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Wildcat cross country opens season with home quad

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg freshman Lola Edwards leads a pack of runners during the Wildcats’ season opener Sept. 3 at Lewis-Young Park.

It wasn’t the way its season was supposed to start, but the Louisburg cross country team made the best of a bad situation.

The Wildcats, who were originally scheduled to compete in Garnett for their season opener, had to find a different meet due to COVID-19 restrictions. It didn’t take them long to figures something out as they were able to host a quadrangular with three other Frontier League schools on Sept. 3 at Lewis-Young Park.

Louisburg was able to put together a successful performance in its first meet of the season as the Wildcats had several top 10 finishes on both teams as they squared off against quality competition in Baldwin, Spring Hill and Ottawa.

The Wildcats had the most success on the boys’ side as they came away with three in the top 10.

Junior Ryan Rogers had a strong opening meet as he finished fourth overall in 19 minutes and 40 seconds and junior teammate Caden Bradshaw was sixth in 19:59. Senior Cade Holtzen took eighth in 20:12.

Freshman Noah Cotter finished just outside the top 10 as he took 13th in 21:03, while junior Hayden Ross and sophomore Braden Branine were 15th and 16th, respectively. Sophomore Leo Martin was 18th in 21:55.

Trent Allen (21st), Griffin Drew (22:19), Sawyer Richardson (25th), Landan Henry (28th), Max LaJoy (30th), Carson Houchen (38th), Drake Baus (46th) and Kemper Johnson (47th) also competed for Louisburg.

Spring Hill’s Tommy O’Leary won the boys race in 18:34 and Baldwin’s Caleb Carr was second in 18:40.

For the Louisburg girls, the Lady Cats had a pair of top 10 finishes, led by junior Reese Johnson, who placed eighth. Freshman Lola Edwards was right behind her in ninth in her first varsity race.

Sophomore Claire Brown finished 15th, while Nova Ptacek (22nd), Bree Gassman (23rd), Kennady Wilkerson (24th), Erin Apple (25th) and Maddie Rhamy (26th) all finished in the upper-half of the race.

Alexis French (29th), Maddy O’Keefe (39th), Andrea Gaza (40th), Ruth Minster (42nd) and Elizabeth George also competed for Louisburg.

Baldwin’s Riley Smith won the race and finished two seconds ahead of Spring Hill’s Vienna Lahner.

The Wildcats are back in action Saturday when they travel to the Wamego Invitational. The first race is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Wamego Country Club.

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