Keith Slater, 19:03; 37. Brady Field, 19:56; 40. Jeff Neal, 20:06; 49. Andrew Behm, 17:27.