Cross country headed out to Shawnee Mission Park last Saturday, Aug. 27 for their time trials.. These times determined what team they would be placed on for the upcoming season.
Senior Jack Young won the boys’ race with a time of 17:43 after running a 3.1 mile race. Captains Jack Young and John Arnspiger took first and third with a time of 17:43 and 17:53. Sophomore Griffin Keeter took second at 17:47.
“The team is pretty deep this year. We are returning six of the top seven Varsity runners from last year,” Young said.“The JV runners have also really pushed themselves to got better during summer running as well.”
_All of the top three finishers for the girls completed the race within a minute of each other. Senior Devon Dietrich came in first at 21:05, junior Ingrid Worth came in next at 21:25, and freshman Kathleen Staley came in third at 21:55. Senior Carolyn Kinney also has high hopes for herself and the girls’ team after placing tenth and taking the last spot on Varsity. Kinney finished with a time of 24:26 on Saturday.\
“Varsity is very promising this year for girls,” Kinney said. “We have a lot of strong individual runners and the varsity has a good shot at making it to state this year.”
Cross country has over 150 participants on the team this year. According to the Kansas State High School Athletic Association, teams are only allowed to put ten runners in the Varsity race and ten runners in the Junior Varsity race per gender. For East, that leaves a C-team of around 110 runners.
With the first few weeks of practice and the time trials under their belt, the cross country runners believes they are well prepared and ready to take on the 2016 season and so are the coaches. This year’s coach, David Pennington, has high expectations for the team this season. They believe that the teams will be within the top three for every invitational, top ten in the Rim Rock Classic and the Chile Pepper Invitational and top three at State.
“The boys should be one of the top teams in the state,”Coach Pennington said. “The girls team should be able to make it to state. They have some competitive returning athletes and have added a few freshman to the mix.”