Basehor-Linwood cross country teams end season with regional competitions
Basehor-Linwood runners crossed the finish line for the last time of the season on Saturday at a Class 4A regional in Ottawa.
No Bobcat runner qualified for the state race in Wamego this Saturday.
Tyler Henley was the top Bobcat finisher, placing 26th and leading the boys to a 10th place finish out of 16 teams. De Soto placed first, with Baldwin in second and Paola in third.
"Tyler went out too fast and it cost him," coach Jeff Venema said. "It was a very hilly course and very windy, and that combination made it impossible to run a fast time. It was more of a tactical race, and we just didn't use the correct strategy."
Henley's teammates, Alex Vitt and Ryan Lawless, took 36th and 45th, respectively.
The girls team placed ninth with Kayla Peterson placing 35th, Megan Rehm taking 51st and Emily Lackner finishing 52nd. Baldwin won the girls competition with De Soto and Eudora rounding out the top three.
"Our girls limped in to regionals this year," Venema said. "Senior captain Caren Chellgren was out with an illness, and we had two other girls missing for various reasons. Considering that, we actually fared pretty well. There is nothing wrong with finishing ninth of 16 schools with a team that's made up of half junior varsity kids. I'm really proud of them and the effort they put out."
The Bobcats will lose several seniors to graduation next year.
"It will be very difficult next season," Venema said. "We lose several multi-year varsity letter winners. Alex Vitt, Caren Chellgren, Katelynn Witt and Emily Lackner have earned a total of sixteen letters in cross country and you just can't replace that sort of experience. Adam Palfreyman, Maggie Schroeder and Jordanne Leiker are also leaving, and they take with them a lot of ability and character. Most importantly, these guys are all my friends, and I'll miss them."
The Bobcats, however, return proven runners.
"We do have reason for some optimism next year," Venema said. "Sophomores Kayla Peterson, Megan Rehm, Tyler Henley, and Ryan Lawless will form the core of our teams next year."