By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Panther girls win team title
karen razo2
Great Bend runner Karen Razo - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune


BARTON COUNTY — When Great Bend’s Karen Razo crossed the finish line at Thursday’s Great Bend Cross Country Invitational, there was little drama with a 78-second victory.
No one realized when Panther runner Kimberly Ruhbach finished 26th, her finish would clinch first place by one point (57) over Garden City (58).
“The girls were excited and fired up. It’s good to see that hard work pays off,” said Lyles Lashley, Great Bend coach. “The girls ran ahead of where we thought we were. But we’ve got a long ways to go.”
Razo exhibited mid-season form with a career-best time (19:43.4) that showcased her vast improvement from last year’s 52nd state finish. She cruised through the myriad of twists and turns that the Lake Barton course features.
“I felt very comfortable out there,” she said. “This is my best time today, but I always feel I could run a little faster. There’s a lot of random hills and turns. It’s a very deceptive course.”
Razo started out fast and maintained a steady pace through the 5-kilometer course.
“Karen is in excellent shape and she can run faster when she gets pushed,” said Lyles Lashley, Great Bend coach. “She’s one of our hardest workers.”
Also counting for Great Bend were McKenna Esfeld, 21:57.0, sixth; Ema Millard, 22:38.7, 10th; and Angela Enriquez, 23:05.6, 14th.
Great Bend’s third-place finisher Kerby Depenbusch (16:46.0) ran stride-for-stride with Garden City’s tandem of Erik Chaparro (16:37.6) and runner-up Marcus Tula (16:38.6). Tula finished fifth in Class 6A last year and Chaparro has improved to challenege his teammate on the state level.
“We pressed the second mile hard, but they all went out awfully hard,” Lashley said. “I guess we should’ve had a backup plan. The Garden City runners are really good runners.”
Garden City cruised to the team title over the 5-kilometer distance with a 30-point total that beat Great Bend by 28 points. The Buffaloes finished ninth in Class 6A in 2015. Tula beat his teammate Chaparro in last year’s Great Bend Invitational.
“It’s tough with all the curves, but it’s a really nice course,” Chaparro said. “It was a good race between my teammate Marcus and Kerby.”
Also counting for Great Bend were Eric Vazquez, 17:26.4, fifth; Connor Griffith, 18:35.9, 15th; Josh Tomlin, 18:41.0, 17th; and Sage Cauley, 18:51.8, 18th.
“Our young runners handled the competition really well,” Lashley said.
At Lake Barton
Team scores—1. Garden City 30; 2. Great Bend 58 (Kerby Depenbusch 16:46.0; Eric Vazquez 17:26.4; Connor Griffith 18:35.9; Josh Tomlin 18:41.0; Sage Cauley 18:51.8; Ryan Nicholson 19:00.5; Ray Kuhlman, 19:13.6; Rigo Miranda 19:28.4; Alex Smith 20:51.9); 3. Hays High 87; 4. Hutchinson 89; 5. Salina South 90.
Top 15 medalists—1. Erik Chaparro, GC, 16:37.6; 2. Marcus Tula, GC, 16:38.6; 3. Kerby Depenbusch, GB, 16:46.0; 4. Josh Reed, SS, 17:09.7; 5. Eric Vazquez, GB, 17:26.4; 6. Javier Cervantez, GC, 17;31.7; 7. Aslex Mora, HHS, 17:32.4; 7. Ethan Shippy, Hays, 17:41.1; 9. Kaeetan Munsell, SS, 17:42.6; 10. Jesus Quintero, GC, 17:51.9; 11. Kameron Wildeman, GC, 18:11.6; 12. Caden Cunningham, Hays, 18:24.6; 13. Javyn Contreras, GC, 13:31.6; 14. Noah Cole, HHS, 18:33.7; 15. Connor Griffith, GN, 18:35.9
Junior varsity medalist— 1. Kevin Perez, GC, 18:59.9
Team scores—1. Garden City 15; 2. Salina South 73; 3. Hays 81; 4. Hutchinson 86; 5. Great Bend, 121 (18. Justin Owen 21:24.3; 41. Quan Garcia 22:37.7; 42. Evan Hammond 22:39.8; 46. Anthony Martinez 22:55.1; 72. Nate Dawes 24:38.9; 80. Eli Hutchinson 25:43.9
Team scores—1. Great Bend, 57 (Karen Razo 19:43.4; McKenna Esfeld 21:57.0; Ema Millard 22:38.7; Angela Enriquez 23:05.6; Kimberly Ruhbach 26:19.4); 2. Garden City 58; 3. Hays High 62; 4. Hutchinson 71; 5. Salina South 92.
Top 15 medalists—1. Karen Razo, GB, 19:43.4; 2. Yazmine Wright, HHS, 21:01.5; 3. AIleen Gurrola, GC, 21:31.9; 4. Marie Reveles, Hays, 21:39.6; 5. Daycee DeWindt, SS, 21:5.8; 6. McKenna Efeld, GB, 21:57.0; 7. Jacqueline Lewton, HHS, 22:05.5; 8. Macy Linenberger, SS, 22:17.6; 9. Albers Ady, Hays, 22:35.9; 10. Ema Millard, GB, 22:38.7; 11. Raegan Linenberger, GC, 22:52.1; 12. Abby Murrell, GC, 22:52.5; 13. Alysaa Bryant, Hays, 22:57.4; 14. Angela Enriguez, GB, 23:05.6; 15. Georgia Kohlhorst, GC, 23:09.0.
Junior varsity medalist—1. Mikaylee Longoria, GC, 23.15.2
Team scores—1. Garden City 15; 2. Salina Sotuh 50
Great Bend results—15. Emily Perez 26:36.5; 26. Ruth Reyes, 29:35.
C team medalist (2 miles)—1. Declan Grant, Hutchinson, 15:04.4
Great Bend results—3. LaCora Bryant, 17;00.0; 7. Jaci Bacon, 17:39.1