Boys runners start strong with second
A second-place finish started the year off for the Baldwin High School boys cross country team. After having their first meet postponed due to a heat advisory, the Wamego Invitational took the place of the always unforgettable first meet of the season.
While their team score of 68 points was not enough to beat Clay Center's team score of 64 points for the championship trophy, the team still walked away satisfied.
"We are really happy with our first race," said head coach Mike Spielman, who has led the Bulldogs to Class 4A State titles the past two years. "We now know where we are at and what we need to do to get better."
Junior Matt Noonan led Baldwin with an individual second-place finish and a time of 16:36. Junior Eric Black was sixth at 17:35; junior Glen Stansberry was 18th at 18:05; freshman Jonathan Strong was 21st with 18:14; sophomore Brayton Gladhart placed 24th with a time of 18:19; and junior Corey Martinez came in 33rd with an 18:40 time. The team's balance helped contribute to the high team finish.
"For the first meet, I was really happy with how I did," Noonan said. "Losing to Joe Moore from Clay Center was good motivation for the rest of the year."
Noonan edged out Moore at last year's Class 4A State track meet in the 3,200-meter run for the gold medal. It was a dive finish that gave Noonan the championship.
Next up for the squad is the Sept. 16 meet at well-known RimRock Farm in Lawrence. Known for its scenery and tough hills, RimRock was designed by former KU coach Bob Timmons and is the site of many collegiate and high school races each year.