2019 Journal-World All-Area girls cross-country team
Coach of the year: Jim Barnard, Eudora
The Cardinals closed 2019 with high finishes in their three postseason meets. Under the direction of Barnard, Eudora’s girls cross-country team won the Frontier League title. EHS also won the regional title for the second year in a row before placing third as a team at the Class 4A state meet.
Athlete of the year: Riley Hiebert, Eudora
The top runner for Eudora at every meet this season saved her best performance for last. Hiebert, a senior, finished fifth at the Class 4A state meet with a season-best time of 19:22. She was also a runner-up at both the Frontier League meet and the regional meet, and she took first place at four events this year.
Allison Babbit, Free State — In her sophomore season, Babbit was one Free State’s top producers. Babbit placed 46th at state, but was in the top 20 in the other two postseason meets. She notched 16th at the Sunflower League meet and placed 19th at the regional meet.
Blaise Ball, Perry-Lecompton — To start the year, Ball took third at a meet at Jefferson West. She ended the year by placing 24th at regionals with a mark of 23:30.44. It was 13 seconds faster than her time that was good enough for ninth at the Big 7 league meet.
Kristi Chambers, Tonganoxie — Chambers netted four top-five finishes, which included one win and one runner-up finish. Chambers placed 11th at the Frontier League meet, ninth at regionals and 17th at the state meet to end her junior campaign.
Sabrina Eicher, Bishop Seabury — Eicher went out on a high note with a strong senior season. She medaled six times this year and served as the captain for Bishop Seabury’s girls cross-country squad. Eicher placed 10th at the regional meet and recorded 38th at the state meet.
Erin Fagan, Free State — The senior Firebird was consistently the team’s top runner this fall. Fagan finished the year by placing 26th at the state meet. She also finished fifth at regionals and 10th at the Sunflower League meet. Her best time of the year was 19:55.20.
Reagan Hiebert, Eudora — It was a consistent campaign for Reagan Hiebert in her last go around with Eudora. She took 10th at the state meet and was in the top 10 at every meet of the season except the first one. Her best time of the year was 19:42.
Jana Landreth, Baldwin — Serving as the team’s No. 2 runner, Landreth had plenty of strong performances throughout her sophomore season. Landreth ended up placing 21st at the state meet but ran a season-best time of 20:36 to place eighth at regionals. Landreth also notched third at the Sabetha Invitational.
Diana Messick, Lawrence High — Leading the way for the Lions, Messick finished 35th at the state meet with a time of 20:17 to conclude her sophomore season. Messick finished eighth at the regional meet and received all-regional honors.
Oona Nelson, Bishop Seabury — Nelson, a freshman, earned medals at seven meets, including four first-place finishes. She broke Bishop Seabury’s girls 5K record three times. Nelson netted second at regionals and sixth at state.
Riley Smith, Baldwin — Smith, a sophomore, was Baldwin’s top runner for much of 2019. She placed sixth at the state meet and fourth at regionals, and she ran a season-best time of 19:32 to take third place at the Frontier League meet. Smith also won the Sabetha Invitational this season.
Maddie Day, Free State; Sophie DeWitt, Lawrence High; Phoebe Fletcher, Eudora; Lucy Hardy, Lawrence High; Ambrynn Stewart, Baldwin; Eryn Vaughan, Perry-Lecompton.