By William /

HESSTON – The Smoky Valley cross country team made a strong showing on Thursday at the Hesston Invitational as the Viking boys placed second overall while the Lady Vikings took third.

Placing second out of 21 teams that scored points, the Viking boys had a total of 31 team points based on a scoring system that accounted for the top-five finishers in each divisional race per school. The boys finished behind Southeast of Saline who had 14 points.

Based on the same scoring system, the Smoky Valley Lady Vikings racked up nine (9) points to place third behind champion Southeast of Saline with six (6) and Minneapolis with seven (7). The girls division had 25 teams score team points.

“This is an interesting meet,” pointed out Viking head coach Jay Myers. “For one, last year the course ran out around 70 meters too short and this year, I heard everything from 3.2 to 3.4 miles instead of the 3.1 miles to equal a 5K run. We got to see a ton of quality competition as there were entries from something like 42 Class 1-2-3A schools and another 15 entries from Class 4-5-6A schools, and they come from all over the state, including Liberal, Scott City and Holcomb among others.”

For the team standings the Lady Vikings had three girls place in the top four of their divisions as Gracie Lambert placed 2nd in the senior girls division which had 34 runners, Keira Mullen finished 3rd in the sophomore girls division of 38 runners, and Sophia Fruits placed 4th in the freshman division among 32 runners.

Coach Myers continued his reflections on the meet by saying, “All the freshman girls ran together then the timer guys split the results into the smaller and bigger class schools, so it is totally cool to be running alongside four schools from Saline County as an example. The bad thing, at least for me in this particular format, is trying to keep track of how we are doing overall, so it was just a nice surprise to learn our girls took third and the guys took second overall in the Class 1-2-3A division.”

The Viking boys not only placed second in the team standings, but they also had five runners who placed in the top-10 of their class division runs.

Tytus Reed had the best time as he ran an 18:58.50 to place 3rd in the junior boys division while Britton Becker ran a 20:23.50 and placed 3rd in the freshman boys division. Samuel Peterson finished 6th in the sophomore boys division while Garrett Huffman and Justice Gardner ended up running 9th and 10th in the senior boys division.

Concluding his post-meet reflections, Coach Myers added, “Just look at those results, not a personal record day with the length of the course, but this was a day that most of us took steps forward and that certainly is the idea in this early season. Run hard. Keep focused on those ahead of you then do something about it later. We just worked extremely hard today at competing. I am always going to be proud of those kinds of efforts. It was a good second meet of the season.”

Next up for the Viking harriers will be a road trip next Thursday, September 16 to run at Clay Center.



OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Southeast of Saline – 6; 2. Minneapolis – 7; 3. SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS – 9; 4. Holcomb – 12; 5. Cheney – 16. (25 teams scored points – team standings were based on top-3 finishers per race per team.)


Gracie Lambert = ran a 22:41.50 to finish 2nd in the Senior girls Division (34 runners).

Keira Mullen = ran a 23:45.70 to finish 3rd in the Sophomore girls Division (38 runners).

Sophia Fruits = ran a 24:45.40 to finish 4th in the Freshman girls Division (32 runners).

Lydia Peterson = ran a 26:54.70 to finish 13th in the Senior girls Division.

Kenzie Heline = ran a 26:38.00 to finish 15th in the Sophomore girls Division.

Adrien Lochard = ran a 28:54.50 to finish 15th in the Junior girls Division (44 runners).

Esther Clark = ran a 29:47.70 to finish 19th in the Freshman girls Division.

Olivia Bengtson = ran a 29:50.10 to finish 21st in the Junior girls Division.


OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Southeast of Saline – 14; 2. VIKING BOYS – 31; 3. Scott City – 36; 4. Berean Academy – 43; 5. Holcomb – 50. (21 teams scored points – team standings based on top-5 finishers per race per school.)


Tytus Reed = ran a 18:58.50 to place 3rd in the Junior boys Division.

Britton Becker = ran a 20:23.50 to place 3rd in the Freshman boys Division (74 runners).

Samuel Peterson = ran a 20:03.90 to place 6th in the Sophomore boys Division (63 runners).

Garrett Huffman = ran a 20:17.40 to place 9th in the Senior boys Division (42 runners).

Justice Gardner = ran a 20:20.20 to place 10th in the Senior boys Division.

Brayden Eyer = ran a 21:49.80 to place 25th in the Sophomore boys Division.

Sebastian Pavlovich = ran a 22:59.90 to place 31st in the Sophomore boys Division.

Immanuel Cooper = ran a 27:28.10 to place 55th in the Sophomore boys Division.

Nicholas Dreier = ran a 32:57.80 to place 62nd in the Sophomore boys Division.

Elijah Spooner = ran a 32:43.00 to place 71st in the Freshman boys Division.

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