Elniff leads boys cross country team at Rim Rock
Baldwin High School senior Chris Elniff once again led the BHS boys' cross country team to a good showing on Saturday at the Rim Rock Classic hosted by the University of Kansas just north of Lawrence.
BHS competed in the Gold division at the Classic, which put them up against elite cross country programs from across the Midwest. Teams from the region come to the meet to see how they stack up against teams from other states.
As a Class 4A school, BHS is among the smallest in this division. Many other small schools compete in this meet, but they are featured in either the crimson or the blue divisions.
Elniff was the lone Bulldog on the medal stand with a 24th-place finish in the field of 158. He ran 16:58 and paced the team to a 14th-place finish (sixth in the state of Kansas).
Elniff was excited about his individual placing.
"It was a really neat experience to medal at Rim Rock," he said. "The Jayhawk medal is one of the best."
Following Elniff was fellow senior Caj Kueffer, who finished 39th with a time of 17:22. Next for the team was junior Aaron Karlin, who crossed the line in 17:45 for 66th place. Fourth for the Bulldogs was sophomore Brad Canterbury in 90th with 18:06, and rounding out the scorers for the team was senior Paul Minor in 141st in 18:50. Also competing in the varsity race were seniors Michael Thurlow and Nathan Dick.
The team finished with a final score of 345.
Coach Mike Spielman was very pleased with the way the team handled the conditions on Saturday.
"I was very happy with the way the boys ran," Spielman said. "For having to wait for their race and the heat, they performed very, very well."
Karlin also thought the team competed well on Saturday.
"I think we did well against the big schools," he said. "We ran well and improved our times."
Elniff was also pleased with the team's improvement as the end of the season nears.
"Now that we have a healthy fifth runner we should be set for the championship season (league, regionals and state meets)," Elniff said.
Competing in the Rim Rock Classic allowed the team to explore the course and get a feel for the terrain in preparation for the Frontier League meet which is hosted at the Rim Rock Farm on Oct. 12.
"It gives all the kids a chance to be on the course and get a feel for it," Spielman said. "Even if you've been on the course before it gives them a chance to see how it feels on your body and the places you need to move."
Also competing on Saturday was the junior varsity Bulldog team.
Sophomore Connor Wright lead the way for the Bulldogs in 28th with a time of 18:23. Next were sophomores Blake Randels and Blake Shields who finished 57th and 86th respectively. Freshmen Patrick Pinault, Andy Woods and Kedar Sandel also competed on Saturday.
Next action for the team is at 4 p.m. today at Sabetha.
24. Chris Elniff, 16:58
39. Caj Kueffer, 17:22
66. Aaron Karlin, 17:45
90. Brad Canterbury, 18:06
141. Paul Minor, 18:50
145. Michael Thurlow, 19:07
157. Nathan Dick, 19:43
Junior Varsity results
28. Connor Wright, 18:23
57. Blake Randels, 19:05
86. Blake Shields, 19:50
107. Patrick Pinault, 20:49
113. Andy Woods, 21:40
119. Kedar Sandel, 25:13