CHS cross country runners to MEC meet Tuesday

As reported to C-T

KEARNEY — In their final tuneup for Tuesday’s Midland Empire Conference Championships at Cameron, Chillicothe High School’s cross country running teams competed – mostly against larger-school teams – in the Kearney Invitational meet last Saturday.

“Beautiful morning. … Tough field with pretty large schools, but a mostly-flat and ‘fast-ish’ course,” CHS coach Jennifer Dickson set the scene.

With nearly 140 individual runners and 15 schools with enough entrants for a team score involved in the boys’ division, Chillicothe – again led by freshman Cain Evans, who came in 31st, individually – placed seventh in the team standings with 218 points.

The Lady Hornets finished 10th among 12 teams, posting a 254 fastest-5 team tally. Senior Kadence Shipers again showed the way for the CHS girls, placing 52nd among th 114 total female varsity runners.

Both Chillicothe teams had five runners receive medals by placing among the top 75 individuals in each gender.

For the Hornets, Evans’ time of 18:56 was 3:19 slower than the blazing winning time of 15:37.8 by team champion Liberty: North’s Sage Wilde. Liberty: North had the top three finishers, all in under 16:45.

Besides Evans, also medaling for Chillicothe were Austin Lyford (55th, 19:56), Carter Shipers (64th, 20:23), Stephen Parkes (69th, 20:37), and Clayton Savage (73rd, 20:51).

Also running for the CHS boys in the varsity-level, 5-kilometer race were Ashton Baker (88th, 21:56.2), Landyn Peterson (94th, 22:09.2), Alton Keller (97th, 22:19.8), Logan Gregory (99th, 22:23.6), and Cutter Parkes (120th, 23:43.2).

Among the Lady Hornets, K. Shipers’ 23:31.9 left her just outside the top 50. Also medaling were Yoo Jung Lee (60th, 23:51), Juliann Gabrielson (61st, 23:58.5), Aliyah Briner (77th, 25:30), and Alice Hurtgen (79th, 25:37).

Also competing for the Chillicothe girls were Kaylynn Cranmer (97th, 27:43.5) and Karissa Fostek (108th, 29:37.7).

The Lady Hornets were runnersup to Kansas City: St. Pius X in the MEC meet team standings a year ago in a meet at St. Joseph which ended in much confusion as multiple top runners in the girls’ race – none from Chillicothe – mistakenly took a turn which led to them running a much-shorter distance.

Partially due to COVID-19 issues, last year’s girls’ competition had only two teams involved.

Chillicothe’s boys finished fourth among five teams last year, but have better depth this year and hoped to improve on that.