High School Sports

Keirns, Eichkorn get wins at Southeast Invitational

The lasting impact of the Southeast Invitational races Saturday at Cessna Activities Center is yet to be seen.

But the 12-team meet, which featured many of the area's best runners, offered an opportunity for runners to jump-start their seasons.

"I've seen it in runners in the past," Campus coach Rick Curless said. "It's that confidence factor. There's no substitute for winning."

Curless will be especially interested in how it affects Campus senior Bryant Keirns, who won his first 5-kilometer race of his career in a time of 16 minutes, 31 seconds. Afterward, Keirns echoed his coach's remarks about confidence gained.

"I just know I can run with anybody now," he said.

The same can be said for the girls' 4k winner, North's Amber Eichkorn, who won in 14:53. The junior had won races before, but never in such a loaded field, including Bishop Carroll's Kaelyn Balch and Kapaun Mount Carmel's Mackenzie Maki.

"This is definitely one of my top races because there were so many good schools here," Eichkorn said. "This is where it's make it or break it, right now."

Eichkorn and Balch traded the lead for much of the race until Eichkorn took command right before the final straightaway. Balch challenged with her kick, but Eichkorn held and won by three seconds.

"She's gotten a lot stronger," North coach Mike Pope said. "It complements her foot speed and she's able to push the pace and sustain it now."

Led by Balch's second place, Carroll dominated the field for a team title with 39 points, 46 points ahead of East. Katherine Dillard, Miranda Reichenberger and Christian McCaulley all placed in the top eight for Carroll.

"Last year at this race I put up a good time, but I peaked at this race," Balch said. "So my goal this year was to focus on state and build on each race."

With Carroll holding out its varsity boys team, East rose to the challenge and edged Campus by 10 points for the team title.

East didn't have anyone to match Keirns — Jesse Parker was the highest finisher in eighth — but it placed four in the top 18 and had its fifth runner, Tanner Follis, finish ahead of Campus' fifth runner.

"We have to hold each other accountable," East's Will Marsh said. "We can't let anyone get too far behind since you don't have that guy up top that's going to be scoring one or two."

Southeast Invitational

At Cessna Activities Center

Girls 4k

Teams—Carroll 39, East 85, Maize 104, Washburn Rural 106, Kapaun 109, North 161, Goddard 177, Campus 214, Northwest 224, Southeast 248, South 281, Cheney 316.

Individuals—1. Eichkorn, North, 14:58; 2. Balch, Carroll, 15:01; 3. Maki, Kapaun, 15:55; 4. Dunn, East, 16:03; 5. Dillard, Carroll, 16:15; 6. Ballinger, Goddard, 16:26; 7. Reichenberger, Carroll, 16:28; 8. McCaulley, Carroll, 16:29; 9. May, Home School, 16:36; 10. Aschenbrenner, Rural, 16:39; 11. Loudermilk, Maize, 16:40; 12. Greene, East, 16:49; 13. Graf, Rural, 16:50; 14. Hollinger, Goddard, 16:51; 15. Golz, Rural, 16:56; 16. Hill, Maize, 16:57; 17. Muir, Kapaun, 16:59; 18. Jordan, Carroll, 17:01; 19. Roy, Maize, 17:06; 20. Lumpkins, East, 17:09; 21. Suderman, North, 17:12; 22. Powell, Carroll, 17:19; 23. Lower, Collegiate, 17:22; 24. Masood, Southeast, 17:26; 25. Skinner, Kapaun, 17:26.

Boys 5k

Teams—East 77, Campus 87, Washburn Rural 91, Kapaun 93, North 128, Goddard 142, Maize 172, Northwest 183, South 224, Southeast 233, Heights 259, Cheney 349.

Individuals—1. Keirns, Campus, 16:31; 2. Murphy III, Home School, 16:35; 3. Morgan, Rural, 16:42; 4. Hopkins, Maize, 17:19; 5. Kelly, Campus, 17:20; 6. Caire, Kapaun, 17:39; 7. Broomfield, Southeast, 17:40; 8. Parker, East, 17:41; 9. Shaw, Heights, 17:44; 10. Heil, East, 17:46; 11. Shear, Campus, 17:52; 12. Marsh, East, 17:58; 13. Erbert, Rural, 18:01; 14. Craddock, Collegiate, 18:02; 15. Brown, Northwest, 18:04; 16. Castellaw, South, 18:05; 17. Villa, North, 18:06; 18. Seamster-Davis, East, 18:07; 19. Baldessari, Kapaun, 18:07; 20. Merth, Carroll, 18:08; 21. Schneider, Rural, 18:11; 22. Hesse, Kapaun, 18:11; 23. Lorg, Goddard, 18:12; 24. Hambrick, Goddard, 18:13; 25. Williams, North, 18:16.