LAWRENCE — Chon Chavez achieved his goal at the Class 5A state cross country meet at Rim Rock Farm outside Lawrence on Saturday.
The Great Bend High School junior runner took 10th place with a time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds to finish as an all-state runner.
“When I crossed the finish line, I was looking around for someone on my team to tell me what place I got,” Chavez said. “I thought I’d gotten 10th, but I wasn’t sure. My goal was finish in the top 10.
“I was excited, and glad that I got my goal. It gives me motivations to be even better next year. I think the better you place, the better you think you can do next year. I want to place in the top 5 next year.”
Chavez, who improved on his 45th-place performance in last year’s state meet, led a boys team that took seventh place with a score of 214. The Great Bend girls finished in ninth place with a score of 207.
Cristian Garcia crossed the finish line with a time of 17:51 to take 46th for the boys.
“Seventh place is a good finish for the boys,” GBHS head coach Todd Kaiser said. “Looking back at the Rim Rock meet in September, I thought that Blue Valley and Topeka Seaman might be teams that could get us, and they did. Mill Valley beat us in September, but we beat them (Saturday).
“We have everyone coming back next year, so hopefully we can build on this, get back to the state meet and even improve on this.”
Ky Heeke finished in 62nd place with a time of 18:51.
The girls were led by Hannah Wondra, who took 39th place with a time of 16:57.
“Hannah had one of her best times all season,” Kaiser said. “She had a big improvement on her time from September. She ran a good race. Mariah (Stein) had a good race. Our sophomore Morgan Harwood ran a good race.
“Things just didn’t fall into place where we wanted it to. If we placed where we normally placed, we’d pick up maybe 14 points.
Stein took 40th place with a time of 17:01. Kaitlynn Tuey finished 10 places behind her with a time of 17:19.
Harwood finished with a time of 17:48 for 64th place.
Bishop Carroll was the state champion in both the girls and boys competition. The St. Thomas Aquinas boys and girls both finished in second place.
— Kevin Price
CLASS 5A STATE CROSS COUNTRY
At Rim Rock Farm
1. Bishop Carroll, 34; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas, 64; 3. Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 92; 4. Liberal, 120; 5. Topeka Seaman, 141; 6. Blue Valley, 180; 7. Great Bend, 214; 8. Mill Valley, 227; 9. Winfield, 245; 10. Hays, 248; 11. Topeka West, 264; 12. Bishop Miege, 281
Great Bend results
10. Chon Chavez, 16 minutes, 59 seconds; 46. Cristian Garcia, 17:51; 62. Ky Heeke, 18:15; 73. Kole Stiner, 18:30; 74. Cole Mulch, 18:30.80; 81. Christian Graham, 18:36; 101. Anthony Valenzuela, 20:29
1. Bishop Carroll, 42; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas, 51; 3. Lansing, 103; 4. Winfield, 121; 5. Valley Center, 145; 6. Goddard, 183; 7. Liberal, 199; 8. Blue Valley, 204; 9. Great Bend, 207; 10. Mill Valley, 264; 11. Topeka Seaman, 272; 12. Emporia, 297
Great Bend results
39. Hannah Wondra, 16:57; 40. Mariah Stein, 17:01; 50. Kaitlynn Tuey, 17:19; 64. Morgan Harwood, 17:48; 69. Lakin Hulse, 17:53; 90. Ali Heilman, 18:52; 94. Sarah Niederee, 19:11