All-County girls CC roster filled with highly decorated runners
There is strength in numbers. Unfortunately, that is not a strength the girls cross country teams in Jackson County could rely on this fall as Royal Valley was the only school to field a full five-member team throughout the entire season.
While the Cobras, Panthers and Wildcats may have been relatively small in numbers compared to years past, the individual runners still displayed their might with two county runners qualifying for state competition and six earning All-League honors.
All of those runners are represented on The Holton Recorder’s All-County cross country team for 2015 and the full roster is listed below.
Faith Little, JHHS, Fr.— It’s never an easy task for a freshman to adjust to high school competition coming from the middle school level, but this year the transition was tougher for Little and other freshmen across the state as the Kansas State High School Activities Association adopted a new uniform race length for both boys and girls competition starting this fall.
That meant all female runners would be running a 5K (3.1-mile) race this season instead of the 4K (2.5-mile) race of years past. It didn’t seem to bother Little, however, who finished outside of the top 10 just once this season…and that was an 11th-place medalist performance at the 2A state meet in Wamego.
In fact, taking the state meet out of the equation, Little never finished lower than fifth in any race this season and won three of the nine in which she competed. She claimed the Northeast Kansas League individual girls title along the way, earning All-League honors in the process, and is making her first appearance on the All-County team.
Hanna Davault, JHHS, So.— Some sage sports advice notes that how you start is not as important as how you finish, and Davault was a prime example of that this fall.
The sophomore runner opened the season with a solid top-15 finish at the Holton Invitational, but she missed the next two meets due to illness.
When Davault returned to action, it took a couple of weeks for her to find her groove again, but when she did she locked in and finished in the top 15 three straight times going into state competition. That included a sixth-place finish at the NEKL meet, earning her All-League honors.
At state, Davault finished 49th individually, but outside of that she never finished lower than 30th in a race this season. This marks her first appearance on the All-County cross country roster.
Katie Hanshaw, RVHS, So.— Another runner who got off to a slow start, it didn’t take Hanshaw long before she found the form that earned her All-League and All-County honors in 2015.
Hanshaw missed the first meet of the season due to injury and returned with a 27th-place finish at the Holton Invitational before really picking up steam.
In the final six meets of the season, Hanshaw finished no lower than 12th place in any of the races. She cracked the top 10 three times in that stretch and took 12th in the Big Seven girls race, earning All-League honors again. In addition, this is the second straight year Hanshaw has found her way onto the All-County team.
Kaytlyn Gooderl, RVHS, sr.— Like her entire career, Gooderl’s senior season was a testament to her consistency as the veteran runner was a rock for the Panthers once again this fall.
Gooderl came out strong, placing 15th in the season-opening Jeff West Invitational, and she carved out a home there as she finished outside the top 15 just twice this season.
Throughout the fall, Gooderl finished no lower than 20th in any race and placed in the top 10 three times. One such performance came at the Big Seven League meet, where she took 10th to make the All-League team for the third year in a row. Gooderl is also being featured on the All-County roster for the third year in a row.
Brianna Cattrell, JHHS, sr.— One of the few seniors on Jackson Heights’ entire cross country team, Cattrell was a reliable leader for the Cobras throughout the 2015 campaign.
If not for the JHHS girls lacking one team member, Alley noted Cattrell would have been making a trip to the state meet with the younger Cobra runners at the end of the season.
As it stood, though, the senior had a strong individual performance throughout the fall to close out her high school cross country career. In six of seven races this season, Cattrell finished 33rd or better.
Like Davault, the JHHS girls’ lone senior saved her best for last as she placed in the top 30 at the final three meets of the season, including a 14th-place finish at the Northeast Kansas League meet. That performance placed Cattrell on the All-League team for the second year in a row. She is making her debut on the All-County team this year.
Kiikto Thomas, RVHS, Fr.— The final in a trio of All-League runners for Royal Valley this fall, Thomas had a strong first season on the high school varsity squad.
Outside of the first race of the season, Thomas never finished lower than 20th in a race this fall and she was constantly nipping on the heels of the Panthers’ established runners, making for a competitive atmosphere that kept all three at the top of their game.
Thomas finished in the top 15 four times this season, with one such instance being a 14th-place finish at the Big Seven meet that earned her a spot on the All-League team. This is her first selection to the All-County squad.
Alexis Coverdale, HHS, So.— Despite plenty of setbacks for the Holton cross country team this season, Coverdale was one of the few Wildcat runners who managed to plow through to the end of the season.
While Coverdale wasn’t immune to the bumps and bruises that plagued the Wildcats this fall, the sophomore managed to miss only one meet this season and she finished in the top 35 at four of the other seven meets.
Coverdale just missed the cut for All-League, placing 21st at the Big Seven meet, but did make it on the All-County roster for the first time in her career.
Honorable mention selections for the All-County team include Alexis Rieschick (JHHS) and Abbigail Hundley (HHS).