Falcons dominate home cross country meet

Greg Mast
West Franklin girls runners Lily Judd, Emma Bailey and Hope Crabtree finished first, third and fifth in the home meet Thursday at Camp Chippewa. [PHOTO BY MELINDA HANER].

The West Franklin cross country runners dominated in the home meet Thursday at Camp Chippewa.

The Falcon boys won the team title with all seven runners placing in the top 17 places. The girls’ three runners placed three runners in the top five.

West Franklin’s middle school runners also came up with top performances. Hunter Bailey claimed his fourth victory of the season with a 28-second margin on second place in the boys race.  Coy Link finished with personal best for the season.

In the girls race, Mackenzie Walter ran a season best and placed fifth to claim her fourth top-10 finish this season.  Mya Crabtree continued to improve as well, running a time that is nearly two minutes faster than her first race of the season.

The trio of Lily Judd, Emma Bailey and Hope Crabtree ran together and paced each other in the girls varsity race. They finished first, third and fifth.

“The high school girls came in with a team plan this race,” WF coach Ryan Hahn said. “To help each other run faster in a race that spread out quickly, the trio of Lily Judd, Emma Bailey, and Hope Crabtree ran together for the first mile, stalking a group of three from Labette County.  The three of them passed one together within the first mile, and by the two-mile mark, Lily and Emma had passed another. At that point, Lily made a strong move to claim the lead and put nearly a minute on the former leader over the final mile.”

The boys race also was full of Falcons in the front pack.

“Once again, Kyle Haner found himself in a dual for first, while the other boys claimed their positions to give the team a big lead in the team scoring,” Hahn said.

Haner paced the Falcons with a runner-up finish. Lucas Hassler and Nathan Hassler were sixth and seventh.

Senior Nicholas Hatfield, who was 10th, made significant moves throughout the race to improve the team score even more, Hahn said.

“Martir Caceres-Ramos and Timothy Pearce came in as the Falcons sixth and seventh runners [in 12th and 17th], but they were ahead of the fourth runners from all of the other teams,” Hahn said.

Caceres-Ramos ran a season best by 27 seconds, while Pearce improved by 47 seconds.

“In the end, every high school runner from West Franklin claimed a medal, and the boys team claimed their second team championship of the year,” Hahn said. The team has been putting in the work and we will be looking at an exciting championship season in a few weeks.”

West Franklin results

Middle School Girls

5, Mackenzie Walter, 15:46; 13, Mya Crabtree, 17:17); 19, Sarah Wright, 18:47.

Middle School Boys

1, Hunter Bailey, 12:02; 15, Coy Link, 18:36; 18, Bryce Link, 20:42; 20, Abe Link, 21:47.

Varsity Girls

1, Lily Judd, 22:23); 3, Emma Bailey, 23:46; 5, Hope Crabtree, 25:10.

Varsity Boys (Team 1st)

2, Kyle Haner, 18:13; 6, Lucas Hassler, 19:36; 7, Nathan Hassler, 20:01; 10, Nicholas Hatifield, 20:06; 11, Kale Link, 20:08; 12, Martir Caceres-Ramos, 21:13; 17, Timothy Pearce, 21:40.