WAMEGO – The Wamego Country Club Golf Course was covered in dew on Saturday morning as hundreds of runners prepared to run one of the toughest cross country courses in the state of Kansas. Wamego is the home of the Class 4A, 2A and 1A state cross-country meet later this fall.
Chapman junior Taylor Briggs took an early lead in the Class 4A girls 5K race as the first 100 plus runners took to the course. Briggs is a two-time Class 4A state champion on the same course she ran on Saturday and she wasn’t challenged although senior Daycee DeWindt of Buhler finished second at 20:57.8, well behind Brigg’s time of 19:12.2.
This race Saturday was the first full 5K races for most of the competition as the majority of the first meets ran heat-reduced distances. This meet is also one of the largest meets of the seasons for most of the competitors.
Briggs not only out ran her 4A competitors, she also out did Trego Community’s Sybil Gieger, who won the Class 3A-2A-1A race on Saturday. Gieger, a senior, had a winning time of 19:30.2.
“Taylor is just amazing,” Chapman head coach Cindy Zumbrunn said. “She makes it look so easy and she is just so much fun to watch. Taylor is starting the year right where she left off last season.”
“I think I ran OK today,” Briggs said. “But I want to do better. I want to get my time down in the 18’s or maybe even the 17’s by the end of the season. I know I have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be.”
Briggs is lone Irish girl running for Chapman High School this season.
Abilene girls run well for the first 5K meet.
The Abilene Cowgirls are mostly first year runners on the cross country courses and they ran well in their first 5K according to head coach Andy Cook.
Although none of the Cowgirls made the Top 40 to medal, junior Bailey Rock was the first Abilene runner to cross the line at 25:26.3 for 69th.
Freshman Kristen Stroda finished 75th with a time of 25:41.1. Sophomores Alice Bathurst, A. Aravelo-Pecina and junior Allison Liby finished 96th, 97th and 98th respectively after running this course for the first time. Liby is a second year runner but this meet was cancelled due to weather a year ago.
In Class 4A boys competition, Colin Oswalt of Central Christian ran first with a time of 16:34.7 The junior finished ahead of three sophomores who all ran close together at the lead. Hayden’s Tanner Newkirk finished second at 16:43.5 while Tanner Lindahl of Buhler was third at 16:52.5.
Abilene freshman Grant Wait finished 27th overall to medal with a time of 18:41.1 in his first official high school 5K run. Senior Aaron Geissinger was 45th with a time of 19:21.3.
Sophomore Thurman Geissinger was the third Cowboy to cross at 66th (19:46.4). Junior Blaise McVan ran 87th (20:39,4) with senior Austin Mather at 91st (20:49.9). Also running for Abilene were seniors Max Dunnam (107, 21:43.8) and Triston Stover (118, 22:25.2).
Chapman senior Jackson Wasylk was the first to cross for the Irish at 73rd (20:13.9) just ahead of his team mate Eli Winder who finished 74th at 20:16.6. Also running for the Irish were Jon Jenkins (105, 21:40.7), Jonathan Mitchell (109, 21:40.7) and Tyler Dalke (125, 25:32.4).