Weiss leads BHS boys to victory
Tony Weiss is starting his sophomore campaign with a bang.
He began the season with a victory at the Anderson County Invitational on Sept. 4. Because of excessive rainfall, he was forced to wait two weeks before running his next race.
The Baldwin High School sophomore displayed his distance running skills against a handful of Class 5A and 6A schools Saturday at the Baldwin Invitational.
"I felt pretty good today," Weiss said. "The first mile was OK, but I felt a lot better after that. I got in my groove the last 2 miles."
Weiss felt so good he distanced himself from Lawrence Free State's sophomore Logan Sloan and Shawnee Mission West senior Travis Boyett. Weiss went on to win the 5-kilometer race in a time of 16:31.36. That time broke his own personal record by 16 seconds.
"The first mile I stayed in the pack, but I moved up to the front during the second mile," Weiss said. "The last mile I just took the lead and tried to separate myself from everyone else. I was aiming for something around that time. I wanted something in the low to mid 16s. It was a 16-second PR."
BHS coach Mike Spielman was proud of his sophomore for running well against tough competition on his home course.
"That was a tremendous race he ran," Spielman said of Weiss. "He beat some really good guys in there that are really good runners. He's been training really hard. He looked really relaxed and it was just a great race for him."
Weiss' victory propelled a Bulldog attack that was unbeatable Saturday. Baldwin's top five runners all finished in the top 20 as BHS won the team title.
Baldwin scored 51 points to defeat nine other teams. Placing second was Washburn Rural with 69 points, as Topeka West finished third with 74 points. The next closest team scored more than 100 points.
"They just did an awesome job today," Spielman said. "They packed up and they got after it early. They were able to hold on. It was just a great race to watch them compete in, especially on their home course."
BHS senior Connor Wright was happy to beat several larger schools.
"It feels good, because most of those teams are (Class) 5A and 6A," Wright said of winning. "It's good to get our name out there."
Wright and his younger brother were the Bulldogs' second and third runners Saturday. Wright placed seventh in a time of 17:16.31 while freshman Brian Wright finished fourth and ran 16:55.20.
"It's great to run at home, because we are really familiar with the course," C. Wright said. "We run it often during practice."
Another freshman, Tosh Mihesuah, was Baldwin's next finisher. He out sprinted sophomore Carson Barnes down the final stretch. Mihesuah finished 19th (17:57.34) with Barnes (20th, 17:57.66) right behind him.
"I thought I ran pretty well," Mihesuah said. "It was a tough race, but I still tried to push it at the end. I ran faster than at the first meet. It's a great feeling that we've won both our first two meets."
Spielman was proud of his two youngest runners, who are making an immediate impact on the No. 2 team in Class 4A.
"The two freshman boys did a great job today," Spielman said. "The other guys packed it up and ran together. That's what it's going to take to do well."
Baldwin's final two runners were senior Brad Canterbury (23rd, 18:03.96) and junior Josh Hanson (34th, 18:39.76).
"This is probably the most fans I've seen cheer us on at a cross country meet, other than state," C. Wright said. "They helped us finish first as a team."
On the junior varsity side, a trio of Bulldogs medaled. Sophomore Joey LaBuda placed eighth (18:59.75), while senior Blake Randels (ninth, 19:03.93) and sophomore Kyle Garcia (13th, 19:10.61) were the other medalists.
The Bulldogs will run again at home on Oct. 4 at the Community America Invitational. Shawnee Mission Northwest is the host school, but the meet will be held in Baldwin City.
This weekend, Baldwin will run at the Rim Rock Classic, just north of Lawrence. The meet will begin at 8:30 a.m., but the Bulldogs won't run until 1:40 p.m.
"This will be my last time at Rim Rock, so I'll have to make it good," C. Wright said. "It will be a little sad, but it will be a great meet."