Laney, Tush finish 1st, 2nd for BLHS at Atchison County Invitational
A friendly rivalry is developing at Basehor-Linwood High School on the cross country course.
Ally Laney and Hannah Tush are competing for the crown of best runner on the team, and their team is the ultimate benefactor.
“They are both prideful girls; they don’t like to lose,” BLHS coach Jeff Venema said. “Race to race, both can be the best, but they have to work hard and continue to work to be the best. What they are starting to figure out is competition makes them better every day in practice.”
On Thursday, Sept. 9, the runners paced and pushed each other in the Atchison County Invitational. They finished first and second in the race with Laney winning with a time of 17 minutes, 9 seconds, and Tush placing second in 17:18.
With Laney and Tush leading the way, Basehor-Linwood placed first as a team with 22 points. Tonganoxie was second with 46 points and Pleasant Ridge took third with 66.
More than just a 1-2 combo, the Bobcats placed two other runners in the top 10. Shelby Miles placed seventh with a time of 18:24 and Haley Stallbaumer took eighth with a time of 18:28.
Meanwhile, the Basehor-Linwood boys team has a rival of its own — Tonganoxie.
The two teams are both Class 4A schools and figure to run against each other in regionals. Venema said he considers the Chieftains to be a measuring stick for his team.
Tonganoxie won the first competition between the two schools this season and won the Atchison County Invitational.
Tonganoxie won the meet with 29 points. Basehor-Linwood placed second with 40 points.
Runners from THS and BLHS claimed eight of the top 10 spots in the race.
“If you want to go to Wamego (for state), you have to beat teams in the neighborhood,” Venema said. “The fact that they beat us was disappointing. We know that we have work to do, but we have to do it.”
Jonathan Oliva placed second with a time of 18:57. Tonganoxie’s Patrick Rachford was the overall champion in 18:38.
Also for Basehor-Linwood, Bryce Garver placed fourth in 19:26.
“Jon Oliva ran a really strong race, and Bryce Garver had a good run,” Venema said.
In addition, Rob Peterson placed seventh in 19:43, Mitchell Cook was 13th in 20:19, Mark Vitt was 14th in 20:23 and Mike Torrez finished 16th in 20:32.
In the junior varsity boys race, Nick Yanos took first by 200 meters.
“That is noteworthy for a junior varsity runner to dominate the race like he did,” Venema said.
BLHS was back in action Wednesday at Turner. Results were unavailable at press time. The Bobcats compete again at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Bonner Springs Invitational at Wyandotte County Park.