Jackson Heights Cross Country Season Recap
Jackson Heights cross-country head coach Brad Alley noted that last Saturday’s regional Class 2A regional meet at Leonardville was packed with highly competitive teams and runners, but was proud that three of his own were able to run their way to a shot at the state meet this weekend.
Junior Cobra runner Faith Little, making her third straight appearance at the state meet, finished eighth at the Leonardville regional and will be joined at Saturday’s state meet in Wamego by senior Hanna Davault and freshman Shelby Phillips, both running in the state meet for the first time.
“Those three qualifiers ran well, and we thought our girls’ team had a great shot to qualify for state as a team,” Alley said. “Unfortunately, the top three teams in our regional were really good.”
Bennington High School from Ottawa County provided the top team at the regional, placing five runners in the top 10, with senior Halle Johnson outrunning the competition and coming in nearly half a minute ahead of Lincoln freshman Jaycee Vath. Despite finishing nearly two and a half minutes behind Johnson, however, Little’s eighth-place finish was still encouraging, Alley said.
“Faith ran near the top the entire race,” he said. “She is starting to gain her confidence back and we look for her to be in medal contention this week.”
With Bennington taking up half the top 10 in the girls’ race, the 11th and 12th-place finishes from Davault and Phillips meant they were a lock for state contention. Alley said those two have been “battling some small injuries,” but their courage to run hard made their results at Leonardville all the more impressive.
“Shelby is learning to compete at a high level. She will be in the mix Saturday,” Alley said. “Hanna has been really steady for us this year. She’s a tough minded kid that wants to do well. If she can get a good start early in the race, she will have a chance at a high finish as well.”
As for the girls’ team, which also included junior Trinity McMahon and sophomores Skyla Howe, Jill Buck and Jessica Buck, Alley is sure had each of them finished a few seconds faster, the team would have outpaced third-place Bishop Seabury.
“The rest of our team ran OK. It just wasn’t as good as the top three,” he said. “We probably were one piece short of achieving our team goals. But that takes nothing away from their season. They are league champs, they won several meets, and they’ve set us up for a great season next year.”
The boys’ team finished fifth behind Bennington, Wabaunsee, Ell-Saline and Republic County, leaving senior runners Dalton Chartier, Xavier Fritz and Jason Parker disappointed in not being able to make a return appearance at Wamego with the team at the end of their high school cross-country careers.
“I think they left disappointed in the result,” Alley said of the boys’ team, which finished seventh overall at last year’s state meet. “We have some competitive guys, and they want to win. But we have some valuable young pieces there that will continue to grow and help our program.”
Bishop Seabury sophomore Henry Nelson finished at the top of the pack in the boys’ race, finishing more than a minute ahead of the second-place runner, Bennington sophomore Keelan Aita. For Heights, Chartier’s 15th-place finish put him just short of a state slot, and Fritz finished in 23rd place.
This Saturday, the 2A girls championship race is set to begin at approximately 12:20 p.m. at the Wamego Country Club. Alley said in the meantime, Little, Davault and Phillips will be working “to stay healthy and get some fresh legs.”
Class 2A Regional Cross-Country
Leonardville Golf Course
Oct. 21, 2017
Girls team results: 1. Bennington 20, 2. Salina-Sacred Heart 67, 3. Lawrence-Bishop Seabury 78, 5. Jackson Heights 86, 5. Wabaunsee 135, 6. Jefferson County North 145, 7. Smith Center 157.
Individual results: 1. H. Johnson (Bennington) 19:27.19, 2. J. Vath (Lincoln) 19:54.06, 3. P. Piepho (Bennington) 20:46.29, 4. C. Stanley (Bishop Seabury), 21:18.19, 5. S. Dennon (Bishop Seabury) 21:26.10, 6. J. Gilliland (Sacred Heart) 21:29.54, 7. K. Johnson (Bennington) 21:39.43, 8. F. Little (Jackson Heights) 21:43.26, 9. K. Hilbert (Bennington) 22:03.88, 10. K. Brull (Sacred Heart) 22:15.16, 11. H. Davault (Jackson Heights) 22:33.44, 12. S. Phillips (Jackson Heights) 22:37.78, 31. S. Howe (Jackson Heights) 25:40.96, 37. T. McMahon (Jackson Heights) 26:28.66, 49. Jill Buck (Jackson Heights) 28:49.17, 51. Jessica Buck (Jackson Heights) 29:40.64.
Boys team results: 1. Bennington 43, 2. Wabaunsee 55, 3. Ell-Saline 99, 4. Republic County 122, 5. Jackson Heights 125, 6. Jefferson County North 166, 7. Lawrence-Bishop Seabury 204, 8. Solomon 207, 9. Smith Center 215, 10. Blue Rapids-Valley Heights 229.
Individual results: 1. H. Nelson (Bishop Seabury) 17:05.82, 2. K. Aita (Bennington) 18:09.06, 3. A. Hardin (Valley Heights) 18:11.56, 4. L. Mendez (Sacred Heart) 18:17.97, 5. J. Wurtz (Wabaunsee) 18:18.20, 6. J. Dawson (Bennington) 18:20.03, 7. L. Stuhlsatz (Wabaunsee) 18:21.91, 8. C. Koehn (Bennington) 18:22.65, 9. K. Schmitz (Wabaunsee) 18:33.39, 10. T. Pentlin (JCN) 18:35.44, 15. D. Chartier (Jackson Heights) 19:15.43, 23. X. Fritz (Jackson Heights) 19:50.52, 30. K. Brenner (Jackson Heights) 20:13.34, 32. D. Holliday (Jackson Heights) 20:21.67, 36. A. Mock (Jackson Heights) 20:31.09, 43. G. Klahr (Jackson Heights) 21:10.70, 59. J. Parker (Jackson Heights) 22:51.10.