Cross Country Tigers competed at OBU’s Pre-state Challenge in Shawnee on Thursday. The meet, which raced every class from 2A to 6A, had more than 2800 athletes compete. It was good competition for the Tigers’ high school teams to gauge themselves against other 4A runners and get an idea of where they stand going into Regionals. Being familiar with the course is beneficial to the runners who will race in Shawnee at the State competition.
Competing in the 5000m (5K), Kyler Kauk placed #32 with a time of 18:17. The second runner to cross the finished line for the Tigers was Jacob Smith with a time of 19:57. Eric Alhemier finished at 20:42 and Nathan Dekker at 20:52. Ty Edens and Justice Rhody finished seconds apart, at 21:30 and 21:34. Josh Brzazowsky came in at 22:33, Connor Davidson 22:36, and Shawn Metzer 23:46.
In the girls race, Bailey Layman clocked a time of 13:30 on the two-mile course, medaling at #27, in a field of 204 runners. Teammate Elizabeth Maker finished 5 seconds behind, at 13:35, placing #32. Emily Maker ran a 17:08, Gracie Standridge 17:18, and Anna Childress 18:18.
Four of the runners who competed last year at the meet finished this year faster, two by 3 and 6 minutes. The momentum will light a fire under the runners; giving them confidence as they face the final meets of the season.
The finish times for each JH Tiger runner: Boys 3200m Ethan McDonald 13:12, Dray Curtis 13:29, Brock DeCou 13:41, Talan Day 15:08, Tanner Young 16:57, Tony Smith 17:36. Girls 2400m Olivia Frye 10:57, Kaylee Hillis 11:02, Alyssa Shultze 11:03, Zoe Zucca 11:13, Erin Horton 12:11, Ava Thomas 14:02, Abby Price 15:49, Anna Limore 15:49.
High school runners return to action this Thursday at Cushing and Saturday, October 19, at the regional meet. The location is yet to be announced. To qualify for state, the teams have to place in the top seven at their regional meet or be one of the top 7 individuals not on a qualifying team. Coach Edens said a couple individuals have a good chance at getting there.