Baldwin High School cross country teams step up at Baldwin Invitational
The Baldwin Cross Country teams invited some of the state’s top teams to the school’s annual invitational at the Baldwin City Golf Course, and then proved they belonged in such elite company.
The girls team finished second in a field loaded with six 5A and 6A teams and had five runners finish in the top 18. Against the same competition plus St. Thomas Aquinas, the boys finished fourth with five runners in the top 30.
Times in the cool morning were overall very good, but slick conditions from heavy rains Friday slowed the course a bit.
Both the BHS boys and girls were led by seniors, George Letner and Addie Dick. And in both cases, freshmen, Jacob Bailey and Natlie Beiter, were the second Baldwin runners to cross the finish line
Dick set a personal record Saturday, with her time of 20:00.47 being her best in the three 5K races she’s competed in this year (the length of girls courses increase to 5K from 4K this season).
After the race, Dick was more focused on the team’s performance. Beiter finished 10th (20:21.15), Mackenzie Russell was 14th (20:35.90), Taylor Cawley 18th, (21:13.02) and Daelynn Anderson 19th (21:14.11). The team score of 63 points was second to Lawrence Free State, which finished with 29.
“Our goal is pretty much to win state this year,” she said. “We’ve taken second and third the years I’ve gone to state. I want to win this year.”
Letner had mixed feelings about his race. The senior finished third with a time of 16_29.01.
“I wanted to set a PR,” he said, “I missed it by two seconds. I ran well the first half, but I wasn’t as good in the second half.”
Bailey was the next Bulldog to cross the finish line, finishing in 12th place with a time of 17:17.35. Other Bulldog scorers were Parker Wilson, 15th at 17:24.10, Dakota Helm, 24th at 17:40, and Nevin Dunn, 32nd at 17:52.26.
Next for the Bulldogs is the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, an event that also draws top teams from Kansas and the Midlands. Runners have their choice of competing in different levels of competition, and Baldwin’s top runners traditionally chose to run with the best.