Wetta qualifies for state cross country meet
From a team standpoint, Tonganoxie High’s cross country season came to an end on Saturday. However, for one Chieftain, there is still work to be done.
Freshman Sophia Wetta qualified individually for the Class 4A state meet at Saturday’s regional race at Wyandotte County Park in Bonner Springs. She did so with a 13th-place time of time of 16 minutes, 13.53 seconds — the third-fastest girls time in school history.
“It’s surprising since I’m a freshman and I’m the only one going (to state), but it feels good” Wetta said.
As a team, the Chieftain girls finished fourth with a team score of 126, leaving them one spot short of the state cut. Topeka-Hayden (31) won the girls races, followed by De Soto (50) and Wamego (72).
“We’d hoped the girls would finish a little higher,” coach Phil Williams said. “We didn’t quite run as fast as we did the week before and Wamego had a very good race.”
The top five individual runners who didn’t qualify in the team category also earned a trip to Saturday’s state meet in Wamego. Wetta’s time was good enough for third on that list behind Atchison’s Sarah Jaloma (15:56.92) and Bishop Ward’s Andrea Oropeza (16:02.71).
Sophomore Emily Williams was the only other THS girl to finish in the top 25, coming in 24th with a time of 17:03.7. Other runners were freshman Nicole Zerrer (17:11.21), sophomore Tressa Walker (17:40.5), junior Alissa Donnelly (18:45.22), sophomore Shelby Fatherley (18:45.88) and sophomore Kourtni Freemyer (18:57.98).
On the boys side, the Chieftains were led by someone other than sophomore Garrett French for the first time this season. Senior Jeff Neal was the top THS finisher, coming in 24th with a time of 18:03.5. He was followed by French (18:20.53), sophomore Brad Andrews (18:28.46), freshman Ethan Phillips (19:17.29), freshman Dylan Staatz (19:51.46), sophomore David Masters (20:13.55) and senior Brett Morey (20:42.28).
The Chieftains finished eighth in the team standings with a score of 197. Wamego (25), De Soto (37) and host school Bonner Springs (124) qualified for the state meet.
“We had some kids run very well,” Williams said. “Jeff Neal had his best race of the year. It was the first time David Masters ran varsity and he ran very well.”
State action will take place on Saturday at the Wamego Country Club. The 4A girls race is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Wetta will continue to run with her teammates this week in preparation for the race, which she enters with a few specific goals in mind.
“I want to beat 16:07 (the second fastest time in school history),” she said. “I want to beat that time and I want to get at least top-30.”
Girls team results
- Topeka-Hayden, 31; 2. De Soto, 50; 3. Wamego, 72; 4. Tonganoxie, 126; 5. Bonner Springs, 164; 6. Basehor-Linwood, 177; 7. Bishop Ward, 189; 8. Royal Valley, 198; 9. Jeff West, 216; 10. Perry-Lecompton, 287; 11. Topeka-Highland Park, 292.
Boys individual results
- Wamego, 25; 2. De Soto, 37; 3. Bonner Springs, 124; 4. Topeka-Hayden, 134; 5. Basehor-Linwood, 147; 6. Jeff West, 164; 7. Royal Valley, 190; 8. Tonganoxie, 197; 9. Holton, 231; 10. Rock Creek, 245; 11. Atchison, 296; 12. Perry-Lecompton, 389.
THS girls individual results
- Sophia Wetta, 16:13.53; 2. Emily Williams, 17:03.7; 3. Nicole Zerrer, 17:11.21; 4. Tressa Walker, 17:40.5; 5. Alissa Donnelly, 18:45.22; 6. Shelby Fatherley, 18:45.88; 7. Kourtni Freemyer, 18:57.98.
THS boys individual results
- Jeff Neal, 18:03.5; 2. Garrett French, 18:20.53; 3. Brad Andrews, 18:28.46; 4. Ethan Phillips, 19:17.29; 5. Dylan Staatz, 19:51.46; 6. David Masters, 20:13.55; 7. Brett Morey, 20:42.28.