Strong kick lifts Braves’ Ballou to second straight victory
Brooks Ballou is getting used to winning races.
He won for the second time in as many tries on Saturday as Bonner Springs raced against five other schools at the Bishop Miege Cross Country Invitational.
Ballou’s time of 17 minutes, 25.3 seconds, was good for first place, but just barely. Ben Anstaett, a sophomore from Olathe North, finished a close 0.8 seconds behind the BSHS senior.
“I knew where he (Anstaett) was the whole time,” Ballou said. “I never really felt pressured, but I was confident that I could out-kick him down the stretch if I had to.”
Andrew Sheets, a senior from Olathe East, came in third, 22 seconds behind Ballou in the 5,000-meter race.
“The race went well, but the course was a lot different than I had expected,” Ballou said. “I was thinking it would be a quick course, but the grass was really tall and choppy making it a tough course to run a good time. It feels good winning my second race in a row, and I’m having a lot of fun so far this season. After all of the training I put in over the summer, it is nice to see it paying off.”
Two other members of the boys team medaled for the Braves. Junior Austin Epp came in 13th with a time of 19:31.5, followed by sophomore Matt Coffman in 14th with a time of 19:41.2.
Olathe East captured the team title with a total of 44 points and Bonner Springs finished fifth with 84.
“We had a good day,” BSHS coach Bill Downing said. “Some kids were missing due to the flu and we missed second place by four points, but we are coming along nicely.”
Two girls managed to medal for the Bravettes in the 4,000-meter race. Sophomore Scintila Capalla finished eighth with a time of 17:44.8 and freshman Mandy Ballou finished 14th with a time of 18:02.1. Bonner Springs didn’t have enough girls to qualify for the team standings.
Three girls from Bonner Springs medaled in the C-team race — a 3,372-meter course. Junior Irene Crump finished fourth, sophomore Tyreeka Johnson finished 10th and freshman Kaysi Bias came in 15th. According to Downing, it was the first race ever of any kind for the three runners.
BSHS next competes at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Bonner Springs Invitational at Wyandotte County Park. Ballou will try to win his third straight race, but he knows it won’t be easy.
“I’m expecting it to be a very tough race,” he said. “I’m always looking to run the best race I can, but I’d like to win this one for my senior year. To get three in a row would be great; I just need to keep the streak alive.”