Peterson to race state’s best in Wamego
Basehor-Linwood cross country runner Kayla Peterson qualified for the place all runners want to go at the end of the season: state.
She is preparing to run Saturday in the Class 4A state meet in Wamego, qualifying as the fourth individual and finishing in 15th place with a time of 17:40.4.
Runners from the top three schools qualified and then the top five individuals qualified after that spot.
“It was very difficult to qualify for state, either individually or as a team,” coach Jeff Venema said. “It was the strongest regional in the state, no question about it, unfortunately.”
Baldwin and De Soto are the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the state of Kansas, which made qualifying a girls team for state difficult.
“We have faced that for years now; it was a tough field and hard to overcome,” Venema said. “We wanted to do better as a team, and to have her make it was a reason for everybody to feel good coming out of regionals.”
Peterson has progressed as a runner this season by challenging herself. She won the cross country meet at Pleasant Ridge earlier in the season and has been running at a different level since. At Pleasant Ridge Peterson learned that she can run fast throughout the race.
“It takes a level of courage to run up with the fast girls,” Venema said. “If you get caught up in running at their speed, you are afraid of struggling at the end. It takes a lot of nerve for a runner to say, I am going to run up there anyway.
“She has dared to run up at the front and it has paid off for her. Her qualifying is a combination of someone who is talented and who has worked very hard to put herself in that position.”
Peterson will run at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Wamego.
While Peterson was the only Basehor-Linwood runner to qualify for state, other runners performed well in the meet. Brooke Redmond finished in 22nd place and ran a time of 18:01.86.
“She has been consistent all year for us and she ran 18:01,” Venema said. “Her job was to beat a certain Tonganoxie girl and she did. Her person was well behind her by the end. She did her job.”
Shelby Miles ran a time of 18:45.80 and finished in 32nd place. Megan Rehm finished in 40th place with a time of 19:16.84 and Jane Heinen ran 19:22 to finish in 41st place. Dakkota Edmonds ran a time of 19:46 and finished in 46th place.
Basehor-Linwood did not qualify a runner in the boys’ competition.
Brady Blackwood finished in 46th place and ran a time of 19:41.81.
Micheal Torrez finished second amongst Basehor-Linwood runners with a time of 19:56.81. Wyatt Kelly, a sophomore finished third among Basehor-Linwood runners with a time of 20:37.44.
“It was five sophomores and a freshman. They are a minute or so behind, we tell them all the time that they would make a great JV team,” Venema said. “Under the circumstances they are running on varsity and are able to take their lumps.”
Youth was the theme on the Basehor-Linwood cross country team this season and Venema expects it pay dividends for the team next season.
“We have a group of sophomore boys and a group of freshman girls who are going to take us wherever we go, wherever that is, that is the goal,” Venema said. “We have the makings of a something very special here over the next several years.”
All of the runners will travel to Wamego on Saturday, which Venema said he hopes will motivate them to want to return next season.
“Hopefully, it will motivate them to do things next summer to prepare us for next fall,” he said.