Horsethief Run draws large group of runners
By 6:30 a.m. Saturday, cars started filling the parking lot and people began stretching in preparation for either the two-mile track or four-mile trail at the annual Horsethief Run at Eudora High School.
Eudora High School head cross country coach Paul Boone said the turnout to the event was exceptional. Boone said about 140 people registered, with all of the proceeds going to the Eudora High School cross country team.
"Our No. 1 expectation is that we have a fun event and have competitive runners out and are accurate with our times and course," Boone said. "Our second goal is to make money for the team."
Boone said the event really was a collaborative effort among his team and other cross country coaches from the area, including De Soto and Lawrence.
Cross country team manager Madison Mater said although she did not run, she had a great time setting up the event and working the water station at the one-and-a-half mile mark.
"It's always fun to get people excited about running at seven in the morning," Mater said.
Much of the EHS cross country team also participated in the run.
EHS senior Joey Chino said he beat his goal of 29 minutes 36 seconds on the four-mile trail. Chino said he ran 26:30 getting him sixth place in the men's 16 to 19 division.
Megan Ballock, who graduated from EHS in May, placed first in the women's two-mile run, with a time of 12:45.
"I didn't really know what to expect going into this race, but I wanted to do it under 15 minutes, and I did that," Ballock said.
Lawrence resident Gene Wee said he had a great time at the Horsethief Run and enjoyed supporting the cross country team.
"I've done this run before," Wee said. "The Eudora cross country team has been doing great things. (Boone) is a good friend so I came to help out."
First place in the overall men's four-mile race almost slipped away from Lawrence resident Matt Riley. He said he fell on the gravel and scraped his leg. But he picked himself up and just kept running, ultimately finishing the run with a time of 23:23.
Boone said overall he was very content with how the race turned out and is looking forward to it again next year.
The male overall winner of the four-mile race was Matt Riley, Lawrence, with a time of 23:23 and the four-mile female overall winner was Brittney Graff, Eudora, with a time of 25:45. In the two-mile category, Dan Webster, Olathe, was the male overall winner with 12:57 and Megan Ballock was the overall female winner with a time of 12:45.