LAWRENCE — For three seniors, it was the end of a high school career.
For the rest of the Great Bend High School cross-country members, it was a chance to compete at the highest level on Saturday and the boys and girls competed at the Class 5A state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence.
The Panthers finished seventh overall with 170 points. The Lady Panthers finished 10th with 259.
The boys were only two points out of the top five as Liberal finished with 168 points for fifth, and Topeka Seaman finish sixth with 169.
“Boys ran an awesome race,” GBHS head coach Todd Kaiser said. “From No. 1 to No. 5, all that separates them was a minute, one second. They were packed up pretty good, so I was really pleased with that.”
Senior Chon Chavez, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury the last two weeks, led the Panthers, finishing 21st overall, clocking in at 16 minutes, 38 seconds.
“He finished just out of all-state for the second year in a row,” Kaiser said. “A healthy Chon would’ve got all-state, but he gave it a gallant effort. Over the last two weeks, to be able to compete at the level that he has even though he was injured is something that I’m very proud of.
“He’s going to have a great career. He’s going to be missed.”
Seniors Kole Stiner finished 33rd overall, and Genesis Rose finished 60th.
“Kole came on really strong there toward the end of the season,” Kaiser said. “I’m real happy to see him end his career on a positive note individually.
“Genesis was a real nice addition to our team. He had a really good senior season. We wish we could’ve had him three more years, but we’re glad we had him his senior year. He made an impact on our team.”
Kaitlynn Tuey led the Lady Panthers, finishing 49th. She crossed the finish line at 16:43.
Kaiser said that most of the girls improved on their times at Rim Rock earlier in the season at the Rim Rock Farm Classic on Sept. 22.
“Most of the girls who ran here the previous time this season ran their fastest time (on this course),” Kaiser said. “The girls’ race was just stacked. There were some really good teams there. We were looking for seventh to ninth place, but it was just a tough race on the girls side.
“Overall, I was proud with what they did on the season. They are all coming back next year. There isn’t a senior in the bunch, so that’s a positive thing.”
— Kevin Price
Class 5A State Meet
Rim Rock Farm
Great Bend results
49. Kaitlynn Tuey, 16:43; 51. Mariah Stein, 16:45; 58. Morgan Harwood, 16:56; 77. Mari Williams, 17:31; 96. Grace Ball, 18:22; 99. Abby Stiner, 18:36; 100. Ashley Weingrad, 18:39.
Great Bend results
21. Chon Chavez, 16:38; 33. Kole Stiner, 17:11; 38. Cristian Garcia, 17:18; 57. Christian Graham, 17:38; 60. Genesis Rose, 17:39; 71. Cole Mulch, !7:57; 80. Bobby Chavez, 18:29.