Graff earns first again
The cross country squad took to the field Thursday for the Tonganoxie Invitational, and for at least one team member, it was business as usual.
Junior standout Brittney Graff made it two in a row as she claimed the top spot with her second sub-12 minute run of the year.
Graff came into the race as the defending champion of the meet and had no problems defending her title.
"She took the lead from the start," head coach Paul Boone said. "There was never any doubt."
Graff earned the medal with a final time of 11 minutes, 58 seconds. The finish was not only good for the victory but also earned Graff a place in the record books with a new mark for the course.
But Graff wasn't the only one who made a strong impression on the course. Senior Megan Ballock took third place with a time of 12:26.
"Megan ran a great race," Boone said. "With about 800 (meters remaining) she pushed the pace and captured third place. She looked very strong."
Sophomore Lauren Colman took ninth place at 13:13, which was a personal best.
"Lauren ran really well," Boone said. "She has established a style of being conservative early and then pushing late."
Another personal best came from sophomore Emily Ballock, who checked in with a personal best time of 13:22, which was good for an 11th-place finish.
"Emily ran a personal best and really improved," Boone said. "She ran more on feel. That comes from experience. I keep forgetting that this is only her fourth distance race of her career."
Senior Cara Seats finished the race with a final time of 14:06, which was good for 41st place.
Overall the Eudora girls finished the invitational in second place, just behind De Soto for the team crown.
On the boys side, the varsity squad did not run as a unit for the invitational, taking time out to rest some of its banged up competitors.
"Our boys didn't run a varsity this week," Boone said. "We had to heal some guys up and look to be strong for league, regionals and state."
The boys team's top runner still took to the course, however he didn't have the ideal race.
Junior Cody Burns finished in 14th with a time of 18:15.
"Cody would tell you that he ran a poor race," Boone said. "The thing about Cody you never doubt is his guts and heart. He lays it on the line every time out and in every practice."
Junior Tim DeArmond took home 27th place with a time of 18:44.
The Cardinals take to the course again Thursday at Gardner.