Chieftain girls take third, boys fifth at KVL meet
Weeks of preparation came to fruition last week when the top cross country runners in the Kaw Valley League finally got to square off against one another for league bragging rights.
The Chieftain cross country team got its final tune-up before regionals on Thursday at the KVL meet at Wyandotte County Park in Bonner Springs. The THS girls took third with a team score of 71, while the boys came in fifth with a 109.
Freshman Sophia Wetta recorded the Chieftains’ only top-10 finish of the day, crossing the finish line ninth with a time of 16 minutes, 28.17 seconds. The mark was good enough for first team All-KVL honors. Sophomores Tressa Walker (13th, 16:33.85) and Emily Williams (15th 16:37.09) each earned second-team recognitions by finishing in the 11-20 range.
According to coach Phil Williams, freshman Nicole Zerrer — normally one of the Chieftains’ top finishers — battled illness on the day of the race. Zerrer still came in 23rd with a time of 17:09.08.
“I thought (the girls) did a great job," Williams said. "Nicole didn’t have her normal race, but the others ran really well. Sophia had probably her best race of the season. I was real pleased.”
Senior Amanda Shepley (17:38.85) and junior Alissa Donnelly (18:39.02) rounded out the THS girls’ individual times. As a team, the Chieftains finished 25 points behind second-place finisher Lansing and 39 behind team champion Mill Valley.
“(Third) is what we were shooting for,” Williams said. “We wanted to be the first 4A school in our league.”
Sophomore Garrett French and senior Jeff Neal earned second-team All-KVL honors on the boys side. French, who has led the Chieftains in every race this season, took 13th with a time of 17:51.56. Neal finished 20th at 18:17.2.
Other THS boys in action were junior Andrew Behm (18:36.41), sophomore Brad Andrews (18:37.21), freshman Ethan Phillips (19:05.07), freshman Dylan Staatz (19:38.69) and freshman Jake Tollefson (19:50.39).
The boys were edged out by Lansing, which took fourth with a team score of 101. Mill Valley (21) won the team title by a landslide, finishing ahead of Basehor-Linwood (83) and Bonner Springs (92).
“We’d hoped to finish at least one place higher as a team,” Williams said. “We had beaten Lansing two or three times earlier in the year, but Lansing ran really well. It wasn’t our best race, but it wasn’t our worst.”
THS will be back on the same course on Saturday for regional competition. The tournament field will consist of Atchison, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, De Soto, Holton, Hoyt-Royal Valley, Bishop Ward, Piper, Sumner Academy, Jeff West, Perry-Lecompton, Rock Creek, Topeka-Hayden, Highland Park and Wamego. The top three teams from each will advance to state, as well as the top five runners who don’t qualify in the team category.
“I think both our boys and girls have an outside shot,” Williams said. “It’s going to be tough. A top-five finish is certainly in the boys’ reach. As far as the girls go, I think we can get at least fourth, if not third.”
The girls race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and the boys for 11:15 a.m.
Girls team results
- Mill Valley, 32; 2. Lansing, 44; 3. Tonganoxie, 71; 4. Basehor-Linwood, 97; 5. Bonner Springs, 119.
Boys team results
- Mill Valley, 21; 2. Basehor-Linwood, 83; 3. Bonner Springs, 92; 4. Lansing, 101; 5. Tonganoxie, 109; 6. Turner, 141; 7. Piper, 178.
Girls top 10 individual results
- Nashia Baker, LAN, 14:38.1; 2. Malika Baker, LAN, 14:42.38; 3. Amber Akin, MV, 15:04.62; 4. Ellie Wilson, MV, 15:15.43; 5. Andrea Oropeza, BW, 16:04.86; 6. Quinnlyn Walcott, BL, 16:14.34; 7. Dani Loma, TUR, 16:15.34; 8. Bailey Parke, MV, 16:21.05; 9. Sophia Wetta, TON, 16:28.17; 10. Jordan Hall, PIP, 16:29.14.
Boys top 10 individual results
- C.J. Meets, MV, 16:55.94; 2. Chris Brown, LAN, 17:02.33; 3. Derek Meeks, MV, 17:05.72; 4. Kurt Loevenstein, MV, 17:12.42; 5. Austin Schuler, BS, 17:20.76; 6. Chris Gillespie, MV, 17:23.81; 7. Stephen McEenry, MV 17:30.49; 8. Marco Loma, TUR, 17:33; 9. Andrew Eigsti, MV, 17:34.74; 10. Callahan Eckardt, MV, 17:43.35.
THS girls individual results
- Sophia Wetta, 16:28.17; 2. Tressa Walker, 16:33.85; 3. Emily Williams, 16:37.09; 4. Nicole Zerrer, 17:09.08; 5. Amanda Shepley, 17:38.85; 6. Alissa Donnelly, 18:39.02.
THS boys individual results
- Garrett French, 17:51.56; 2. Jeff Neal, 18:17.2; 3. Andrew Behm, 18:36.41; 4. Brad Andrews, 18:37.21; 5. Ethan Phillips, 19:05.07; 6. Dylan Staatz, 19:38.69; 7. Jake Tollefson, 19:50.39.