Bobcats sweep championships at home meet
It didn’t take long for the Basehor-Linwood cross country team to find out if its hard work in the summertime would pay off this fall.
The Bobcats opened their season Thursday at the Bobcat Invitational and swept the boys’ and girls’ team championships.
The BLHS girls had five of the top nine finishers and seven of the top 15 while compiling a team score of 24. Jackson Heights was second with 56 and Ottawa finished third with 66. The Basehor boys had three of the top 10 finishers and posted a team score of 50, well ahead of runner-up Blue Valley West’s 68.
For Basehor-Linwood coach Jeff Venema, the day couldn’t have gone any better.
“I think for our girls it just solidifies to them the confidence to understand how good they can be, and (we can) build on it,” Venema said. “For the guys, I think it’s a turning point. We have been talking to these same kids for a couple years now that if they just persevere, if they maintain and stay confident and keep working hard, then at some point they are going to get to the age group where they can start to compete and start to be successful. And now the core is juniors, and this is really, really going to help us in our practices. They are going to want to come to practice and be excited. They’ve done a great job, and now this is really a great reward.”
In the girls’ race, Hannah Tush cruised to a first-place finish in the 4K race in 16:49. Teammate Kayla Peterson — a state qualifier last year — took second in 16:51. Haley Stallbaumer (seventh, 18:16), Brooke Redmond (eighth, 18:17) and Sheridan Miles (ninth, 18:22) rounded out the first five for the Bobcats. Casey Mahoney finished 11th in 18:34 and Megan Rehm was 15th in 19:03.
Cory Keehn of Jackson Heights was the individual champion in the 5K boys race in 17:10. Brady Blackwood was the top BLHS finisher, taking fifth in 18:47. Teammate Wyatt Kelly was right on his heels, finishing sixth in 18:49.
Michael Torrez placed 10th in 19:21, Bryce Garver was 15th in 19:43 and Brad Waterman rounded out the Bobcats’ first five with a 19th-place finish in 19:59.
Rob Peterson finished 22nd in 20:27 and Tony Almeida was 25th in 21:05.
For a full recap of the meet, pick up the Thursday, Sept. 10, edition of The Sentinel.