Varsity Kansas

XC: W2W4

By Taylor Eldridge

As part of the (week)daily coverage of this area’s cross country coaches and athletes, Thursdays will be dedicated to a weekly segment known as W2W4 or What To Watch For. I’ll just go over which meets you need to keep an eye today and this Saturday and be sure to check back on the blog for results as soon as I get them.

Let me know if I’m missing something, but here we go. Click the jump to find out more. Be sure to keep checking back here tonight as I will post the results as soon as I get them. Thanks and as always e-mail me at if you have any questions or whatever. You know the deal.

Swather Special

Where: Hesston Golf Park

When: Thursday at 4 p.m.

Who: Over 30 teams, including Bishop Carroll, Kapaun Mount Carmel, Newton, Hesston, Douglass, Cheney, Derby, Independent, Medicine Lodge, Berean Academy, Collegiate, Trinity, Sunrise, Garden Plain and many, many more.

Why 2 Watch: This is a really cool race that I wish I could be there for. The race is broken up into two divisions: A 3-2-1A and a 6-5-4A. So right away there isn’t a huge disparity in talent. There are 30+ teams involved. There are going to be so many good runners there, it should be the race to keep your eye on this week. Carroll, Derby and Kapaun will once again duel in the girl’s race to decide which area team is the best. Carroll looked really good the first week, but I know Derby and Kapaun will be coming back strong. Also, it will be round two of Maki-Balch. That will be entertaining. Also of note will be seeing if the Carroll boys can repeat their dominance they put on display last week. That was pretty amazing having six freshman run like that. We’ll see if they’re game this week too. You can’t forget about those smaller-school races too. Be sure to check back on here hopefully late Thursday night for results. I’ll try to get my hands on them.

Hutchinson Invitational

Where: Carey Park

When: Thursday at 4 p.m.

Who: Campus, Dodge City, Garden City, Goddard, Hays, Heights, Hutchinson, Liberal, Ness City, Northwest & St. John.

Why 2 Watch: There should be some good runners in the boys race in this one. Campus always has a contender, this year its Bryant Keirns. I’m not sure what anybody out west (Garden, Dodge, Hays, Liberal) is bringing, but Cameron Sprague is a quality runner at Hutchinson and Northwest touts Robbie Martinez-Garcia and Daniel Herbert. Should be interesting to see how the top of that boys race shakes out. Northwest and Campus should do battle for the team title, as well. On the girl’s side, I’m not really sure of anything. Campus, Heights, Hutch and Northwest are still sort of in rebuilding mode. Goddard has some talent and could contend for that girl’s team title. But again, not sure what anybody out west is bringing.

Pratt Skyline Invitational

Where: Pratt

When: Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Who: Chaparral, Fairfield, Garden Plain, Haven, Haviland, Larned, Lyons, Macksville, Otis-Bison, Pratt Skyline, Pretty Prairie & Stafford.

North Invitational

Where: Sedgwick County Park

When: Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Who: East, North, South & Southeast.

Why 2 Watch: I guess this is sort of like a quadrangular in cross country form. East vs. North vs. South vs. Southeast. Since Carroll and Kapaun and Northwest aren’t there, the boys race won’t be what it could be. Southeast and East should have quite a duel there. South and North are still developing varsity runners on both sides. On the girls side of things, East and Southeast should once again be in it for the team title if they keep track of that. Individual-wise, I’m sure Laura Combs of East, Aquila Allen of Southeast and Amber Eichkorn of North will be in the running. That should be something to watch.

Emporia Invitational

Where: Jones Park

When: Saturday at 9 a.m.

Who: Campus, Emporia, Great Bend, Lawrence, Lawrence Free State, Maize, Manhattan, McPherson, Northwest, Olathe South, St. Thomas Aquinas, Shawnee Heights, Shawnee Mission North, Topeka & Washburn Rural.

Why 2 Watch: Tough to beat this field. Wow. Campus, Maize, McPherson and Northwest are a pretty good representation of what Wichita’s got. The boys race should be stellar with Adam Porter of McPherson taking on Campus and Northwest’s top guns. I’m sure between STA, Olathe South, the Shawnee’s and the Topeka’s, they will have plenty to challenge with as well. I will be interested in seeing how Dani Walker of Maize responds after last week’s disappointment (in her mind). Also, seeing how the Wichita area runners do against some of the best talent from the northwest will be something to watch for as well.

Wamego Invitational

Where: Wamego Country Club

When: Saturday at 9 a.m.

Who: Abilene, Andale, Burrton, Chapman, Circle, Clay Center, Clearwater, Concordia, El Dorado, Hillsboro, Holcomb, Hugoton, Mulvane, Pike Valley, Pretty Prairie, Rose Hill, Southeast of Saline, Thomas More Prep, Ulysses & Wamego.

Why 2 Watch: Some of the local 4A schools are heading up to Wamego to get a taste of what it’s like to run on the state course. Andale, Circle, Clearwater, El Dorado, Hillsboro, Mulvane and Rose Hill all will run there this fall in the state meet. The girls race should be pretty talented with Clearwater’s Michelle Babb and of course the favorite El Dorado’s Molly Milbourn. I’ve heard Andale has a nice one in Maddison May as well. The boys race shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, as Mulvane’s boys will be sure to dominate. Surely.

Wellington Invitational

Where: Wellington

When:Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Who: Andover, Andover Central, Ark City, Augusta, Belle Plaine, Bluestem, Burden Central, Caldwell, Chaparral, Kingman, Oxford, Pratt, Remington, Udall, Wellington & Winfield.

Why 2 Watch: For those smaller school cross country lovers, this will be a good meet to attend. Andover and Andover Central usually pump out solid runners and I have heard good things about the girls team down in Ark City. Belle Plaine has a talented girls team I’m pretty sure and Augusta, Kingman, Wellington and Winfield add a larger school local flavor to things.