CPA events challenge local athletes
Running in blistering heat was anything but a picnic for the 16 athletes who competed in the CPA Picnic's annual 4 Mile Fun Run early Saturday morning.
Joe Alexander, 25, a Kansas University graduate student, won the race in a landslide, completing the course with a time of 22.16. The "fun run" was the first time that Alexander had raced in Eudora.
"That's a tough course," Alexander said. "I don't know if it was the hills or the humidity that made it so tough."
Veteran "Fun Runner" and former KU track athlete Steve Riley of Lawrence finished second with a time of 23:47. After the race, Riley,47, joyfully spoke to Alexander of the days when he and other competitors ran to Eudora from Lawrence and then took part in the Fun Run.
Chad Brecheisen, 29, finished third (25:49) followed by Eudora High School Cross Country Coach Paul Boone (27:32). Erin Potts, 22, a former track athlete at Minnesota State University-Mankato, rounded out the top five and was also the highest finishing woman in the race with a time of 28:20.
"It was a pretty nice course with a good surface," Potts said. "That's about where I wanted to finish so I managed to meet my goals."
Roberts attributed part of his success to knowing the course because Cardinals' cross country team uses it for practice.
"I ran that course too many times to count so I knew how to pace myself on it," Roberts said.
The CPA athletic activities were not limited to Eudora as the festival's annual golf tournament was held at the Oak Country Club Golf Course in De Soto. With a score of 59, Eudora West Principal Rod Moyer and EHS Principal Dale Sample emerged victorious over 13 other duos.
"There are an awful lot of par threes on this course," Sample said. "We just never got in trouble. We like playing in these things. We play in the spring, summer and a little bit in the fall."
Jim Lynch enjoyed playing in the tournament even though he hadn't visited the De Soto course for a couple years.
"We played here two or three years ago," Lynch said. 'The 16th hole was very challenging but we did get a par."
Ken Adkinson, who also competed in the tournament, said that the reunion and camaraderie among the participants is just as important as the outcome of the tournament.
"It pulls people together and gives them the opportunity to renew friendships," Adkinson said. 'Especially because as hot as it is these days people aren't getting out."
EHS junior Austin Roberts, 16, a member of the cross-country team impressed Boone with a tenth place finish. Boone said he expects Roberts to be one of the team leaders on next year's cross country team.
"Austin came back from a wilderness trip and I was glad to see him out here today," Boone said. 'He's one of our upperclassmen and we are really depending on him this year. Hopefully, we will have more kids from the team (competing in the Fun Run) next year."