Cross country girls place first and boys named runner-ups at EKL tournament

The EKL meet was hosted by Blue Valley Southwest on Wednesday, Oct. 11

Jenna McDonald, JAG organizations editor

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  • At the beginning of the race, sophomore Molly Ricker runs ahead of her competitors at the EKL tournament hosted by Blue Valley Southwest on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Girls placed first place and boys were runner-up.

  • Nearing the end of the course, junior Morgan Koca picks up her pace.

  • As the boys hit the halfway mark of the course, head coach Chris McAfee encourages them to finish strong.

  • Staying focused, sophomore Molly Ricker runs down the muddy course.

  • With 800 meters left, senior Delaney Kemp tries keep the St. James runner from getting ahead of her.

  • Getting close to the finish line, senior Matt Turner sprints down the course to stay ahead of a BVSW runner.

  • Taking big strides, junior Nick Schmidt and Josh Mansfield run by each other to the finish line.

  • Picking up her pace, freshman Katie Schwartzkopf sprints down the straight away to catch up to her first place opponent.

  • Looking down, sophomore Josie Taylor gets ready to round a curve ahead.

  • Pointing down the course, head coach Chris McAfee cheers on the cross country girls to get ahead of the runners in front.

  • Right at the start of the race, sophomore Molly Ricker is neck-and-neck with a BVSW opponent, leading the pack of runners.

  • Running downhill, junior Nathan Greenfield gets ready to sprint the last 800 meters of the race.

  • With the first place EKL trophy in senior Delaney Kemp's hands, the girls cross country team get ready to pose for a picture.

  • Looking ahead, junior Jenna Walker approaches a hill.

  • Coming closer to the finish line, freshman Katie Shwartzkopf runs through the muddy course.

  • Running uphill, sophomore Molly Ricker fights to maintain her speed.

  • Running through the course, senior Matt Turner keeps a steady pace.

  • Nearing the halfway point, sophomore Josie Taylor runs up a hill.

  • Starting off the race, senior Matt Turner keeps his pace to stay ahead of following runners.

  • Lenghtening his stride, junior Jack Terry pushes to make it up the hill at BVSW on Oct. 11th.

  • Beginning her second lap, junior Jenna Walker reaches the bottom of the courses hill on Oct. 11th.

  • Using the hill to gain momentum, sophomore Molly Ricker starts off her scond lap of the course.

  • Striding out, junior Molly Haymaker keeps a steady pace to keep up with BVSW runner.

  • Keeping pace, senior Delaney Kemp makes her way past the 1 mile mark.

  • Making her way around a bend, Sophomore Katie Schwartzkopf keeps pace to stay ahead of BVNW runner.

  • With a steady pace, sophomore Carsyn Turpin makes his way up a steep hill during the second lap of the race.

  • Taking her place at the podium, junior Morgan Koca accepts her medal with a smile.

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Cross Country competed against 7 different schools in the EKL championship, with girls varsity earning first and boys varsity receiving second.

Freshman and second place runner Katie Schwartzkopf felt happy with the team’s performance and accomplishments.

“We always do really amazing and I am just so proud of all the other girls,” Schwartzkopf said. “I am proud of them after every single race because they do so good and as a team we just dominated.”

The rigorous preparation the team underwent helped them succeed, according to junior Nathan Greenfield.

“We have been training hard all summer and all season to get to this point as a team,” Greenfield said. “In the week building up, we did some mental preparations and we cut back on the milage [at practice] yesterday so we could stay fresh.”

Considering the conditions, Greenfield thought the boys ran a very competitive race.

“[The course] runs pretty quick but there has been a lot of rain over these past few days, so it was super muddy which makes stuff challenging,” Greenfield said. “It was sloppy and muddy and was just super wet, especially with varsity boys being the last race of the day.”

According to Schwartzkopf, Mill Valley proved to other schools that they are a forced to be reckoned with.

“This meet we set a precedent by saying we are Mill Valley and we can do this,” Schwartzkopf said. “We are going to show up to state with everyone looking at us and knowing we are strong competition.”

The Jaguars’ next race is regionals on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Olathe North.

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