3 Braves medal at Ottawa Invitational
The Bonner Springs cross country team is beginning a long-awaited two-week layoff, and coach Bill Downing said his runners are ready for it.
No, the break won’t be easy. In fact, the practices will be more rigorous. After all, postseason is approaching quickly.
“This two-week (period) is all about training,” Downing said. “We don’t need to worry about letting the runners have an easy day because of races. It’s all about getting the kids ready for regionals. I’ve definitely seen some big improvements with the runners the last few weeks.”
Some of those improvements happened on Saturday when Bonner Springs competed at the Ottawa Invitational and turned in numerous strong performances.
The boys took fourth and the girls finished sixth out of nine teams while racing on what Downing said would be the most difficult course they will see all season.
The Braves had a very good day time-wise. Every one of the Braves’ boys turned in a personal best time on the Ottawa course. Erin Mills also improved her time at the course by a considerable amount while leading the BSHS girls.
Brooks Ballou was the top performer for the BSHS boys despite taking a wrong turn on the course. The error forced Ballou to run an extra quarter of a mile, but he still finished sixth overall in the 5K race in 18:15.
Teammate Isaac Mills wasn’t far behind. He crossed the finish line in 11th place in 18:29. Bryce Peterson joined Ballou and Mills in garnering medalist honors by finishing 17th in 19:06.
In the girls’ race, Erin Mills narrowly missed a medal as she finished 22nd.
Downing gave the Golden Watch award to Peterson for his course personal record, which he beat by 90 seconds. The award was shared with freshman Josh Oden, who turned in his personal best time of 21:53 on the difficult Ottawa course. Erin Mills received the Golden Watch for the girls due to her course personal record in the 4K race.
The Braves now have until Oct. 11, until they compete again in the Shawnee Mission West Invitational at Shawnee Mission Park. That meet will be the final regular season competition.