Baldwin High’s boys and girls cross-country teams finished first and second, respectively, at their regional meet Saturday in Anderson County.
The young boys team won the regional. Meanwhile, the girls’ top-ranked 4A team finished second to league nemesis Paola, a team it handily defeated for the Frontier League championship nine days earlier.
Junior Ethan Hartzell led the boys’ winning effort, finishing first on the 5-kilometer course with a time of 17:12.16. Sophomore Joe Pierce was a minute behind for third place.
Senior Kaitlyn Barnes once again paced the girls, covering the 4-kilometer course with a time of 16:28.68. Unlike the league meet, which saw six Baldwin runners finish among the top 10, no other Bulldog could crack the top 10. The girls’ chances were hurt with junior Katie Jones once again fighting an injury. Jones, who was unable to finished the Frontier League course because of a nagging foot injury, was hampered Saturday with sore quadriceps, Baldwin coach Mike Spielman told the Baldwin City Signal. She finished 20th with a time of 17:27.43.
The teams will now compete Saturday at the state finals in Wamego. The boys’ race will start at 11 a.m., and the girls at 12:30 p.m.
De Soto football knows a thing or two about finishing strong, evidenced by the Wildcats’ 35-point comeback on Wednesday against St. James Academy to clinch the second playoff spot in its district.
In turning a 28-7 deficit with five minutes left in the third quarter into a 42-28 victory, the Wildcats (4-5) won their third straight to close the regular season. Corbin Clark began the rally with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Gilbert. Jason Johnson then pulled the Wildcats within one score after a 66-yard touchdown run.
De Soto used its special teams to tie and go ahead for good as part of a four-touchdown fourth quarter. Nelson Reeves blocked a punt that was taken for a 28-yard touchdown return. Later in the final quarter, Justin Johnson ran back a 45-yard punt to break open the tie. Clark rounded out the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Zack Griffiths.
Eudora’s Jon Miller is state-bound. Miller qualified for the Class 4A cross-country meet after placing sixth overall in his regional meet on Saturday in Garnett.
Miller led the boys team to a fourth-place finish out of 16 schools and the Cardinals missed third-place by just seven points. The girls team placed seventh, led by Danelle Topil at 15th overall. Miller will travel to the Class 4A state meet in Wamego on Saturday.
All season it’s been a year of firsts for Mill Valley volleyball. First-year coach Whitney Revelle has coached the Jaguars to victories against teams like Ottawa that Mill Valley hadn’t defeated in years. Her team went undefeated in Kaw Valley League play for the first time, and at 32-5, secured its best win-loss record to date.
That season will continue today when the Jaguars head to Topeka for the Class 5A state volleyball tournament. Mill Valley downed both of its sub-state opponents in straight sets on Saturday at Leavenworth High to capture the sub-state title.
“My husband joked with me that I’m setting my expectations pretty high in going to state my first year,” Revelle told the Shawnee Dispatch. “My expectations have been high all year for these girls, and they’ve achieved every single one of them. With hard work and someone that believes in them, they’re going places.”
As has been the norm, the Jaguars rode a balanced attack past Washington (25-7, 25-6) and Topeka-Seaman (25-14, 25-22). Hannah Billings led with 32 assists, and Molly Oshinksi powered the attack with 14 kills. Taylor Cowan led with three blocks and Abby Ford contributed 19 digs.
The Jaguars begin pool play at 4:30 p.m. today against No. 6 Newton (33-9), play No. 7 Shawnee Heights (27-11) at 6:30 p.m. and No. 2 St. James Academy (34-4) at 8:30 p.m. Semi-finals will follow at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Tonganoxie freshman Sophia Wetta qualified individually for the Class 4A state meet at Saturday’s regional race at Wyandotte County Park in Bonner Springs. Wetta did so with a 13th-place time of time of 16:13.53 seconds — the third-fastest girls time in school history.
“It’s surprising since I’m a freshman and I’m the only one going (to state), but it feels good” Wetta told the Tonganoxie Mirror.
As a team, the Chieftain girls finished fourth with a team score of 126, leaving them one spot short of the state cut. Topeka-Hayden (31) won the girls races, followed by De Soto (50) and Wamego (72).
“We’d hoped the girls would finish a little higher,” coach Phil Williams said. “We didn’t quite run as fast as we did the week before and Wamego had a very good race.”
— Elvyn Jones and Justin Nutter contributed to this report