Rain Plays Havoc with Week 2 Schedule

The rain and the slop took a healthy slice away from the Kansas cross country schedule this past week, and made conditions a bit more pedestrian at the meets that were held.

Organizers determined late last week that conditions were too wet at the Wamego Country Club to host the much-anticipated Wamego Invitational, a meet that hosts more than 40 teams hoping to get a preview of the course used for the 1A/2A/4A state championships in late October.


The Wamego meet has proven to be a good barometer in the past for the state championships in each of those divisions. Last year, the individual state champions in three of four varsity races ran the Wamego Invitational, as well as four teams that eventually won state titles.


The meet is not scheduled to be made up.


They did run in the mud and a drizzling rain in Emporia, where Manhattan sophomore Daniel Harkin (16:13.9) and Maize freshman Zoie Ecord (20:11.70) won the individual titles. Manhattan's boys and girls swept all six team titles on the day.


It was especially muddy in St. Louis, Mo. where class 5A powerhouse St. James Academy traveled to take on a very tough field at the Forest Park Invitational. Katie Moore, a junior, was the top finisher on the girls side, taking second in 20:49.60, and Sarah Murrow was fifth in 21:24.50, leading the squad to a 12th place finish.


Jack Moore led St. James to a 12h place finish in the boys' division, as well, placing fifth in 17:22.9.


At the Olathe North Twilight Classic, St. Thomas Aquinas seniors Ethan Marshall and Reece Jones looked pretty good, rolling to a 1-2 finish in times of 15:45.5 and 15:54.8. Asher Molina of Shawnee Mission North was third in 16:00.0 while two-time class 6A defending state champion Trent Cochran of Gardner-Edgerton was fourth at 16:17.7.


The boys' team race was pretty exciting between class 6A defending state champion Olathe North and 5A defending champion St. Thomas Aquinas. Olathe North put four runners in front of Aquinas' third, keying a 47-56 victory.


The girls' race went to Washburn Rural's Jaybe Shufelberger, who eclipsed the 19:00 mark for the second week in a row. She won the race in 18:54.4, just 21 seconds off her state leading mark of 18:33 run one week earlier.


Katie Kasunic of Shawnee Mission North was second at 19:09.1 and Lily Strauss of Blue Valley North placed third in 19:12.8 - the fourth best time in Kansas this season. Blue Valley North's girls won the team title by three points over Blue Valley West, while St. Thomas Aquinas' girls were 32 points back in third place.


Yates Center's Hadley Splechter, the defending class 2A state champion, got a bit of a fight from Bishop Seabury's Henry Nelson, before pulling away to win the Burlington Invitational in 16:56.8. Nelson was second in 17:09.9. Molly Rossman of West Franklin led a 1-4 finish for her team, winning the girls' division in 21:56.8.


Central Heights' Alex Canady (19:45.9) and Lily Meyer (23:23.2) led their teams to titles at the Lyndon Invitiational, both winning the individual race in the process.


The Giefer family from Trego Community had a good day at the Tribune Greeley County Invitational. Sophomore Wyndom Giefer won the boys' race in 17:24.9, while sisters Helen Giefer (19:43.1) and Sybil Giefer (22:00.1) finished 1-2 in the girls race.


Ethan Thompson of Meade, an 11-time state medalist who was the state runner-up in cross country as well as the 1600 and 3200 meters last year, looked pretty good in winning the 1A-3A portion of the Hesston Invitational. His time of 16:19.4 was more than a minute faster than runner-up Andrew O'Brien of Halstead.


Hannah Burks of Beloit, a junior who captured the class 3A state cross country title last year, had the top 1A-3A girls time at Hesston, clocking 19:56.7.

In the 4A-6A division of the Hesston Invitational, Keetan Munsell of Salina South won the senior boys' race with the top time among the larger schools, 16:31.1. The best time among 4A-6A girls was put up by Claire Winter of Bishop Carroll, who won the senior girls' division in 19:35.1 -- just one second ahead of freshman teammate Hope Jackson, who won her division in 19:36.2.


DeSoto's Sam Hubert won his home invitational in 17:01, leading six DeSoto runners in the top 10. Sophomore Nicole Schottler of DeSoto won the girls' race in 22:37.