Four cross country runners qualify for state

Boys place fourth and girls place fifth at regionals

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Four runners qualified for state at the cross country regionals meet at Shawnee Mission Park on Saturday, Oct. 25. The boys team placed fourth overall and the girls team placed fifth, both of seven teams.

The top three teams who place at regionals qualify for state, as well as the first five individuals to place that are not a part of the teams that qualified. Through this method, despite the teams not placing high enough, juniors Amber Akin, Derek Meeks and Garret Fields and senior Kurt Loevenstein qualified for state.

Even though the team will not be competing together at state, the members still had a good final race, according to Akin.

“We fell short for state, but the team put forth their best effort and at the end of the day that’s what matters,” Akin said.

Fields said the team ran well, even though they placed too low for state.

“I thought overall we ran pretty well,” Fields said. “[It] didn’t go as [well] as we wanted [it] to, but I still think it was a strong performance.”

For Akin, the abnormally warm weather affected times.

“[The temperature was] definitely a lot harder than we’re used to,” Akin said. “I personally prefer running in cold weather, but you just have to run with what’s given to you.”

Head coach Mark Chipman said the competition in the particular race the Mill Valley teams were placed in made qualifying more difficult.

“A super tough regional spelled a tough outcome for our teams,” Chipman said in his cross country newsletter “Chip’s Chatter.” “I feel both of our teams would have qualified from any other 5A regional, But we all knew going  in that only the top three would make it, and we were not there.”

Despite the end of the teams’ seasons, Chipman said he is not let down.

“We have nothing to hang our heads about – disappointed, yes, but that’s what sports [are] all about,” Chipman said.

Cross country state will be on Friday, Oct. 31 at the KU Rim Rock course. Students can sign up in the office to ride in a spirit bus to the event.

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