Girls defend Trailblazer title
It was another repeat performance for the Eudora girls cross country team at the Trailblazer Invitational Thursday in Gardner.
Anderson County, Santa Fe Trail and Gardner-Edgerton were among the squads that couldn't keep up with the Eudora girls as they navigated the twisting woodland course in rural Johnson County for their second Trailblazer title.
The girls team took home the championship trophy in the two-mile race with a performance that was 26 points better than second-place Tonganoxie.
The Eudora girls finished the afternoon by placing six runners in the top 20 in a field of 39 runners.
Among those finishes was the third meet title in as many tries for junior Brittney Graff.
Graff emerged from the wooded bends of the Trailblazer course all alone to claim the crown by 20 seconds.
"Brittney continues to focus on the meets ahead," coach Paul Boone said. "She performed well again. She's such a perfectionist that she's always focusing on doing better."
Graff, in her third Trailblazer title, came in with a final time of 12 minutes, 13 seconds. The time was also good for an EHS and course record.
Senior Megan Ballock took her place among the top finishers with a time of 13:16, which was good for the third-place medal.
Sophomore Lauren Colman rounded out the top-five finishers by crossing the finish line nine seconds behind Megan Ballock.
Emily Ballock came in with a time of 14:08 to take 10th and give the Cardinals four of the top-10 medals.
The Cardinal girls rounded out the top 20 with a 12th-place finish from senior Cara Seats, while freshman Elizabeth Hoese placed 18th with a time of 14:53.
Although the theme of repeating didn't quite apply to the Cardinal boys at the Trailblazer Invitational, there was plenty of improvement.
A week ago ,the boys squad was incomplete at the Tonganoxie Invitational as Soeren Quittkat and Joey Chino sat out to heal injuries.
Both runners bounced back with personal bests to help the boys take fifth-place overall.
"The boys really came back and performed well," Boone said. "Soeren (and Joey really came back from the rest and seemed not to miss a beat. Overall the boys are really improving down the stretch."
The 99 points by the Cardinal boys were an improvement over last year's 114 points at the Gardner event.
Junior Cody Burns earned the top spot for the Cardinals with an 18:00 fifth-place finish, while Tim DeArmond finished 10th at 18:32.
Kaws for celebration, Cards top Perry