By William /

GYPSUM – It was a grand day for the Smoky Valley cross country program as they traveled to the campus of Southeast of Saline on Saturday for their Class 3A State Regionals and came home with both the Viking boys and Lady Vikings qualify their entire teams for next week’s Class 3A State Championships.

“The state’s toughest regional was not a disappointment for the Vikings and the awesome bunch of fans who came out to support our kids,” noted Viking head coach Jay Myers. “I just may smile the rest of the weekend as we made some school history today.”

School history indeed as both the boys and girls qualified their entire teams for state with the Lady Vikings gaining their first ever team trip to state.

For the Viking boys, they had five of seven runners finish in the top-twenty led by Tytus Reed who placed seventh overall with a personal record run of 16:50.30. Other Vikings finishing in the top twenty were Lukas Apel at eleventh, Garrett Huffman in fifteenth, Britton Becker in eighteenth and Justice Gardner funning twentieth. All seven of the Viking boys set personal records at the meet with Lukas Apel knocking a full minute off his previous best mark.

Host Southeast of Saline took the team title with forty-five points while Wichita Trinity finished second with forty-six and the Smoky Valley boys landing in third with sixty-eight points.

Coach Myers was proud of how the boys ran and explained, “Our guys had everyone earn personal records. Who does that? Once again, how timely was that to have that sort of effort especially since we certainly wanted to take care of business on our end to get that third place standing. In the boys race, seven of the Class 3A top-ten ranked teams were at our regional, so we certainly wanted to race well and obviously we did!”

The Lady Vikings also finished third as a team to qualify the entire group for state as well, with Gracie Lambert leading the way with her fourth-place finish after running a personal record time of 19:59.10. Sophia Fruits made the top-twenty while Adrien Lochard took 1:24 off her personal record time and Lydia Peterson tied her previous personal best.

As for the team competition, the Lady Vikings placed third with ninety-five points, just beating out Wichita Trinity for the final team spot to state by five points. Southeast of Saline and Cheney took the top two places.

Concluding his reflections on the regional meet, Coach Myers said, “Three of our girls tied or beat their personal records today, they picked a great time to do that. Our girls qualified the full team for the state meet for the first time in school history so congratulations for all the hard work they put in throughout the season. Happy we nipped Wichita Trinity out for third as they were the team that kept us out of taking the entire squad to state last season. The results were well deserved by both our Viking boys and Lady Vikings for all the hard work they have put in. I am proud to be associated with both groups of kids.”

The Class 3A state meet will be held at Wamego.



Team Standings = 1. Southeast of Saline 45; 2. Wichita Trinity 46; 3. SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS 68; 4. Wichita Collegiate 108; 5. Hesston 151; 6. Council Grove 152; 7. Riley County 165; 8. Halstead 216; 9. Chaparral 275; 10. Haven 285; 11. Minneapolis 290; 12. Ellsworth 319.

VIKING BOYS (64 runners) =

Tytus Reed finished 7th with a run of 16:50.30 (a personal record)

Lukas Apel finished 11th with a run of 16:58.60 (a personal record)

Garrett Huffman finished 15th with a run of 17:25.30 (a personal record)

Britton Becker finished 18th with a run of 17:36.40 (a personal record)

Justice Gardner finished 20th with a run of 17:38.10 (a personal record)

Samuel Peterson finished 31st with a run of 18:02.20 (a personal record)

Brayden Eyer finished 50th with a run of 19:12.20 (a personal record)

Alternate Runners – Sebastian Pavlovich, Immanuel Cooper & Elijah Spooner.


Team Standings = 1. Southeast of Saline 25; 2. Cheney 67; 3. SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS 92; 4. Wichita Trinity 97; 5. Minneapolis 105; 6. Halstead 146

LADY VIKINGS (54 runners) =

Gracie Lambert finished 4th with a run of 19:59.10 (a personal record)

Sophia Fruits finished 20th with a run of 22:09.10

Keira Mullen finished 23rd with a run of 22:37.10

Adrien Lochard finished 31st with a run of 23:29.60 (a personal record)

Lydia Peterson finished 35th with a run of 24:01.10 (tied personal record)

Esther Clark finished 39th with a run of 24:33.10

Kenzie Heline finished 41st with a run of 24:55.50

Alternate Runners = Olivia Bengtson

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