Boy runners win regional title, girls finish runner up
The De Soto cross country team looks poised to bring home some state hardware again.
The De Soto boys team won the regional cross country meet Saturday at Bonner Springs, and the girls team finished runner up to Baldwin. Both teams have qualified for the state meet Saturday at Wamego, and the boys team has now won the regional meet three of the last five years. It is the seventh year in a row the boys team has qualified for state.
“We knew we had a chance to run really well,” De Soto cross country coach Chris McAfee said. “It was a course we were very familiar with, and we thought we had a shot to do really well. I don’t know that necessarily we ran great. We’re going to have to run better, and I think we’re capable still of running a little bit better.”
Austin Hinchey finished second overall with a time of 16:53, Angel Vasquez took third at 17:09 and Diego Sanchez came in fifth with a time of 17:21. Ry Patton earned an eighth-place finish with a time of 17:30, and Ben Burgweger finished 10th at 17:39. Philip Kaul came in 13th at 18:01 and Alec Barowka finished four seconds later in 18th.
The De Soto boys beat Baldwin 25-42, and McAfee said the team would look to get its legs back this week in hopes of bringing home a state championship trophy.
“We know it’s going to be tight, McAfee said. “There are four teams that are out and away from everybody else, and we think we can be anywhere from first to fourth. So we just need to keep running the way we’ve been running.”
In the girls race at regionals, it was a photo finish at the line as Ellie Sheridan took third overall at 15:30, which was less than three seconds behind the winner.
“I think had the race been maybe another 15 or 20 meters, she probably would have won it,” McAfee said. “She let them slip away a little bit, and then put up a pretty good surge over the last part of the race. She just couldn’t quite close it back up there.”
It was Sheridan’s second best time in her career.
“Her confidence I think right now is sky high,” McAfee said. “You can see it in workouts and how she’s carrying herself. I’m very proud of her and very excited about the next meet.”
Lacey Erickson finished fourth overall with a time of 15:46, which was a personal record for her. Beth Reichenberger had bronchitis and finished 10th with a time of 16:26.
“That was a pretty stellar effort on her part,” McAfee said. “She’s been nails for us all year long. She’s kind of been very rock solid and a great leader.”
Rounding out De Soto’s field was Carly Stanley at 19th, Jordan Kline 23rd, Sarah Churchwell 28th and Hannah Jokisch 29th. The girls team has now qualified for the state meet six years in a row.
McAfee said Baldwin was probably the favorite to win state, but said his girls could pull off the upset.
“If we come prepared to run, we can definitely bring home a trophy,” he said.