Freshman Jaqua nabs school record at Tonganoxie Invitational
Lauren Jaqua needed just one cross country meet to tie the Lansing High record in the 4,000-meter run.
Monday at the Tonganoxie Invitational - just her third prep race - Jaqua made the record hers alone.
The freshman blazed the four-kilometer course at Tonganoxie Middle School in 16 minutes, 49 seconds. Her time was good for sixth place overall. Eudora's Brittney Graff placed first in 15:11.
Jaqua's record time broke the previous school record by nearly 20 seconds. Bianca Manago set the old mark of 17:08 in 2003 at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence. Jaqua tied the mark Sept. 7 at the Girard Invitational.
"She's made tremendous improvements over the last couple of weeks," LHS coach Errol Logue said of Jaqua. "If she continues to do so, she'll be fine. I'm very impressed with her."
Logue said the key to Jaqua's fast time was that she altered her race strategy a bit.
"She got a much better start," he said. "She started out the race like she was capable of running with the girls, and in the last few races she started out poorly, so that's a big improvement for her."
Senior Lori Flippo and freshman Abbey Lozenski competed. Flippo placed 26th in 18:06. Lozenski was 27th in 18:09. Mallory Barnhouse (59th, 20:04), Amanda Mitchell (74th, 21:15) and Emilee Taylor (86th, 23:35) rounded out the squad.
Flippo's performance was her best of the year, and Logue said that had as much to do with Flippo's competitiveness as it did the presence of two standout freshmen.
"As a leader, she's just been tremendous," Logue said. "She has used these two freshmen to improve herself. In practice she goes after them, but then she's also their biggest supporter."
Sophomore Matt McCurry was the top performer for the LHS boys. He placed 41st in 19:35. Other Lansing runners were Griffin Davis (52nd, 19:51), Wes Appleget (60th, 20:01), Greg Bremser (64th, 20:04) and Brandon Mills (68th, 20:16). Freshman Brandon Craig missed the meet with a chest cold and junior Jim Mayes was out with a knee injury.
Sophomore Trenton Dorf placed 15th in the junior varsity race in 20:58.
Monday's meet was only the start of a busy week for the LHS runners. They compete at 4 p.m. today at the Lansing Invitational at the University of St. Mary. Then they run at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Rim Rock Farm Invitational in Lawrence.