A few years back, I saw a t-shirt that read something like
this: One day, September will ask June, July and August what you have been
The 2016 cross country season kicks off in Kansas Thursday
and September is just aching to find out whose summer training may have taken
them to new heights.
One thing we're pretty certain of right now: Cailie Logue is
going to be pretty tough to beat. She's already dominated Class 4A for three
years, and had a dream summer with a win at the Festival of Miles in St. Louis
and a sixth place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials high school invitational
She's ranked No. 2 in the country by Milesplit USA and has
the fastest PR of anyone in the top 5.
Logue kicks off her senior year Thursday at the Labette
County Invitational, hoping this year to become just the fifth Kansas runner
ever to win four individual state cross country championships.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS
St. Thomas Aquinas' boys and girls teams can make a good
case for being the best teams in Kansas, but can they beat the Missouri schools
- who have had a two-week headstart?
They did last year, but it's always a challenge when the
Saints host the Greg Wilson Classic at Johnson County Community College on
Saturday. This is possibly the most challenging meet of the weekend in Kansas,
deep in depth and individual talent. Rockhurst's boys and Blue Springs' girls
are two Missouri teams capable of spoiling Aquinas' home meet.
Other top meets to
Bishop Carroll hosts its home invitational with 17 teams from
both sides of the state expected to participate. The boys' race features 2015
Class 5A runner-up Blue Valley Southwest taking on the host Golden Eagles,
which placed third in Class 5A last year. Both return five runners from last
The girls race promises to feature Wichita North's Gabriela Reyna, fourth in Class 6A last year. Blue Valley Southwest's girls were third
in Class 5A a year ago, and return six runners.
The Olathe East Classic at Lone Elm Park features a good field,
including two-time 6A state champion Emily Venters of Lawrence Free State.
Manhattan, defending team champs in 6A girls, hosts its annual home meet at the
tough Warner Park course.
The top meet in the Topeka area is the Hayden Invitational, where
we may see a battle in the boys' race between seniors Kyler True of Olpe,
Robbie Schmidt of Hayden and Luke Rovenstine of Kansas City Christian. Maranda Scheller of Olpe won the girls race a year ago, but Maranatha Academy's girls
are likely the team to beat.
In Class 1A, the Wichita County Invitational features 2015
class 1A girls runner-up Robyn Selzer; and the Marysville Invitational features
an early season showdown between Frankfort and Centralia boys - with class 3A
heavyweight Riley County thrown in.
Baldwin's boys and girls get a jumpstart on defending their
class 4A crown when they toe the line at the Anderson County Jerry Howarter
Invitational on Thursday.
A MOMENT OF SILENCE...
Finally in this week's preview, I encourage everyone to take
a moment of silence this weekend to remember a class act of a guy, Lance
Lenard, a Wamego High School coach who died as a result of injuries sustained
in a car accident two weeks ago.
Lance was an assistant track and field coach for Wamego High
School, whose cross country runners will skip Saturday's Manhattan Invitational
to attend memorial services for Lance.
Lance epitomized the caring nature of cross country and
track and field coaches and athletes in our state. He will surely be missed.
Read Pat Melgares'
weekly previews on Milesplit KS each Wednesday at noon. A weekly wrapup of
Kansas races will be published each Sunday at noon. Meet Managers -- send your results as soon as possible after your home meets to Pat Melgares, melgares@LetsGoRun.com, or Jim Madison, email@example.com.