ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY TOM STOPPEL
The Peabody-Burns boys and Goessel boys qualified for the state cross-county meets in their respective classes on Saturday.
The Peabody-Burns boys won their Class 2A regional at Garden Plain with 51 points, edging runner-up Sedgwick with 53.
Leading the way for the Warriors was junior Andrew Topham, who won the 5-kilometer race in 16 minutes, 33 seconds. Duane Unruh also earned a medal by finishing eighth in 18:25.
Also competing for Peabody-Burns were Jacob Wolf (11th, 18:58), Ryan Wiebe (20th, 19:51), Robert Rossberg (22nd, 20:27), Kendall Wiebe (26th, 20:34) and Ethan Riggs (37th, 22:25).
The Warriors girls did not place as a team, but Alyssa Carter qualified individually by placing sixth with a 2-mile time of 13:54.
Also competing for the Warriors were Ashley Elliott (25th, 14:56), Jennifer Schmelling (30th, 15:52), Jacqueline Benjamin (48th, 18:06), Samantha Pickens (50th, 18:53) and Erica Frederick (52nd, 21:10).
“The course at Lake Afton was a challenging one,” Peabody-Burns coach Tony Zappone said. “Both the boys and girls ran extremely well and I’m very pleased with their performance.”
Both teams will travel to Wamego on Saturday. The girls will run at 9 a.m. and boys at 10 a.m.
The Goessel boys, meanwhile, qualified for the Class 1A race by winning the regional at Lake Afton.
Goessel was led by a second-place overall finish by senior Evan Fast with a time of 18:40.
Also finishing in the top 20 were Brady Peters (11th, 19:59), Kellen Jenkins (12th, 20:04) and Casey Wedel (17th, 20:26).
Also running for Goessel were Jake Schrag (25th, 21:23), Anthony Esau (27th, 21:27) and Chris Johnston (34th, 22:43).
Goessel junior Janessa Wedel qualified individually for state by placing 12th in the 2-mile girls’ race in 14:39. Jitka Vitova placed 22nd in 15:56.
The Canton-Galva Eagles competed at Meade and Brandon Shannon and Caitlin Nelson returned home as state qualifiers.
Shannon placed eighth out of 62 runners in 19:17.
“Brandon had a really good race on a hillier-than-average course,” coach Lyle Silsby said. “He started off slowly and was in 14th, but he picked it up after that.”
Also competing were Travis Myers (35th, 20:53), Joseph Unruh (45th, 21:56) and Riley Nigh (54th, 23:27).
“Travis had another steady race,” Silsby said. “Joseph wasn’t feeling very well and it showed in his time. For Riley being a freshman, it was a good experience to run in a meet like this.”
For the girls, Nelson finished 10th in 13:32.
“Caitlin battled hard, was in pain the whole race and still finished strong,” Silsby said. “She’s still battling the leg problem that’s hampered her all season.”
Also competing were Kelly Arendt (56th, 17:19) and Lynn Volkman (59th, 17:24).