By William /

CLAY CENTER = The Smoky Valley cross country teams both placed third on Thursday at the Clay Center Invitational, with the Viking boys scoring 89 points while the Lady Vikings had 61.

“Twelve schools including our first look at the top-ranked team in boys’ Class 4A and a very strong girls’ team from Wamego,” explained Viking head coach Jay Myers. “Wamego happens to have a ton of kids in every race, look – they took the top eight places in the boys’ junior varsity race and 10 of the top 12 in the same race. We also saw Riley County and other schools we do not often see.”

In the Lady Vikings run, Clay Center also scored 61 points but finished second based on the standing of the teams sixth runner. Wamego took the girls title with Minneapolis, Marysville, Abilene and Concordia being the other teams running.

Five Smoky Valley ladies medaled with Gracie Lambert finishing second by running 21:30.60. Keira Mullen also finished in the top-10 by placing eighth. Sophia Fruits, Kenzie Heline and Lydia Peterson were the other medalists.

A huge highlight for the Lady Vikings program was Esther Clark as she ran a 27:34.50 which was good enough to finish first in the junior varsity run.

For the Viking boys, Tytus Reed turned in an eighth-place finish by running 18:22.30 to medal along with Justice Gardner who placed 17th with 19:15.30.

As a team, the Viking boys finished third behind Wamego and Riley County while Clay Center, Marysville, Abilene, Chapman and Mission Valley rounded out the teams running. There were 64 runners in the varsity boys run.

Coach Myers concluded his post meet reflections by saying, “For the most part, we probably did not have our best day but that isn’t fair to those who did. This was a tough course to have super-fast times, but it is a great course to be running at this time of the season. We mainly have solid efforts, but it was just one of those days where we just did not have a whole bunch of people feel like they did great. I am totally okay with our efforts, like we all know, progress can be made even when the time an individual wanted was not quite what was desired. We did improve today through our efforts, and it is noted that there are times to endure what needs to be endured. This was one of those days to work through and grow from.”

Next up for the Smoky Valley harriers will be next Tuesday, September 21 when they run at Hoisington.



Team Standings: 1. Wamego 47; 2. Riley County 86; 3. SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS 89; 4. Clay Center 100; 5. Marysville 113; 6. Abilene 130; 7. Chapman 140; 8. Mission Valley 202.



Tytus Reed = Medaled, finished 8th by running 18:22.30

Justice Gardner = Medaled, finished 17th by running 19:15.30

Samuel Peterson = finished 22nd by running 19:18.10

Britton Becker = finished 23rd by running 19:21.20

Garret Huffman = finished 24th by running 19:26.00

Brayden Eyer = finished 41st by running 21:17.50

Sebastian Pavlovich = finished 48th by running 22:11.30

JUNIOR VARSITY (56 runners total):

Immanuel Cooper = finished 35th by running 25:58.90

Elijah Spooner = finished 44th by running 28:35.10

Nicholas Dreier = finished 49th by running 29:47.20


Team Standings: 1. Wamego 48; 2. Clay Center 61; 3. SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS 61; 4. Minneapolis 82; 5. Marysville 129; 6. Abilene 145; 7. Concordia 153. Clay Center finished ahead of Smoky Valley by placement of 6th team runner.



Gracie Lambert = Medaled, finished 2nd by running 21:30.60

Keira Mullen = Medaled, finished 8th by running 23:02.10

Sophia Fruits = Medaled, finished 12th by running 23:44.90

Kenzie Heline = Medaled, finished 22nd by running 25:18.00

Lydia Peterson = Medaled, finished 28th by running 26:10.30

Adrien Lochard = finished 37th by running 27:49.90

Olivia Bengtson = finished 39th by running 28:01.30


Esther Clark = finished 1st by running 27:34.50

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