HELINE, GARDNER WIN GOLD, LAMBERT TAKES SILVER

By William

HESSTON – It was a special day for the Smoky Valley cross country team when they ran Thursday at the loaded Hesston Invitational as the Viking boys won their division and the Lady Viking runners placed fourth while two individual champions were crowned as well.

“No matter how you shake it, we had a fantastic meet at Hesston,” explained Viking Head Coach Jay Meyers. “Considering what we could have faced weather-wise, we actually had about as pleasant of a day as possible as it was cool and damp with some breeze, but certainly not bad conditions at all.”

For the Viking boys, they scored 15 team points to finish first in the Class 3-2-1A Division and a full eight points ahead of Southeast of Saline. Berean Academy, Holcomb and Wichita Collegiate rounded out the top five.

Individually, the Vikings shines as Ryan Heline won the senior boys division while also breaking the school record and in the junior boys division, Viking runners placed three in the top five of 40 runners with Justice Gardner winning the division while Lukas Apel placed third and Garret Huffman ran fifth. Tytus Reed finished fifth in the sophomore division and Samuel Peterson placed ninth as the top Viking running in the freshman division.

Speaking of what Ryan Heline achieved, Coach Myers noted, “We got after it as most of our runners had personal records and it is not every day, or even every year for that matter that we can report a record, but Ryan (Heline) broke Calvin Shannon’s Smoky Valley record of 16:01 from 2015 when covered the course in just 15:50.7! Congratulations as he has been working for his senior season somewhere along the same time before we lost our track and field season to the pandemic.”

For the Lady Viking runners, the highlight came from Gracie Lambert who placed second in the junior girls division while Kajsa Peterson took ninth in the senior girls division and Kenzie Heline placed seventh in the freshman girls division.

As a team, the Lady Vikings finished fourth behind SE of Saline, Minneapolis, and Salina Sacred Heart.

Coach Myers concluded his post meet reflections by saying, “Should be a feel-good day for all our young folks. I certainly was proud of how we went about our business today as it was a great day to be a Viking!”

The Viking harriers will return to the competitive courses on Thursday, September 17 when they travel to Clay Center.

VIKING BOYS TEAM SCORING (top 10 of 19 teams): 1. VIKINGS 15; 2. SE of Saline 23; 3. Berean Academy 36; 4. Holcomb 54; 5. Wichita Collegiate 58; 6. Hesston 62; 7. Halstead 68; 8. Burlington 73; 9. Hoisington 85; 10. Meade 97.

VIKINGS IN SENIOR BOYS DIVISION: 1. Ryan Heline 15:50.7; 15. Stephen Peterson 17:57.5; 26. Jamison Sattler 19:17.5.

VIKINGS IN JUNIOR BOYS DIVISION: 1. Justice Gardner 17:09.4; 3. Lukas Apel 17:18.8; 5. Garrett Huffman 17:29.9.

VIKINGS IN SOPHOMORE BOYS DIVISION: 5. Tytus Reed 18:01.8.

VIKINGS IN FRESHMAN BOYS DIVISION: 9. Samuel Peterson 18:26.5; 15. Sebastian Pavlovich 19:10.8; 16. Brayden Eyer 19:14.4; 44. Immanuel Cooper 23:57.7; 52. Nicholas Dreier 27:39.4.

LADY VIKING TEAM SCORING (top 10 of 20 teams): 1. SE of Saline 6; 2. Minneapolis 10; 3. Salina Sacred Heart 13; 4. LADY VIKINGS 18; 5. Berean Academy 24; 6. Burlington 26; 7. Cheney 28; 8. Douglass 29; 9. Beloit 30; 10. Halstead 31.

LADY VIKING SENIOR GIRLS DIVISION: 9. Kajsa Peterson 22:32.5.

LADY VIKING JUNIOR GIRLS DIVISION: 2. Gracie Lambert 20:17.3; 17. Lydia Peterson 24:41.2.

LADY VIKING SOPHOMORE GIRLS DIVISION: 13. Olivia Bengtson 23:03.9; 14. Adrien Lochard 23:38.1; 45. Avery Kruckenberg 38:00.4.

LADY VIKING FRESHMAN GIRLS DIVISION: 7. Kenzie Heline 22:24.9.

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