Varsity Kansas

Girls cross country: Maize South girls finish third; Deidra Walker second in 6A

The Maize South girls cross country program has established itself as an annual contender in Class 5A, but coach Alan Birdsell did not think this year, of all years, would be the one when the Mavericks won their first state trophy.

The team surprised even itself with its third-place finish Friday at Rim Rock Farm, as the Mavericks registered a team score of 104 points to comfortably beat local teams such as Valley Center (fourth) and Bishop Carroll (sixth) that they had finished behind previously this season.

“I was quite frankly surprised,” Birdsell said. “I thought we maybe get fifth if we had a good day. The girls just came through and did extremely well.”

It started at the top of the lineup, which has been consistent all season, as freshman Destini Eskridge (15 minutes, 49 seconds) and Veronica Sowder (15:53) became all-state runners by finishing ninth and 12th, respectively.

A week after finishing sixth on the team, Sierra Mortensen (16:19) ran one of her best races of the season to finish third on the team. The scoring lineup was rounded out by Jenna Brockel (16:37) and Mia Kossover (16:40), all of whom were under 16:40 and in the top 41.

It was, without a doubt, the best performance as a team by the Mavericks this season.

“I’m really happy with how did,” Brockel said. “I think we’re all really proud of each other right now. This was such a great end to the season for us.”

Maize duo finishes off great season — Deidra Walker overcame a severe leg injury and Kate Utech topped off an outstanding debut cross country season, as the Maize seniors finished second and fourth, respectively, in the 6A girls race.

Walker was in the lead pack for much of the race, but Lawrence Free State’s Emily Venters pulled ahead and won in 14:52 with Walker finishing eight seconds behind her in 15:00. Walker’s time was the second-fastest time overall in any race on Friday.

“I think this race was a little more special looking at what I’ve come through in the past year,” Walker said. “I feel like I’m a stronger runner now because of my injury. I felt like I did my best and I ran as hard as I could (Friday). I think I did pretty well.”

Utech finished fourth in 15:21.

Notes — The St. Thomas Aquinas girls won their third straight team championship in Class 5A, and did so again in dominant fashion with a minuscule team score of 19 points.… Olathe East edged Free State by nine points to win the girls 6A title.… The Douglass girls’ reign in 3A, which lasted three years, was ended by Southeast of Saline as the Bulldogs finished third with top-10 performances from Klair Gibson (third) and Suzi Wright (10th).… Arma-Northeast’s Kaylee Bogina (15:12) edged Hillsboro’s Emily Sechrist (15:33) to win the 3A individual title.

Area girls all-state — In 6A, East’s Cierra Devorce ran a personal-best time of 15:46 to finish 13th and teammate Emilee Endsley (15:53) finished 18th. Northwest’s Gabriela Reyna (15:49) was all-state for the second year in a row. Andover’s Carly Flake (15:19) was third in 5A, Kapaun’s Kelsi Andrews (15:34) was sixth, Carroll’s Amanda Reggeti (16:05) was 15th, and Valley Center’s Jadyn Eddy (16:13) was 19th. In 3A, Hutch-Trinity’s Celia Biel (15:58) was fifth, Haven’s Breanna Jones (16:24) was 13th, Belle Plaine’s Devyn Smith (16:28) was 15th, and Sedgwick’s Shae Ware (16:51) was 20th.

Class 6A

Teams—1. Olathe East 68; 2. Lawrence Free State 77; 3. Shawnee Mission West 105; 4. Manhattan 123; 5. Shawnee Mission Northwest 126; 6. Maize 126; 7. Dodge City 161; 8. Olathe North 192; 9. Wichita East 217; 10. Blue Valley 225; 11. Wichita North 290; 12. Garden City 315.

Individuals—1. Venters, Free State, 14:52.20; 2. Walker, Maize, 15:00.00; 3. Gueldner, O. Northwest, 15:05.00; 4. Utech, Maize, 15:21.40; 5. Born, SM Northwest, 15:21.50; 6. Cordes, Free State, 15:28.20; 7. Romo, Dodge City, 15:37.60; 8. Holbert, BV Northwest, 15:40.00; 9. Davis, O. East, 15:41.80; 10. Shanley, O. South, 15:44.40; 11. Scott, BV North, 15:44.80; 12. Rowatt, SM West, 15:45.30; 13. Devorce, W. East, 15:46.20; 14. Reyna, W. Northwest, 15:49.10; 15. Ochoa, Manhattan, 15:49.80; 16. Vermillion, O. East, 15:49.90; 17. Taylor, SM North, 15:52.90; 18. Endsley, W. East, 15:53.20; 19. Henderson, SM Northwest, 15:53.30; 20. Melgares, Manhattan, 15:54.70.

Class 5A

Teams—1. St. Thomas Aquinas 19; 2. St. James Academy 103; 3. Maize South 104; 4. Valley Center 139; 5. Blue Valley West 151; 6. Bishop Carroll 175; 7. Kapaun Mount Carmel 182; 8. Lansing 214; 9. Topeka Seaman 224; 10. Andover 244; 11. Liberal 252; 12. Leavenworth 289.

Individuals—1. Downey, Aquinas, 15:06.20; 2. Pigott, Aquinas, 15:07.70; 3. Flake, Andover, 15:19.70; 4. Sieben, Aquinas, 15:31.40; 5. Rode, Aquinas, 15:31.90; 6. Andrews, Kapaun, 15:34.90; 7. Smith, Aquinas, 15:42.00; 8. Dietsch, Aquinas, 15:46.40; 9. Eskridge, Maize South, 15:49.00; 10. Nutting, Andover Central, 15:51.40; 11. Paule, BV Southwest, 15:51.80; 12. Sowder, Maize South, 15:53.20; 13. Boucher, St. James, 15:54.20; 14. Yunger, St. James, 15:54.50; 15. A. Reggeti, Carroll, 16:05.70; 16. Akin, Mill Valley, 16:09.30; 17. Hopfinger, Aquinas, 16:10.30; 18. Slatten, Liberal, 16:10.50; 19. Eddy, Valley Center, 16:13.00; 20. Pateidl, BV West, 16:13.40.

Class 3A

Teams—1. Southeast of Saline 74; 2. Hiawatha 89; 3. Douglass 110; 4. Scott City 130; 5. Effingham 155; 6. Norton Community 165; 7. Sedgwick 175; 8. Cimarron 186; 9. West Franklin 214; 10. Haven 216; 11. Burlington 229; 12. Osage City 233.

Individuals—1. Bogina, Arma-Northeast, 15:12.50; 2. Sechrist, Hillsboro, 15:33.10; 3. Gibson, Douglass, 15:47.70; 4. Puvogel, Hiawatha, 15:55.80; 5. Biel, Hutch Trinity, 15:58.10; 6. Koger, Osage City, 15:59.50; 7. Stevens, Scott City, 16:12.50; 8. Bissell, Effingham, 16:14.00; 9. Stutterheim, Southeast of Saline, 16:16.50; 10. Wright, Douglass, 16:16.80; 11. Shupe, Minneapolis, 16:22.20; 12. Fear, Southeast of Saline, 16:23.70; 13. Jones, Haven, 16:24.50; 14. Trejo, Lyons, 16:28.10; 15. Smith, Belle Plaine, 16:28.40; 16. Griffith, Norton, 16:30.20; 17. White, Lakin, 16:31.20; 18. Blattner, Cimarron, 16:45.30; 19. Silvers, Pleasant Ridge, 16:48.10; 20. Ware, Sedgwick, 16:51.20.

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