Cardinals compete with the best at Wamego meet
Despite several strong individual efforts, the Eudora Cardinals cross country team earned a pack finish Saturday at a loaded Wamego Invitational.
The top-eight teams in girls Kansas 4A -- according to the Cross Country Coaches Poll -- were in attendance. And six of the top-eight boys teams competed.
Eudora's girls finished seventh among 18 teams, which was an improvement over last year's eighth-place showing. The boys finished 14th among 17.
Three Cardinals medaled individually. Eight set personal records, one set a school course record, and four others ran season best times.
Clay Center, with 47 points, took home the team gold for the girls. The top-ranked Baldwin squad finished in second place with 96 points. With an impressive 98 points, El Dorado nearly pushed the Bulldogs to third.
Eudora sophomore standout Brittney Graff set a personal record and a school record on the Wamego course. Her time of 12 minutes, 18 seconds earned her an impressive third-place finish.
But it's the newcomers that are the real story for the girls thus far.
Senior Johanna Rahmqvist earned the girls second individual medal. The swift Swede placed 23rd with a solid 13:06.
Lauren Colman, in her first high school race, was remarkable. Colman's 13:36 cracked the top-50 in 49th place.
Freshman Katelyn Reese followed her high school debut with another strong showing. She finished 57th with a personal record 13:54. Her previous PR was 14:31.
While the freshmen and transfers are making noise, the staple returnees are still waiting to hit their full stride.
Junior Megan Ballock placed 63rd with a 14:01. Sophomore Cara Seats finished in 70th place with a season best 14:21. And sophomore Tori Tunget crossed in 90th place with her season's best effort of 15:12.
The girls 1-to-5 time gap of 1:33 was their best since 2002. Their 1-to-7 gap was 2:56.
Eudora's boys managed a 14th place finish thanks to a solid team effort -- each member of the very young seven-man team either posted a personal record or a season-best performance.
The Cardinals boys team finished with 344 points.
The performance of Eudora's top-three was especially noteworthy. Sophomore Cody Burns placed 26th with a personal record 18:01, besting his previous PR by 22 seconds. Sophomore Tim DeArmond finished 43rd with a personal record 18:32. His previous best was 19:09. The sole upperclassman, junior Sean Wiard, finished in 75th place with a season best 19:37.
Sophomores Jared Reetz (21:25) and Kent Abel (21:35) finished 110th and 111th respectively. It was a personal record for both. Reetz' previous record was 22:11 and Abel's 21:39.
Sophomore Andy Schultz' season best 22:35 placed him in 121st. And sophomore Paul McCleery's personal record 23:01 placed him one spot behind in 122nd. McCleery's shattered his previous best by a whopping 2:17.
The boys 1-to-5 time gap was 3:34. Their 1-to-7 gap of 5:00 was just two seconds off their best of 2003 at Wellsville.
Eudora's next stop is Saturday at Rim Rock Farm north of Lawrence