Medal count continues to grow for BLHS runners
Should we expect seven next time?
The Basehor-Linwood High School cross country team bettered their previous high medal total of five by claiming six total medals last Wednesday at the Bonner Springs Invitational.
That mark improved upon the previous medal high that the team had claimed just a week before at the Maur Hill race.
"The team did really well," said head coach Jeff Venema. "It was a great race for us. We knew we would be tested and the team rose to the challenge."
Included among the medalists was sophomore Josh Baptista, who placed in the boys' JV race. He was the first men's medalist this season.
"Our young guys have had to race against older competition in the varsity races, and it's been good for them," Venema said. "But I thought it was time to race some young guys against some young guys, so they could get a feel for how they're doing in their own age group."
Age doesn't seem to be a factor for the girls' side, however, as the talented freshman class led the medal charge again for the Bobcats.
Freshman runners Caren Chellgren and Emily Smolinski placed 11th and 10th at the Bonner meet while sophomore Megan Tush earned a medal at 16th.
"Megan's really rounding into form now after suffering through an illness earlier," said Venema of last season's state qualifier. "I expect good things from her for the rest of the season."
Venema is hoping for more than good things from just Tush, however, as the Bobcats head into this Thursday's Tonganoxie Invitational.
Twenty-one schools are participating in the event and Venema expects that only times under 14 minutes will qualify for a medal.
"Some very talented 6A, 5A and 4A schools are going to be there," said Venema. "We may not show as well.
"Everyone's going to have to run a great race. Luckily, we have some seniors like Lauren Forshee and Danielle Bray who've been pushing the younger girls in practice. Their attitudes toward taking that role has been tremendous."