MEADE — The Ellinwood High School cross country team qualified both the boys and the girls teams for the Class 2A state meet at Wamego Country Club on Saturday.
Both Ellinwood squads earned a regional championship at Meade.
“On the girls’ side, it was a lot closer,” Ellinwood head coach Lyles Lashley said. “The second-place team was five points behind us and then there were two teams tied in third at 75.
“The guys just had a really good day.”
Junior Jenna Snell was the top finisher for Ellinwood, taking second place with a time of 16 minutes, 2.47 seconds.
Brooke Panning took seventh place with a time of 7:02.73 and Rebecca Strecker finished in eighth place with a time of 17:08.27 to take home individual top 10 medals.
The girls finished with 60 points to beat host Meade, which scored 65 points.
Stanton County and defending state champion Ness City tied for third place.
The tiebreaker went to Stanton County due to Ness City not having a sixth runner.
Pedro Montoya took the lead for the Ellinwood boys team, taking fourth place with a time of 17:12.41.
Kyle Blakeslee took eighth place, crossing the finish line at 17:43.90.
Morgan Feemster captured 10th place with a time of 17:44.37 to earn an individual medal.
“According to the coaches poll, the top four teams in the state were at our meet, so there was some tough competition there,” Lashley said. “We know that Berean Academy and Jefferson County North are both teams to be reckoned with, so we can’t let our guard down. It’s great that we won regionals, but I’ve seen teams that win at regionals not win at state.”
Lashley said that his team will continue practicing the way it always does to prepare for the state meet.
“We just need to stay healthy,” Lashley said. “There isn’t much we can do fitness-wise in one week. The girls have been to state for the last two years and the boys went last year, so we’re hoping that experience will help us.”
The girls finished at state runner-up behind Ness City last year. The boys took ninth place.
CLASS 2A REGIONAL
CROSS COUNTRY MEET
1. Ellinwood, 60; 2. Meade, 65; 3. Stanton County, 75; 4. Ness City, 75; 5. Pratt-Skyline, 78; 6. Kinsley, 129.
2. Jenna Snell, 16 minutes, 2.47 seconds; 7. Brooke Panning, 17:02.73; 8. Rebecca Strecker, 17:08.27; 16. Becky Elson, 17:57.33; 35. Ashley Reichuber, 19:20.91; 41. Chelsea Kasper, 20:12.25; 44. Rachel Schloctermeier, 20:59.89.
1. Ellinwood, 39; 2. Stanton County, 56; 3. Sterling, 62; 4. Ness City, 66; 5. Oxford, 127.
4. Pedro Montoya, 17:12.41; 8. Kyle Blakeslee, 17:43.90; 10. Morgan Feemster, 17:44.37; 14. Kale Clawson, 18:08.30; 19. Kyle Oglesbee, 18:29.82; 24. Derek Ward, 19:04.09; 37. Shawn Troyer, 21:14.41.
— Kevin Price