BHS boys close gap with De Soto
With their toes at the line, their hearts racing and their mind determined; the race is about to begin for the Bulldogs.
The Baldwin High School boys' cross country team knows where it needs to be and who it needs to beat; it is just a matter of going out and doing it.
On Saturday the varsity boys got to run in the rain at Wamego and placed second behind De Soto, 114-111.
There was a small delay with finishes and correct placings after the varsity race, because of the confusion at the finish.
On the Wamego course, the boys make a small loop near the finish after running nearly two miles. At the meet, the top runners were finishing while others were still making the loop, but finished instead. The problem was resolved but it took some time.
Senior Chris Elniff was satisfied with his first-place performance (17:10) as well as the team's second place.
"I felt really good today," Elniff said. "I have always loved this course and the hard work in practice paid off. All of the other teams ran hard."
Sophomore Brad Canterbury was proud of how he did, placing 22nd.
"I tried my best and De Soto did awesome," Canterbury said.
Getting second place as a team this early does not seem to bother Elniff. He knows that as the season progresses, so will the Bulldogs and Canterbury agrees.
"We are sitting in a really good spot right now," Elniff said. "If we can get a healthy fifth runner, we are going to be really good."
As for personal goals, Canterbury's is simple.
"I want to run with Chris all year, in practices and races," Canterbury said.
Behind Elniff's first-place finish was senior Caj Kueffer (15th), junior Aaron Karlin (20), Canterbury, senior Paul Minor (62), sophomore Blake Randells (71) and senior Nathan Dick (78).
Coach Mike Spielman was more than happy with his team's performance and excited with how they did.
"I thought we ran really well," Spielman said. "I'm very excited with how they responded and how competitive they were at such a big meet (20 teams)."
The junior varsity team finished sixth overall with senior Michael Thurlow leading the Baldwin pack by finishing 11th. Behind him was freshman Patrick Pinault (36th), sophomore Blake Shields (37), junior Alex Coffey (56), freshman Andy Woods (64), senior Josh Times (74) and freshman Kedar Sandel (94).
Next up for the Bulldogs is a home meet that begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course.