Cross country teams tune up for league
It might be their longest trip of the season, but Baldwin High School cross country runners always enjoy the trip to Sabetha.
Last Thursday, the Bulldogs traveled nearly three hours to the Sabetha Invitational. They brought home four team titles, plenty of medals and stomachs full of home-cooked food.
"It was a good time to go up there and see some different competition," coach Mike Spielman said. "The kids got a chance to run up front and see what they can do up there. Most of our kids medaled, too."
After running their races, the Bulldogs head over to Spielman's family farm, where he grew up, for a taco feed. They are served a large dinner, complete with a main course and dessert.
It's been a tradition since Spielman began coaching Baldwin 15 years ago. The Bulldogs love the trip.
"Sabetha is my favorite meet because we get to eat tacos and we all ran really well," junior Calleigh Durr said.
Of course, before the Bulldogs can enjoy the food, they do have races to run. They swept the meet, winning all four team titles, and scored a perfect team score in the junior varsity boys' race.
Baldwin claimed the first seven spots in the race. In order, they were sophomore Patrick Pinault, sophomore Braden Phillips, sophomore Andy Woods, junior Cody Kruger, sophomore Jeremy Wilkinson, freshman Ethan Horne and senior Tom Taylor. Junior Blake Randels (11), sophomore Lex Jones (18), sophomore Derek Wallace (26) and sophomore Colby Willard (29) also ran in the JV race.
"I think I did pretty good," Horne said. "I placed sixth and that's the best I've placed all year, so I was excited."
Both varsity teams scored 23 points to win. On the boys' side, BHS finished first, second and third individually. Senior Aaron Karlin led the way, with freshman Tony Weiss and junior Connor Wright behind him.
Freshman Carson Barnes finished fifth. Junior Brad Canterbury (13), junior Blake Shields (18) and senior Alex Coffey (21) rounded out the varsity.
On the girls' side, senior Heather Garcia won the race with ease. A pack of five Bulldogs followed her in sixth through 10th place. In order, they were junior Corinna Papps, Durr, sophomore Connor Twombly, freshman Heather Karlin and sophomore Julie Hill. Senior Colby Heckathorne (15) was the final varsity runner to cross the finish line.
"I had a great time," Twombly said. "We did really well as a team."
Freshman Sarah Whaley won the junior varsity girls' race. She was followed by sophomore Misty Emery (2), junior Hannah Sigvaldson (3) and senior Madison Shoemaker (4). Junior Hannah Harris (6), senior Courtney Harris (7) and junior Ariel Sanders (10) also finished in the top 10. Junior Kelly Baker (13) rounded out the JV girls' runners.
The Bulldogs will next compete at the Frontier League Championship today, which is held at Rim Rock Farm, north of Lawrence. The girls will run at 4:30 p.m. with the boys at 5:30 p.m. The Delaware Valley League also runs at Rim Rock today.
"We are down to the championship stretch here with league, regional and state," Spielman said. "We are trying to stay healthy and get everybody in the right frame of mind to run well Thursday."