Runners first at Bonner Springs
You could say the De Soto Wildcats cross country team had a pretty good day last Saturday at Bonner Springs.
Both the girls and boys teams are battling some nagging injuries, but that didn't stop them from sweeping the field as the girls and boys squads both finished in first place.
The girls edged out Olathe Northwest by three points, and the boys squad outran Paola by 14 points to earn the first place finishes.
The girls team hasn't yet ran a meet with its top six girls healthy, but has managed to finish in first place at Anderson County, Emporia and now Bonner Springs.
"Our girls team is pretty solid this year," De Soto coach Chris McAfee said.
Leading the way for the Wildcat girls was Ellie Sheridan who finished first overall with a time of 15:20.
Second place went to teammate Lacey Erickson who came in at 16:11. Hannah Jokisch came in seventh at 16:57 and Beth Richenberger finished 11th at 17:13. Sarah Bell came in 36th at 18:19.
For the boys squad, Austin Hinchey came in third overall with a run of 17:22 and teammate Colin Jokisch, who fell at Emporia, came in ninth at 17:50.
Ben Burgweger came in 20th at 18:25 and Ry Patton finished in 27th at 18:53.
"We didn't run our best but the guys we needed to run well did," McAfee said.
De Soto ran its JV squad Tuesday at Tonganoxie but did not run its varsity squad because McAfee said he was instead saving them for the race Saturday at Rim Rock farm in Lawrence.
"I don't want to run our varsity kids twice in one week," McAfee said. "It's kind of rough on them. We need to train and we're a little banged up so we need to try to get healthy."
The meet Saturday will also feature 5A and 6A schools and McAfee said that the race strategy for both his teams would be crucial, especially the boys.
"For the guys, they're going to have to be patient and run smart," he said. "One thing we keep trying to work on is our race plan. Where we start the race at is pretty key for our guys and we kind of keep playing around with that.
"We're getting there, we're about right on where they should start and how they should move. Now on a race like this one where its going to be pretty fast when they get going it's going to be pretty challenging, so it's pretty important that we execute our race plan."
The cross country season is almost half over and McAfee said for the second half of the year, the team goals haven't changed from week to week.
"It's easy to get wrapped up in end of season goals but in the short term ours is to get better each week," McAfee said.
"The kids can get caught up in it, they want to run faster each week and that's just not always going to happen.
"We just want to see improvement each week in the way they tackle the races and the way they compete. As long as they keep moving up a little bit each week and keep improving there. If we do that and perfect some things I think we're going to do really well at the end. of the season."
After the meet at Rim Rock, De Soto will run next at the KC Metro Championships Oct. 11.