BURLINGTON — Central Heights broke a 20-year drought Saturday. The school had not had a girl state cross country qualifier in two decades until three prep runners sent that spell into oblivion. Each in their first year of high school cross country, all three Lady Vikings — freshmen Lily Meyer and Taryn Compton, and junior Madison Bridges — qualified for state at the 2A regional meet Saturday hosted at John Redmond Reservoir by Burlington High School.
“It just shows how hard these girls work,” Troy Prosser, Central Heights head cross country coach, said. “They are a lot of fun to have on the team, they are great role models, and all of them have the chance to make even more memories at Wamego [this] weekend.”
With the Viking boys team claiming the regional title by a whopping 77 points, every varsity Central Heights runner punched their ticket to 2A state, set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Wamego Country Cub, W. U.S. 24, Wamego. Every member of the boys team finished in the top 20, including Alex Cannady, Tyler Stevenson and Caleb Meyer, who placed second, third and fifth, respectively.
“The team’s determination has been very important this season, but the competition only gets better [this] week,” Prosser said. “With no shortage of high quality programs in 2A, we will have to really focus for one more week and bring our best if we want to be counted among them.”
Central Heights wasn’t the only local team to walk away with a championship plaque in Burlington. The West Franklin girls team beat out Osage City by one point, scoring 63 to Osage’s 64, for the 3A girls title. The team had five runners in the top 20, and was paced by Maddie Montgomery who earned fifth place with a 20:58.65 5K time.
While the boys team fell shy of a state berth, Falcon head coach Ryan Hahn noted nearly every runner had a personal best time. The team was led by seniors Jeremy Haverkamp and Justin Downey, who finished 16th and 24th, respectively.
“This team, led by seniors Jeremy Haverkamp and Justin Downey, has shown a lot of determination and improvement this season,” Hahn said. “The seniors will be missed, but their influence on their teammates will be an important part of the future successes of this team.”
Whie Wellsville didn’t earn a team qualification, senior Paige McDaniel will run at 3A state for the fourth time in her prep career. She qualified with a 10th overall finish and a 21:41.95 time at Burlington.
3A state is set to start 10 a.m. Saturday with 5A boys and 3A girls to follow directly after. It is hosted at Rim Rock Farm, US 59-24 Highway and County Line Road 1045, north of Lawrence.
The Cyclones hosted 4A regionals Saturday at the Eisenhower Road Course north of town. Baldwin earned the title in the girls race, while Iola edged out El Dorado by two points for the boys championship.
Ottawa had three runners compete, headlined by Summer Spigle’s 27th overall finish in the girls race. Her time of 24:58.14 just beat teammate Samantha Atchley, who finished 32nd with a time of 25:47.20. On the boys side, freshman Mark St. John finished 45th overall with a time of 22:27.48.
4A regional CC results
Saturday at Eisenhower Road Course (Ottawa)
OTTAWA — Varsity girls 5K: 27 - Summer Spigle 24:58.14; 32 - Samantha Atchely 25:47.20.
Varsity boys 5K: 45 - Mark St. John 22:27.48.
3A regional CC results
Saturday at John Redmond Reservoir (Burlington)
WEST FRANKLIN — Varsity girls 5K: 5 - Maddie Montgomery 20:58.65; 12 - Bailey Leach 21:53.43; 13 - Lily Judd 21:55.90; 15 - Molly Rossman 22:14.10; 18 - Elizabeth Singer 22:38.27; 29 - Averie Tasker 24:03.52; 65 - Jessica Sandoz 28:00.68. First place regional champions.
Varsity boys 5K: 16 Jeremy Haverkamp 18:34.94; 24 - Justin Downey 18:53.34; 29 - Cole Rubick 19:14.52; 33 - Nicholas Hatfield 19:21.33; 58 - Kale Link 20:19.79; 72 - Noah King 20:50.48; 82 - Jacob Anderson 21:47.51. Fifth out of 12 teams.
WELLSVILLE — Varsity girls 5K: 10 - Paige McDaniel 21:41.95; 38 - Lexi McDaniel 24:52.68; 45 - Shayla Clary 25:41.96; 52 - Shelby Soetaert 26:17.76; 53 - Julia Martin 26:24.66; 60 - Sarah Face 27:16.97; 64 - Marissa Haagensen 27:50.31. Seventh out of 10 teams.
Varsity boys 5K: 25 - Ethan Elliott 18:54.36; 31 - Josh Brewster 19:18.87; 38 - Zach Pearson 19:33.80; 43 - Conner Erhart 19:49.56; 48 - Scott Hoehn 20:01.62; 52 - Zeb Harris 20:11.44; 53 - Blake Ohlmeier 20:11.91. Seventh out of 12 teams.
2A regional CC results
Saturday at John Redmond Reservoir (Burlington)
CENTRAL HEIGHTS — Varsity girls 5K: 4 - Lily Meyer 21:05.72; 6 - Madison Bridges 21:40.16; 10 - Taryn Compton 22:10.60.
Varsity boys 5K: 2 - Alex Cannady 17:33.79; 3 - Tyler Stevenson 17:52.98; 5 - Caleb Meyer 18:07; 13 - Bryce Sommer 18:35.88; 16 - Luke Cotter 18:43.14; 18 - Mason McCurry 18:50.58; 20 - Jarod Crawford 19:26.95. First place regional champions.