Girls third, boys 8th at Tongie
Five days after competing at the prestigious Jayhawk Invitational, the Eudora Cardinals cross country team was back at work in Tonganoxie. On a near-perfect Thursday afternoon, the Cards claimed a strong third-place girls finish, a solid eighth-place boys finish, and an individual championship.
The girls squad is still dealing with the loss of junior Megan Ballock to mononucleosis. But the remaining members of the state's seventh-ranked 4A team were still bronze-worthy at Tongie.
Fifth-ranked De Soto took the Tonganoxie Invitational title with 36 points. Mill Valley secured second with a 60-point effort. And Eudora's 76-point performance took third.
McLouth (147) and Kansas City Christian (158) finished well behind the top-three but within the top-five.
Host Tonganoxie (173) just edged Maranatha (177) for sixth. Perry-Lecompton (186), Basehor-Linwood (204) and Spring Hill (226) rounded out the top-10.
Liberty (243) and Jefferson County West (273) finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
Anderson County, Bishop Seabury, Bishop Ward, Lansing, Olathe Northwest, Piper, Pleasant Ridge and Van Horn (Mo.) competed with incomplete teams.
Sophomore Brittney Graff won the individual gold with a time of 11 minutes, 55 seconds, just five seconds off the course record. She shattered her personal record of 12:18 and set the course record for a Cardinal.
Senior Johanna Rahmqvist broke the top-10 with a strong ninth-place effort of 12:51. She too buried her previous personal record of 13:03.
Junior Cara Seats took 21st with a season-best time of 13:17.
Freshman Katelyn Reese finished eight spots behind Seats in 29th with a time of 13:40. Reese was the third Cardinal girl to set a personal best. Her previous best was 13:54.
Six seconds later freshman Lauren Colman crossed in 35th. Her 13:46 set the team 1-to-5 time gap at a solid 1:51.
The boys eighth-place finish was almost as impressive as the girls' third-place effort. Eudora's boys finished ahead of the 2003 3A state champion Kansas City Christian squad. Among the teams at the event were 4A state qualifiers Tonganoxie, De Soto and Anderson County, 5A qualifier Mill Valley and 6A qualifier Olathe Northwest.
The host Chieftains took the boys team gold with 61 points.
The De Soto boys finished with a silver. Their 70 points held off Anderson County's 94.
Kansas City Christian (116) and Jefferson County West (129) closed out the top-five.
Olathe Northwest (174) and Mill Valley (189) finished just ahead of Eudora (230).
Maranatha (252) and McLouth (256) rounded out the top-10.
Spring Hill (258), Liberty (285) and Perry-Lecompton (382) claimed the final three spots.
Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Seabury, Bishop Ward, JC Harmon, Lansing, Piper, Pleasant Ridge and Van Horn competed with incomplete squads.
Sophomore Cody Burns had a breakout performance. His 17:44 earned him an impressive ninth-place finish. It also established a new personal record -- besting his previous record of 18:01.
Fellow sophomore Tim DeArmond continued his strong running with a 20th- place finish. His 18:10 also set a personal record -- besting his previous record of 18:32.
Junior Sean Wiard placed 48th with a season best 19:22.
Sophomore Kent Abel finished in 78th place with a season-best time of 21:08.
Junior Andy Schultz also nailed a season best time of 22:08 -- finishing 89th.
And senior Paul McCleery finished in 93rd with a time of 22:31.
The boys 1-to-5 time gap was 4:24.
Eudora's next race is at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Gardner.