No postponement this time season starts
After the postponement of the first meet of the season, the Eudora High cross country team was eager to run. The teams competed at Wamego Saturday, followed by a meet at Wellsville on Thursday.
The top teams in class 4A were assembled to test the Wamego course. The state meet will be held at the same location in seven weeks.
On the boys side, the field was represented by the defending state champions from Baldwin and five of the top seven teams from last year's state meet.
The girls field was just as tough, boasting all seven of the top teams from the 1999 state competition.
The course, laid out on the Wamego Country Club golf course, was a challenging, hilly route.
First-year runner senior Sean Mullis, who finished in 73rd place with a time of 20:05, led the EHS boys. Senior Daniel Chrislip ran a strong race to finished 93rd in 20:39.
Sophomore James Barr (100th, 20:45), senior Trevor O'Grady (106th, 21:05), and senior Peter Hickman (113th, 21:20) added to the scoring for the Cardinals. Senior Jay Pewenofkit (123rd, 22:13) and sophomore Austin Roberts (130th, 22:30) rounded out the varsity placings on the boys' side.
The Cardinals scored 446 points to place 17th out of 19 teams.
The girls course was set over the first two miles of the boys route and included the same strong hills and rises.
A pair of juniors led the girls with Jill Abel in 60th place, clocking 14:53, followed closely in 69th place by Estelle Montgomery in 15:07.
Senior Carolyn Jones finished third for the team in 83rd place (15:30), with Sarah Katzfey (92nd, 15:53), Rhiannon Tiner (116th, 17:07), and Melissa Steel (123rd, 17:42) finishing for the Cardinals. The girls team placed 15th out of 17 teams in 4A, tallying 391 team points.
In the junior varsity race, all classes 1-4 were combined and the course was the same 5K route as the varsity boys.
Junior Tyler Matthews led Eudora, placing 26th in 21:24. Freshman Ian Mater cracked the top 50, placing 44th with a time of 22:16. Jeff Jones, also a freshman, ran 23:20 to capture 68th.
Senior Stephon Speicher, an exchange student from Germany, made his debut on American soil, racing around the course in 27:19 to place 99th. Freshman Will Steel placed 104th, running 30:58 in his own debut at the 5K distance.
"There is no doubt that Wamego is one of the toughest meets of the year," coach Paul Boone said. "It is a preview of the competition we will see at the state meet.
"I welcome the chance to run against the toughest. After running there, one has no doubts where you stack up. It is good incentive to continue training hard and to re-evaluate."
Eudora traveled to Wellsville Sept. 14 to compete in the Wellsville Invitational. The Wellsville course stands in stark contrast to Wamego.
"It looks more like what senior Stephon Speicher expected when he came to Kansasflat and fast," Boone said.
Speicher set the stage for the races by cutting off 2:39 from his personal best. He captured 16th in a time of 24:40.
Jones also improved his time by over a minute to snare the first medal of his EHS cross-country career (10th in 22:19).
Will Steel continued the trend with 19th place, cavorting to a 28:02 clocking, an improvement of 2:56 in his second race.
Leading the Cards to a third-place team finish was Mullis placing 11th in 19:25, followed by O'Grady (14th, 20:01), Barr (16th, 20:05), and Tyler Matthews (19th, 20:15) to capture medals.
Chrislip finished fifth for the team, grabbing 22nd place in 20:46. Hickman (23rd, 20:54) and Roberts (32nd, 22:01) rounded out Eudora's varsity team.
The boys team results were Central Heights, first with 30 points, followed by Wellsville, 48; Eudora, 82; Louisburg, 84; and Spring Hill, 99.
The girls squad improved their times from the previous week. Abel and Montgomery led the team. Abel finished fourth in 14:19. Montgomery's time was 14:33, good for a fifth-place finish. Jones placed 14th with a time of 15:10, followed by Katzfey (16th, 15:16) and Melissa Steel (27th, 16:18).
Paola captured first for the girls varsity competition with 39 points. Wellsville placed second with 44. Eudora was third with 66. Central Heights finished fourth with 90. Spring Hill came in fifth with 125, followed by Louisburg with 161.
Next action for the Cardinals is today at Tonganoxie. Freshman boys run at 4 p.m., followed by junior varsity boys and girls at 4:30 p.m. Varsity girls will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity boys at 5:30 p.m.