BLHS, BSHS runner to open season today
Basehor-Linwood and Bonner Springs High School cross country runners will race on a familiar course to begin the season.
Both squads will open the season at the third annual Bobcat Invitational at 4 p.m. today at Wyandotte County Park.
A middle school race will take place, followed by the high school races.
“It is a great venue and a wonderful place for us to host a meet,” BLHS coach Jeff Venema said.
The meet will have approximately 12 schools competing including Blue Valley Southwest, which is a newly opened school competing at the Class 4A level this year.
The meet will give coaches at their respective schools an understanding of where runners are at early in the season.
Venema said he has a talented group of runners in both the boys and girls competitions looking to compete. The Bobcats enter the meet looking to defend their meet championships.
“We won last year both the boys and girls competitions. Until someone beats us, we are a strong candidate to win our own meet,” Venema said.
While he expects the runners to perform well, he isn’t necessarily infatuated with winning the first meet.
“I think that this early in the season, while it is great to win a meet, it is not that big a deal,” he said. “Everyone is trying to solidify a roster, which most likely will change for most teams. You try to win, but it is not an end all, be all type of situation.”
Meanwhile, Bonner Springs will feature a relatively young squad. The BSHS girls will be led by sophomore Mandy Ballou, a state qualifier in 2009, and the boys will be led by senior Matt Coffman.