Rare defeat wakes up boys
The Baldwin High School boys' cross country team traveled to the Anderson County Invitational last Thursday and came home with a second-place finish.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was senior Chris Elniff. He placed fifth in the varsity field of 67 runners with a time of 18:00. Next was senior Caj Kueffer, who finished with a time of 18:16 and in seventh place.
Not far behind was junior Aaron Karlin in ninth with a time of 18:24. Sophomore Brad Canterbury finished 14th and rounding out the scorers for the Bulldogs was senior Nathan Dick, who was the 23rd runner to cross the finish line.
Also competing in the varsity race were seniors Paul Minor and Michael Thurlow, who placed 31st and 40th respectively.
The team concluded with a score of 57, but lost to De Soto, who scored 42.
Kueffer believes this will serve as a wake-up call and get the team headed back in the right direction.
"It was motivation and fuel to our fire," Kueffer said. "It showed us that we're not invincible. We're going to have to work harder (in practice) and run as a pack. It's a team sport and we need to work on that."
Coach Mike Spielman was pleased with the way the team concluded the race.
"I thought we did a really good job of closing at the end of the race," Spielman said. "I was really happy with the way we ran the last mile."
Other members of the cross country team competed in the junior varsity and freshman races on Thursday.
In the JV race, sophomore Blake Randels led the way for the team with a third-place finish and a time of 20:29. Fellow sophomore Blake Shields placed 13th and junior Alex Coffey finished in 17th. Rounding out the junior varsity competitors was senior Josh Times in 33rd.
Shields believes that there is room for improvement among the runners.
"It could have been better," Shields said. "One of our runners couldn't finish and we didn't have a team score. We need to stay healthy and try harder at all practices."
Competing in the freshman boys' 4-kilometer race were Andy Woods, Kedar Sandal, and Patrick Pinault who finished 22nd, 23rd, and 27th respectively.
Next action for the team will be the Wamego Invitational at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Wamego.