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Moore wins league title, Reece takes runner-up

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg sophomore Trinity Moore gets out to a big lead during the Frontier League Championships on Thursday at the Baldwin City Golf Course. Moore won the league title with a time of 20 minutes and 12 seconds. 

 

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BALDWIN CITY – Trinity Moore and Wyatt Reece ran their way into the Louisburg High School cross country record books Thursday in what was one of the most competitive races on the season for the Wildcats.

During the Frontier League Championships, Moore and Reece competed against some of the state’s top runners from schools like Baldwin, De Soto and Eudora. However, both runners showed why they are considered one of the top in the state in their own right.

Moore became the first cross country runner in Louisburg history to win a Frontier League title as she captured the girls’ race with a personal best time of 20 minutes and 12 seconds at the Baldwin City Golf Course and distanced herself from the rest of the pack.

“Winning league was totally unexpected, but it is sure awesome,” Moore said. “Going into league, I was thinking if I ran a good race that I could finish in the top five. We have some amazing teams in our league with some great runners.”

Reece made some noise of his own in the boys race. He finished second overall with a time of 17:11 and recorded the highest league finish for a boy in Louisburg history.

“I wasn’t worried about my place at all, I just wanted to run well,” Reece said. “The race itself I was happy with. I felt it should’ve been faster, but the course was soft. Our competition at league is some of the best in the state and I love competing with them.”

For their performance, both runners earned first-team all-league honors as they, and the rest of the Wildcats, prepare for their regional race this Saturday in Burlington.

Louisburg senior Wyatt Reece leads a pack of runners early in the race Thursday at Baldwin City.

Louisburg senior Tim Smith also brought home hardware from the boys race as he took 10th overall in 18:19 and earned second team all-league honors.

Moore, a sophomore, got off to a good start in the girls race as she stayed near the front of the pack, but with 2,000 meters left in the race, she overtook the leader and won the race by 27 seconds.

“That was outstanding by Trinity,” Louisburg coach John Reece said. “The runners started out fairly fast and she put herself in a position to be able to close and she was feeling her oats. She made a move and ran away with the race. It was impressive for her to make a move that early and hold it and put the rest of the field away.

“The Frontier League is one of the toughest league in the state as far as competition goes. The times that some of the Baldwin girls posted have been really good and to see Trinity go out there and do what she did was just outstanding. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with out at state.”

As for the girls team, Louisburg finished fourth in the team standings with 112 points. Baldwin won the league crown with 42 points and De Soto was second with 44.

Sophomore Carlee Gassman just missed out on earning honorable mention all-league honors as she took 22nd overall in 22:43. The top 21 finishers in each race receive all-league status.

Senior Reilly Alexander (23:30) and junior Payton Shaffer (23:41) took 32nd and 33rd overall, respectively. Junior Kaitlyn Lewer (23:50) crossed the line shortly after to finish 35th and senior Isabelle Holtzen (24:11) was 39th.

Junior Payton Shaffer sprints toward the finish line Thursday during the Frontier League Championships.

Senior Abby Crooks (50th), sophomore Emily Williams (53rd), junior Shaylor Whitham (54th), freshman Kennady Wilkerson (55th), sophomore Avery Graham (65th), freshman Alexis French (68th), junior Anna Niebrugge (70th), sophomore Elizabeth Kratochvil (71st), junior Jordon Leach (74th) and junior Katie Nikulina (77th) also competed for Louisburg.

In the boys race, Reece, stayed near the front from the start and his goal was to run with De Soto’s Sam Hubert, Andre VanMeerhaege, along with Baldwin runners Parker Wilson and Jacob Bailey. He did more than that as he surpassed all but Hubert, who won in a time of 16:56 – 15 seconds ahead of the Louisburg senior.

“Wyatt did outstanding and for him to come out and get second was just awesome,” coach Reece said. “The young man from De Soto is a heck of a runner, but Wyatt ran a race to give himself an opportunity to be there and it paid off. It wasn’t a PR for him, but the race he ran was excellent.

“Wyatt is finding his stride at the right time. His mental competitiveness has just totally changed. He knew that he had to go out and run with the De Soto and Baldwin kids and it just so happened that he had it today and beat a lot of them.”

As a team, the Wildcats finished sixth with 136 points. De Soto won the league boys title with 52 points and Ottawa was second with 58.

Sophomore Evan Murphy was third on the Wildcat team as he ran a 20:06 to take 38th overall. Freshman Cade Holtzen was 44th in 20:33 and freshman Carson Houchen was 52nd in 20:53.

Sophomore Colin Cook (54th), freshman Luke Faulkner (55th), junior Jackson Staab (60th), sophomore Garrett Rolofson (67th), sophomore Rian Mallory (69th), sophomore Keith Estle (70th) and senior Parker Perentis (71st) also competed for the Wildcats.

Louisburg will travel to Burlington this Saturday as it will compete in the Class 4A regional race. The top three teams advance to the state meet, along with the top five other individuals that aren’t a member of a state qualifying team. The girls race will begin at 10 a.m., with the boys to follow at 10:40.

Reece, Smith and Moore all punched their tickets to state on the same course a year ago and they are hoping history repeats itself.

“I am healthy now, feeling strong and looking forward to running at regionals,” Moore said. “We will face some very talented runners at Burlington, but I am very excited for the opportunity to run and compete with the best. Hopefully all the hard work will pay off.”

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