BSHS, BLHS runners compete at state meet in Wamego
The Bonner Springs cross-country team placed 11th overall in the 4A championship meet in Wamego on Saturday, its first state meet since 2008.
Sophomore Austin Schuler was the first Brave to cross the finish line with a time of 17:50, placing 44th.
Schuler was the No. 1 runner all season for head coach Bill Downing.
Downing said Schuler was a bit behind his personal best, but that was because the course had some big hills and sharp turns that added time. He said the hills didn’t bother his runners since they train on larger hills.
“We don’t practice those turns much, going down a hill and then doing a 180-turn, going back up the hill,” Downing said. “That slows down momentum, but I will say the top 20 times were really fast.”
Downing said a time of 17:20 to 17:25 generally gets a runner a medal in 4A, but this year it was 17:05. He said the cooler weather helped bring out faster times. He also said that some of the more experienced teams were back at state, plus he thinks middle school cross-country is becoming an influence because runners are able to begin training at a younger age.
Bonner Springs’ lone senior, T.J. Kimbrough-French, came in 81st with a time of 18:35.
Downing said Kimbrough-French would be a loss to the team since this is his third straight year going to state.
Saturday marked the first time the Braves went to state since they advanced four consecutive years from 2005 to 2008.
Downing said he’ll return six runners from state.
“The kids are already talking about next year,” Downing said.
Vitt, McGowan post top-75 finishes
Basehor-Linwood sent juniors Mark Vitt and Luke McGowan to Wamego on Saturday.
McGowan placed 49th with a time of 17:53.
Vitt said he was very happy with his performance and that the 18:21 was around the time he wanted to run. He also wanted to place in the 70s, which he also accomplished, placing 74th.
He said the weather wasn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be.
“I’d say the major thing was how hilly the course was,” Vitt said.
After walkthrough, Vitt thought it was going to be awful based how up and down the course was, but then running it, he said it wasn’t as bad as he thought.
“It gives me some experience and I’ll be able to tell the guys next year, as we go as a team, it’s not as bad as it looks,” Vitt said.