By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

VICTORIA – Canton/Galva’s Christian Darrah closed out his high school cross country career on Saturday by finishing second at the Class 1A Boys State Meet.

Running a time of 16:41.40, Darrah was able to hold off Blake Yoder of Hutchinson Central Christian by seven seconds to finish second behind state champion Corbin Ricke of Spearville.

This was the third straight season that Darrah has medaled at the state meet.

“Christian (Darrah) ran probably the best race of his cross-country career today,” explained Eagle head coach Lyle Silsby. “Since this was his last race of his high school career it was a suitable time to do it. He was able to get a good start in the front pack and was able to stay there throughout the race until it started to break up with a mile left to go. He stayed strong the whole race.”

The only other runner for the Eagles was fellow senior Morgan Becker and he finished out his career strong by earning a state medal with a 13th place finish by running 17:41.40. This was the fourth straight season that Becker qualified to run in the state meet and he did so in 2021 despite missing a large section of the season due to an illness.

As a freshman, Becker placed 25th while he has now medaled in all three of his final seasons as an Eagle.

Reflecting on the career of Morgan Becker, Coach Silsby said, “Morgan got a good start along with Christian and was able to hang with the lead pack for the first mile. As the runners strung out, he was able to maintain his 13th place position for the rest of the race.”

There is no doubt that the high school careers of Morgan Becker and Christian Darrah has put the Canton/Galva program on the map, and they will be leaving some big shoes to fill next season.

Coach Silsby had plenty of comments as he reflected on their Eagle careers, noting, “Their dedication and work ethic has been phenomenal, and it has been amazing to see all that arduous work pay off. They are the examples that the younger runners can look at and see what it takes to be successful in this sport.”

Concluding his reflections on being their coach, Silsby added, “It has been a pleasure, privilege, and an honor to coach them. Morgan since the seventh grade and Christian since his freshman season. They will be deeply missed. Both are looking to continue running in college and it will be fun to go watch them as they continue on their paths.”