Season heats up as Cards head across state line
The Eudora cross country team is scheduled for some of the toughest competitions in Kansas this season, and if all goes as planned, both the boys and the girls teams will take part in the state cross country meet.
That will all be on hold this week, however, as the Cardinals take a trip out of state for a competition they hope will be unforgettable.
Eudora will run twice this week -- once at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Wellsville Invitational, and then again on Saturday at the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo.
"Our next race is a new one that we've never done before, so I don't know what to expect," Brittney Graff said. "It's supposed to be big with a lot of teams from other states. It will be cool to see different competition. I like the thought of not knowing who I'm racing against.
"When someone breaks out I won't know if they're someone that's going to die or someone that can hold the pace, so I'll have to think more about things."
The new environment will give the Cardinals a break from the team's they've been in competition with so far this season, and that can be both good and bad, they said.
Graff finished second at the Wamego Invitational Saturday, held on the same course where she won the Class 4A championship in October.
The senior set a school record for the four-kilometer run and finished the notoriously hilly course in 14 minutes, 34 seconds.
Though she was still behind rival Heather Garcia of Baldwin -- the gap was 11 seconds this week, down from 16 in the season's first race -- Graff said she was able to stick with her race plan and accomplish what she wanted to.
"I decided to try and start this race out different than last race," Graff said. "Last race our plan was to not push the pace and have Heather set the pace, but this time I pushed the pace. It was faster and just starting at a faster pace set the rest of the race at a faster pace and I cut a whole minute off my time."
Emily Ballock was the second Cardinal to finish the race, crossing in a personal best time of 16:35 and in 24th place. Liz Hoese was 57th in 17:51. Bre Miller was 62nd at 18:00 and Lauren Colman was hot on her heels, finishing in 63rd and at 18:04.
The girls team finished seventh with 186 points. The Baldwin girls won the race with 68. Eudora was 22 behind sixth-place Clay Center and well ahead of eighth-place Hayden, which finished with 226.
Senior Joey Chino continued his fast start to the season by leading the boys team to a 10th- place finish.
Chino was second at Anderson County, the season's first meet, and knocked 25 seconds off that time, finishing the five-kilometer course in 17:19. He was sixth place.
"I think it's mainly because I've done a lot of miles this summer," Chino said of his early success. "I ran 255 miles and last year I didn't even get close to that. Since it's my last year, I thought I should try my best."
Cody Burns was 19th in 18:00. Tim DeArmond had a second-best time of 19:57 and finished in 72nd place. Carlos Canizales was 105th in 20:49 and Chase Brecheisen was 124th in 21:53.