Laney has another strong race, leads Basehor-Linwood runners
A point of emphasis throughout the Basehor-Linwood cross country season has been the importance of the Bobcats running tough and challenging themselves against difficult competition.
Coach Jeff Venema has hammered that point home week after week, and the Bobcats received the message clearly on Saturday at the CommunityAmerica Invitational in Baldwin.
Taking on strong schools such as Shawnee Mission North, Baldwin, Lansing, Shawnee Mission West and Class 6A powerhouse Shawnee Mission Northwest, a shorthanded BLHS squad battled hard.
Venema said he liked the way his athletes competed, and he noted that they didn’t seem to be intimidated by the number of talented runners.
“It was good for us to see some incredible runners we don’t usually see,” Venema said. “Hopefully, when we run at league or regionals it is not such a shock in terms of the level of competition.”
The BLHS boys finished sixth as a team, and Jon Oliva led the way with a 33rd-place finish in 18 minutes, 18 seconds.
“For this competition and the way he was able to hang in with excellent runners, I was happy with how he competed,” Venema said.
Also for the Bobcats, Rob Peterson finished 47th in 19:01, Bryce Garver was 52nd in 19:13, Wyatt Kelly placed 65th in 20:11 and Mike Torrez was 67th in 20:16.
Torrez sprained an ankle during the race, which Venema said slowed him down a bit.
In the girls’ race, Ally Laney led the way with a 28th-place finish in 16:57.
“She had a solid, good run today and it was great to see her perform that way,” Venema said.
Laney finished 50 seconds ahead of the next closest BLHS runner, Hannah Tush, who ran a time of 17:47 and placed 40th.
Haley Stallbaumer was 41st in 17:47 and Shelby Miles was 48th in 18:17.
Sheridan Miles missed the race because of illness. The Bobcats did not finish with a team score because not enough girls were entered in the race. Five runners are necessary to earn a team score.
In middle school competition, Quinnlyn Walcott won the girls’ competition with a time of 6:25. The race featured a one-mile format.
Basehor-Linwood competes again today at Pleasant Ridge in the final tune-up before the Kaw Valley League Championships at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Wyandotte County Park.