On Saturday, the Great Bend High School boys’ cross-country team will compete in the Class 5A state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence.
The Panthers run at 12:30 p.m.
Before they get started though, freshman Karen Razo will compete as an individual in the girls’ race at 11 a.m.
“On the boys’ side, we’ve had a good week of practice,” GBHS head coach Todd Kaiser said. “I’d be happy for them to finish in the top 7. I have a feeling that if we run as well as we can, we can be in the top 7 this weekend.”
The Panthers have a lot of competition ahead of them.
“There are a lot of good boys’ teams out there,” Kaiser said. “Bishop Carroll, St. Thomas Aquinas, Liberal, Topeka Seaman and Maize South are all really good teams.
“I don’t know if we have the firepower to finish higher than that, but we’ll see. We just have to get out there and get after them.”
Kaiser said he expects big things from his top two runners, seniors Cristian Garcia and Christian Graham.
“It would be nice to see our top two runners finish in the Top 20 for a medal,” Kaiser said. “There’s going to be a chance for one of them or both of them to get in there.”
Great Bend ran at Rim Rock Farm earlier in the year, with Graham finishing with a time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds.
Garcia finished at 18:13, though he was battling a back injury at the time, according to Kaiser.
Last year at the state meet, Garcia turned in a time of 17:18, and Graham crossed the finish line at 17:38.
Cole Mulch and Bobby Chavez also ran at the state meet last year. Mulch clocked in at 17:57, and Chavez finished at 18:29.
Kaiser said that he hopes to get Razo familiar with running at the state meet.
“With Karen being a freshman, it’ll be nice to see her get out there and compete,” Kaiser said. “We can just get her the experience, and hopefully we can get her back here next year with the rest of the team with her.”