Griffin earns third straight Kaw Valley League cross country title
See Griffin run. See Griffin win. See Griffin become just the second cross country runner in the history of the Kaw Valley League to win three straight league titles.
Last Thursday, Mill Valley senior Griffin Lee took advantage of the warm weather and ideal running conditions to win his third straight KVL title. His winning time of 15:39 was 18 seconds better than the second-place finisher.
"It's a great feeling," Lee said as he caught his breath after the race. "With it being my senior year, I really wanted to go out with a bang and this was definitely a great way to go out."
Lee was joined by five of his teammates in the top 20, as the Mill Valley boys cruised to an easy second-place finish. Jay Matlack finished fifth, Alex Treaster finished 12th and Greg Gardner, Aupuro Johnson and Austin Zeh finished 18th, 19th and 20th, respectively.
All six of the boys top finishers set new personal records, and Lee's time was a new school record.
"Almost all of our guys ran PRs on the fast course," MVHS coach Mark Chipman said. "Griffin showed no signs of a two-week absence from competing as he pulled away in the last mile and cruised to a comfortable 18-second victory."
The Jag women were almost as impressive, as Aubrey Hale and Hillary Johnson finished third and fourth, respectively, and paced the Jags to a third place team finish, just 10 points behind second-place Tonganoxie.
"Our girls gave it a good run also," Chipman said. "And they came in a strong third out of eight teams."
The Jaguars finished 31 points ahead of fourth-place Perry-Lecompton. Laraine Kyle (19), Amber Keith (24) and Holly Gessley (25) all placed in the top 25 and Hillarie Andrews, who finished 28th, set a new personal record as well.
Next up for the Jaguars will be a run at regionals, Saturday, Oct. 20. The Jags have been assigned to the 4A regional in Ottawa and the girls will start at 11 a.m. with the guys running at 11:30. Chipman and the team are optimistic about its chances heading into the event.
"Both teams have good chances of finishing in the top three and qualifying for the state meet," Chipman said. "But we'll have to run well to do it."
As for Lee, he's setting realistic goals for himself heading into the regional, because he said he knows that he can't win them all.
"I'm hoping to place in the top three," Lee said. "I think that's a good goal for me and I think our team has a shot to do well."