Heading into last week’s Class 5A regional race in Newton, Hays High School cross country coach Jerold Harris had his Indian girls’ team seeded anywhere from second to fifth based on its times through the season.
What happened just goes to show why teams run the race.
In no longer than 24 minutes, 24.84 seconds, the Indian girls were the regional champions, bettering their coach’s seeding and heading to the Class 5A state meet.
“I guess that is why we run the race,” Harris said when reporting his results.
Now, the Indians will look for more surprises Saturday morning in the Class 5A state meet at Rim Rock near Lawrence. The 5A girls’ race is slated for 11:45 a.m.
Several Indians are getting their first taste at a state meet as all but one runner are underclassmen with two freshman helping lead the way. Freshman Landri Dotts was sixth at the regional last week, pacing the Indians with a 21:27.15. Then junior Yesenia Maldonado — the Indians’ top runner a year ago — came in ninth at 21:32.56. Then, three Indians ran right together in 18th, 19th and 20th in freshman Lainey Hardman, sophomore Claire Shippy and sophomore Allison Shubert.
That group will be joined at Rim Rock by sophomore Cristina Leos and senior Adyson Albers.
Just two points made the difference at last week’s Class 3A regional in Gypsum. That was the difference in the Thomas More Prep-Marian girls sending their entire team to Rim Rock for the 3A state finale — and not having any qualifiers at all.
The Monarchs edged Norton for third place last week by one point, taking the third and final qualifying team spot.
Monarch head coach Cody Marintzer knew his girls had the talent to compete for a spot.
“It was going to be very difficult to go up against Norton — that’s always difficult,” Marintzer said.
Had the Monarchs not made it as a team, freshman Grace Pope’s 11th-place finish in 21:05.16 would not have been enough for TMP to have any qualifiers. Five girls already in the top 10 finishers already were not on qualifying teams. But the Monarchs packed together in the race, finishing from 11th to 33rd.
“I knew we had the talent, but watching the race and coming to the end of it, I had no idea where we were at,” Marintzer said.
The Monarchs will be represented at the 10:35 a.m. 3A girls’ race by Pope, freshman Kyleight Allen, junior Adell Riedel, sophomore Abby Rueschoff, senior Julia Werth, senior Emily Schippers and senior Kiara Urban.
Norton wasn’t without its qualifiers. Junior Lexi Kats will compete after placing sec second at last week’s regional. She is joined by Bluejay sophomore Hannah Bailey.
Class 2A, 1A
The Trego Community girls enter as one of the favorites in Class 2A in the state meet scheduled for Saturday morning at Wamego Country Club. Paced by sisters Helen and Sybil Giefer (first and fourth, respectively), the Golden Eagles were second last week in the Meade regional. The Golden Eagles had three in the top 20 and took second to Ellinwood by 15 points. Their brother, Wyndom Giefer, also qualified led the Trego boys to a team qualification after he finished fifth in the boys’ race at Meade.
In Class 1A, the Wallace County boys look for a team trophy as they won last week’s Tribune regional without doubt. The Wildcats placed five runners in the top 16, including a sweep of the top two spots by Trevor Fischer and Richard Kaiser — both seniors. Victoria has one qualifier in junior Joshua Schulte, who was 11th at the regional.
Area team-by-team state cross country qualifiers
at Rim Rock, Lawrence
Hays High — Adyson Albers, Kambri Bogart, Landri Dotts, Lainey Hardman, Christina Leos, Maddie Lohmeyer, Yesenia Maldanado
at Rim Rock, Lawrence
Colby — Ryan Voss, jr.
TMP-Marian — Kyleigh Allen, Grace Pope, Adell Riedel, Abby Rueschhoff, Emily Schippers, Makinsey Schlautman, Kiara Urban, Julia Werth.
Colby — Lara Murdock.
at Wamego Country Club
Trego — Wyndom Geifer.
Hoxie — Emily Diercks.
Plainville — Aubree Dewey .
Ness City — Savannah Moore.
Oakley — Danielle Allison.
Trego (team) — Helen Giefer, Sybil Giefer, Regan Moritz, Syndey Boyle, Louise Lehy.
at Wamego Country Club
Quinter (team) — Oura Chester, Jonathan Jacka, Collin Thielen, Eli Gruenbacher, Bailey Watts.
Wallace County (team) — Trevor Fischer, Richard Kaiser, Trever Medina, Chandler Van Allen, Andrew Noone, Dominic Penka, Jeremy Voth.
Victoria — Joshua Schulte.
Sylvan-Lucas — Jonathan Huehl.
La Crosse — Blake Pierce.
Logan — Sam Pinkerton.
Osborne — Cameron Delaney.
Palco — Hayley Keller.
Osborne — Helen Carlin.
Wallace County – Adrienne Selzer.