Espinosa medals at state cross meet
Ivan Espinosa has accomplished quite a bit during his three years on the Eudora cross country team.
There have been the all-league honors, all-region marks, first-place finishes and state competitions.
But after Saturday, Espinosa has one more accolade to add to his already impressive list: state medalist.
Espinosa was the lone competitor for the Cardinals at the 4A State Cross Country meet Saturday in Wamego. He finished 20th with a time of 17:28, which was good enough to earn him All-State honors.
“Ivan ran really well,” Eudora cross country coach Paul Boone said. “I’m really proud of him. He stuck to his race plan and executed really well.”
Boone said Espinosa spent the previous week developing a race strategy most conducive to his style.
“Ivan’s not a guy who should come out of the gate really fast,” Boone said. “That’s when he struggles a bit. He knew what he had to do, and ran just a fantastic race.”
Boone said Espinosa had help from some of his teammates who supported him by training with him during the last week of the season even though their seasons were already in the books.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Espinosa’s state championship run was his position early in the race.
He was just inside the top 50 runners after the first mile of the race, then advanced to 29th after the second, and edged out Baldwin’s Tosh Mihesuah by three seconds to snag the last state medal in the boys race.
“It was a really exciting finish,” he said. “He really turned it on at the end. It was a blast to watch.”
Overall, Boone said he was pleased Espinosa was able to accomplish his lofty goals for the year.
“His first goal was to finish in the top 15,” he said. “And we structured our goals this year so that if he didn’t get the first one, he would have something to continue working for. His second was to receive a state medal, and he did it.”
Espinosa will look for a third consecutive trip to the state meet next year as a senior.