Girls bring home individual, team titles
The Baldwin High School girls' varsity and junior varsity cross country teams started their year exactly where they hoped to be, in first place.
Both teams won the Anderson County Invitational last Thursday to start the 2006 season. Both teams ran the new distance of 4-kilometers.
"I was really excited," coach Mike Spielman said. "We did a really nice job in the race of just putting ourselves in the right spot and running the new distance."
Junior Heather Garcia led the Bulldogs with a time of 15:16.07, as she brought home the first-place individual medal in the girls' varsity run.
Senior Kelsey Verhaeghe came in fifth, completing the race in 16:10.23. Junior Madison Shoemaker, who placed eighth with a time of 17:04.89, followed Verhaeghe.
Sophomores Calleigh Durr and Corinna Papps finished as the last two scorers for the Bulldog team as they placed 12th and 14th, respectively. Freshman Julie Hill came in 21st, followed by senior Amanda Vander Tuig in 32nd place.
"We ran really well as a team, which allowed us to achieve our goal of first place," Shoemaker said. "We knew that De Soto and Eudora would be the teams to beat so we really worked hard to place better than their girls. We focused on our places rather than our times."
Sophomore Hannah Sigvaldson led the JV race, coming in first with a time of 18:50.48. Junior Colby Heckathorne completed the race in 19:10.71, earning fourth place.
Freshman Misty Emery took 11th and was followed closely by junior Courtney Harris and sophomore Hannah Harris, who placed 13th and 14th respectively. Sophomore Cassidy Burkhart finished 16th for the Bulldogs and senior Luna Novelo took 18th place.
Sophomore Taylor Knisley and freshman Chloe Gaylord brought in the end of the Bulldog runners placing 29th and 30th respectively.
"I thought the JV put in lots of effort," Sigvaldson said. "We all worked really hard and it showed in our team placing. I think we will do really well this season."
Spielman was happy how the team adjusted to the new distance at the first meet.
"I thought they ran really well," Spielman said. "I think the new distance affected some more mentally than physically, so we need to get used to running it and we will be all right."
The Bulldogs resume action at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Wamego Invitational.