During a cross country race last week, Free State sophomore Erin Fagan neared junior teammate Julia Larkin in the final mile. Fagan didn’t keep pace, but vowed she would if she had another opportunity.
Fagan made the most of her second chance in the Sunflower League meet Friday at Rim Rock Farm, which was moved up one day because of the possibility of bad weather.
Larkin and Fagan finished the race side-by-side, leading Free State’s girls cross country team to fifth place in the team standings. Larkin took 13th in a time of 20:43.3 and Fagan followed in 14th in 20:43.8.
“I’m glad that I stuck with Julia at the finish,” Fagan said. “That was the hardest that I’ve ever finished.”
Larkin wasn’t thrilled with her time, but was pushed by Fagan once they reached the skyline near the final stretch. Both Free State runners showed off their speed on the straightaway and Fagan finished a few seconds away from her personal-best time.
“This was my eighth time running Rim Rock,” Larkin said. “But I don’t know, the hills just get you every time.”
Free State sophomore Emily Stone was 29th while sophomore Maddie Day placed 44th.
Lawrence High’s girls cross country team placed 14th, led by sophomore Sophie DeWitt’s 37th-place finish in 21:46. Coach Laura Koster said the heat played a factor in the Lions’ performance, which only hurt them when combined with the tough hills.
“She really stepped it up,” Koster said of DeWitt.
Firebirds 8th, Lions 12th in boys race
Lawrence sophomore Ruben Little Head joined the school’s cross country team midway through the school year as a move-in transfer from Montana.
The league meet was his first chance to run at Rim Rock and he tried to attack it full steam ahead. He was one of the leaders at the start, but was slowed by the hills in an eventual 54th place finish in 18:10.4.
Carson Jumping Eagle led the LHS boys team to 12th in the team standings, taking 27th place, the same spot he finished at last year’s league race.
“It was challenging on the hills,” Little Head said. “It pushed me.”
Free State’s boys cross country team placed eighth, which included a personal-record run from sophomore Charlie Johnson.
Emerging as the team’s top runner this season, Johnson placed 14th in 17:14.9. Jared Hicks was 35th and John Loos placed 45th.
“I started passing people around the one-mile mark and then I kept passing people,” Johnson said. “We know the course really well. We know exactly where to push and where to hold back. I just feel more comfortable running here than most places because I’ve run here so many times.”
Sunflower League meet
Friday at Rim Rock Farm
Varsity team scores: Shawnee Mission North 38, Olathe North 44, Shawnee Mission South 124, Shawnee Mission East 145, Free State 164, Olathe Northwest 183, Shawnee Mission West 206, Olathe East 207, Gardner-Edgerton 220, Shawnee Mission Northwest 228, Olathe South 283, Olathe West 290, Leavenworth 298, Lawrence 366.
FSHS results: 13. Julia Larkin, 20:43.3; 14. Erin Fagan, 20:43.8; 29. Emily Stone, 21:24.9; 44. Maddie Day, 22:03.7; 69. Bella Stull, 23:15.9; 78. Bella Crawford-Parker, 23:38.3.
LHS results: 37. Sophie DeWitt, 21:46.0; 80. Lacey Greenfield, 23:43.0; 91. Jayden Wilson, 24:12.9; 92. Tory Hamon, 24:14.0; 93. Piper Leitch, 24:28.4; 97. Leslie Ostronic, 25:17.2; 100. Layne Prescott, 26:02.5.
Varsity team scores: Olathe East 47, Shawnee Mission North 89, Olathe North 89, Olathe South 110, Shawnee Mission Northwest 116, Shawnee Mission East 174, Leavenworth 197, Free State 200, Gardner-Edgerton 217, Shawnee Mission West 253, Shawnee Mission South 285, Lawrence 302, Olathe Northwest 379, Olathe West 380.
FSHS results: 14. Charlie Johnson, 17:14.9; 35. Jared Hicks, 17:46.1; 45. John Loos, 17:56.5; 49. Caelen Cordes, 17:59.9; 59. Brock Cordova, 18:17.8; 75. Kyler Caspers, 18:51.3; 93. Aiden Goertz, 19:25.2.
LHS results: 27. Carson Jumping Eagle, 17:37.8; 54. Ruben Little Head, 18:10.4; 74. Bryce Hadl, 18:48.1; 76. Cole Shupert, 18:53.9; 90. Keifer Smith, 19:15.4; 91. Calvin DeWitt, 19:20.9; 97. Derek White, 19:41.3; 99. Elijah Eklund, 19:43.0; 101. Daniel Davidson, 19:48.2; 104. Avery Harrington, 19:55.1.