Boys show presence at Wamego despite no cross country team
Lee places fourth in individual standings; girls team places 12th at 4A state meet
Mill Valley didn't have one of the top boys cross country teams at the 4A state meet in Wamego last Saturday. In fact, the Jags didn't even have a boys team competing. That didn't mean, however, that they weren't represented on the boys side of things in a big way.
Mill Valley senior Griffin Lee finished fourth in the individual standings with a time of 16:39, just 55 seconds behind the winner. Lee's placing earned him all-state honors and made the day and the year for coach Mark Chipman.
"Griffin's fourth-place, all-state finish was definitely the highlight of our results at state on Saturday," Chipman said. "It was his second state medal in as many trips to the prestigious meet."
Coming into the match, Lee said he expected third was the best he could finish because of the competition in the field, but his attitude and work ethic showed otherwise. Chipman said the week prior to the meet, Lee was pushing himself and pushing his teammates as he attempted to prepare them for the final meet of the season.
Jay Matlack was the only other boy to run for Mill Valley at state and he finished in 67th place with a time of 18:15.
On the girls side of the things, the Jags' team placed 12th with a team score of 279. Hillary Johnson's 25th place finish was the highest for the girls as she ran in a time of 13:06 and Mill Valley's and five times for the game.
Each time the Jags held in the first half, they received great field position. Their average start in the first 24 minutes was their own 44-yard line in the first 24 minutes.
On the positive side for De Soto, the Wildcats ran 94 plays and controlled the clock by holding onto the ball for nearly 29 minutes. They also earned 14 first downs to nine for Mill Valley.
But Mill Valley forced four Wildcat turn overs to assure the win.
"We lose 15 seniors," said Radell on his team's chances for improving on their record for next year. "Underclassmen will have to develop in order to fill some of those big shoes.
According to Scott, in order for his team to compete well next year, they'll need to spend more time in the weight room and at camps over the summer and during the off season.
"We'll need to work on our strength and conditioning some more," said Scott. " The more experience they get - the better they'll do."