Late season surge highlights 2009 cross country
The De Soto cross country team fell just short of its goal of capturing two state titles this year. But the Wildcats were the only school in Class 4A to have both teams place in the top three at state.
“Overall we got two state trophies, and we were definitely pleased with that,” cross country coach Chris McAfee said.
The De Soto girls finished the season with a strong second-place finish at state to Baldwin. The girls team battled various injuries and illness throughout the year, but ended the year with strong runner up finishes at league, regionals and state.
“It was fun because every week they were improving and getting better,” McAfee said. “And it was kind of fun going into the state meet not knowing where we were going to finish at and see them step up the way they did. So it was definitely a memorable season.”
At league, Ellie Sheridan finished fourth, Beth Reichenberger eighth and Carly Stanley 13th. Maggie Oberle, Jordan Kline and Hannah Jokisch also finished in the top 20. Sheridan’s finish earned her first-team All-League honors, and Reichenberger and Stanley were named second-team selections. Oberle, Kline and Jokisch each earned third-team honors.
At regionals, Sheridan finished third, Lacey Erickson fourth and Reichenberger 10th. And at state Erickson placed 13th, brought home a medal and earned All-State honors.
The boys also finished the season strong. The boys won the league championship for the second year in a row, won the regional championship and placed third at state.
At the league meet, Austin Hinchey placed second, Diego Sanchez sixth, Ry Patton seventh, Ben Burgweger eighth, Bryan Jessip 12th and Phillip Kaul 14th. Hinchey, Sanchez and Patton all earned first-team All-League honors, and second-team honors went to Burgweger, Jessip and Kaul.
At regionals, Hinchey finished second, Angel Vasquez third, Sanchez fifth, Patton eighth and Burgweger 10th. And at state, Vasquez finished seventh and was an All-State selection.
“I love that group of guys,” McAfee said. “The guys that were seniors were just an awesome group. I feel really close to that group, and they had a lot of confidence in me, and I had a lot of confidence in them. They did everything we asked them to do. And as far as leadership, I don’t know that we’ve had a better group of seniors.”
Both squads will lose talented seniors to graduation this year, but with several veteran runners who have plenty of varsity experience and a talented group of junior varsity, sophomore and freshman runners on the way, McAfee said next year’s team could be even better.