Cats cross country runner earns money for Red Cross relief effort with medal
For the first time this season, three De Soto girls cross country runners earned a medal in the same meet. And for Sarah Jokisch it was the first medal of her career.
"This was Sarah's best race yet," said coach Chris McAfee of Jokisch's 24th finish out of 71 runners. Her time was 14:11. "I set a goal for her to move up at least three spots after the first mile...and she moved up five spots."
According to McAfee not only did she benefit from her marked improvement of 53-seconds from the Wamego meet two weeks ago, but so did the Red Cross.
For every second she improved her time, her parents are going to donate $4 to aid the rescue and recovery in New York.
Laurie Wilson and Cassie Garza were the other two medal winners.
Wilson was her usual self running the two mile race in a time of 13-minutes, 15-seconds to earn a seventh place medal.
"I wanted Laurie to get out with the leaders, but she was back too much in the meet," said McAfee. "She had a great finish to come in seventh. She was 12th at the mile and 11th with 600 meters to go."
The always competitive Garza finished right behind Jokisch in 25th place with a clocking of 14:12.
On the boys side of the slate, Jason Wayne finished 34th out of 71 runners by running the 3.1-mile course in a personal best time of 18:47.
"He competed well," said McAfee. "Each week he competes better and is running faster. He moved up several places in the last mile, which is something he has not done in the past."
Casey Johnson placed 41st with a time of 19: 09. Though he normally runs in the junior varsity race, Johnson competed at the varsity level so he could face more competitors.
For the first time this season, the Lady Wildcats will be able to field a full team at the Lansing Invitational Thursday afternoon when Katie James makes her return.
"Our focus on the girls side has to shift from the individual to the team now," said McAfee. "We need to run with a little more heart and emotion."
The Lansing Invitational will be De Soto's only action this week.