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Success follows Louisburg cross country at Pittsburg

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg senior Reilly Alexander was one of seven runners that helped the Wildcat girls cross country team to a third place finish at the Pittsburg Invitational last Thursday. 


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PITTSBURG – Coming off its best meet of the season where it won a team and two individual titles, the Louisburg High School cross country team took the momentum from that performance and ran with it – literally.

The Wildcats competed in the Pittsburg Invitational on Thursday and left there with more medals. The Louisburg girls team finished third overall with 98 points and had two runners earn individual medals, while the boys also garnered two medals.

Trinity Moore, Carlee Gassman, Reilly Alexander, Kaitlyn Lewer, Isabelle Holtzen, Peyton Shaffer and Emily Williams helped the Lady Cats to that third place finish. Fort Scott won the team title with 61 points and Carl Junction (Mo.) was second with 62.

Moore matched her personal best with a time of 20 minutes and 36 seconds to finish third, while Gassman surpassed her top time in 21:24 to take 11th. Gassman also moved up to second on the LHS all-time list for a 5-kilometer race.

Alexander also made her way onto that list as she was third on the team with a time of 23:14 to take 31st overall. That time was good for seventh on the school’s all-time list.

Lewer (23:40) was next on the Lady Cats in 38th and Holtzen (23:46) was 42nd. Shaffer (23:48) and Williams (24:13) took 43rd and 47th, respectively.

“The course is flat and fast and our times and hard work showed it,” Louisburg coach John Reece said. “The girls ran an awesome race on Thursday. Finishing third was a huge step in the right direction to attempt to qualify the team for state.”

The Wildcats also had a lot of success on the boys side as seniors Wyatt Reece and Tim Smith garnered another top five finish for themselves.

Wyatt ran his best race of the season as he took second overall with a personal best time of 16:49, while Smith finished right behind him in third in 16:58.

As a team, the Wildcats finished fifth overall with 160 points. Carl Junction was first with 51 and Chanute was second with 112.

“The boys were much improved with many personal records,” coach Reece said. “The team finished fifth, which is outstanding. Wyatt and Tim both broke the 17 minute barrier and ran great races. Their showing at the meet against several schools that will be at our regional is a positive and our junior varsity runners that move up will help out tremendously.”

Sophomore Evan Murphy finished third on the Wildcat team in 19:41, which was good for 47th overall. Freshmen Cade Holtzen (19:42) and Carson Houchen (21:13) took 48th and 85th, respectively.

Louisburg also added a pair of junior varsity medals earlier in the day. Shaylor Whitham took 12th in the girls race in 24:35 and Luke Faulkner was also 12th for the boys as he finished with a time of 20:33.

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