Tuning up for league meet
MVHS hopes to prove itself at Kaw Valley
At their most recent cross country meet the Mill Valley Jaguars finished fourth and eighth in girls and boys events respectively. Next week, at the Kaw Valley League meet, Mill Valley coach Mark Chipman said both teams were looking to do better.
"That's the whole idea," Chipman said. "To win your league meet. We'll be ready to go this week. Our girls should have a good battle on their hands and our boys are going to really turn it up to try to get one of these last three meets."
So far this season, neither the Mill Valley boys or Mill Valley girls have won an event. Several times, however, they have placed near the top and taken away a bunch of individual medals. Such was the case Thursday, Oct. 4, when they hosted the Cat Classic as part of the De Soto Invitational.
Three of Chipman's top boys did not run at the Cat Classic two because of injuries and the other because of illness but two of the three will be back for the KVL meet. Griffin Lee and Jay Matlack both missed the Cat Classic, but both will be back for the KVL meet. Chipman said taking the outright title might be difficult because Tonganoxie's boys team is the prohibitive favorite, but he remained optimistic about his team's chances.
Without three of their top boys runners, the Jaguars finished eighth at the Cat Classic with 197 team points. Tonganoxie won the event with 38.
On the girls side, Chipman said the Jags also had to overcome some injuries and illnesses at the Cat Classic, but the team's two anchors, Hillary Johnson and Aubrey Hale both ran well. Johnson finished with a time of 13:04 and earned sixth place, while Hale finished at 13:08 and finished in eighth place. The girls team finished fourth with 88 points. Blue Valley West won the event with 18.
With regular season meets behind them, the Jaguars can now focus on the final three meets of the season league, regional and state something Chipman said he tries to do every year.
"We've always stressed the last three meets pretty strongly," Chipman said. "League recognition, league trophies and banners those things are all nice."
For the Jaguars to get those, however, Chipman said his team will have to be on top of its game. Only Brian Fritz and Griffin Lee have previously run at the St. Mary's course where the KVL meet will be.
"I think Tonganoxie's boys team will be tough to catch," Chipman said. "But our girls will have a good shot. It's us, Tonganoxie and Lansing on the girls side and I think any of the three of us should be able to win it."
Both teams will be shorthanded at the KVL meet as the girls will be without Jacque Jenkins, who is out with shin splints, and the boys will be without Braxton Bray, who broke his arm.
Chipman said that in their absence others have stepped up and will continue to do so for the final three meets of the season.
"We'll try to peak this week, and then we'll try to get up and peak again next week," Chipman said. "
The boys race begins at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and the girls race will begin at 5 p.m. The junior varsity KVL meet will follow the varsity races at the same location.