Bonner Springs boys runners develop depth at Ottawa meet
The Bonner Springs High School boys cross country team has spent the early part of the season searching for a strong first five that can give the Braves a competitive team score by the end of the season.
The Braves took a few more steps forward Saturday at the Ottawa Invitational. They placed fourth out of seven teams, but they solidified a strong first four runners.
Senior Austin Epp, junior Matt Coffman, sophomore T.J. Kimbrough and junior Josh Oden all finished within 30 seconds of each other in what proved to be the team’s most balanced effort of the season.
Epp led the Braves with a 13th-place finish in the five-kilometer race in 18 minutes, 49.88 seconds. Coffman was close behind as he took 15th in 18:54.74.
Kimbrough placed 16th in 19:07.82 and Oden took 19th in 19:19.43.
The Braves’ fifth runner — the top five runners from each squad compile the team’s score — was senior Zack Povlitzki. He placed 37th in 21:28.54. Senior Tyler Johnson took 42nd in 22:17.26.
Topeka West won the team title with 29 points and landed five runners in the top nine. West senior Tegan Michael was the overall champion in 16:59.50.
Paola placed second as a team with 44, Raytown South was third with 97 and BSHS had 100. Olathe North placed fifth with 124, St. James Academy was sixth with 130 and Ottawa took seventh with 147.
In girls competition, junior Scintilla Capalla turned in her third top-10 finish in four meets this season.
Capalla placed ninth in the four-kilometer race in 18:32.51.
St. James Academy senior Bridgette McCormick was the overall champion in 16:54.06.
Bonner Springs sophomore Mandy Ballou also had a strong race and placed 13th in 18:57.79. There was a large dropoff to the team’s final three runners, however.
Senior Erin Mills placed 28th in 20:40.29, junior Maryssa Peterson was 29th in 20:40.93 and sophomore Tessa Newberry placed 31st in 21:31.36.
BSHS placed fourth out of four teams. Olathe North landed four runners in the top 10 and won the meet with 37 points. St. James Academy, which had the top two individual finishers, took second as a team with 40 points. Paola was third with 63 and BSHS was fourth with 92.