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Wildcat boys finish runner-up at home invite; Edwards takes second


Junior Ryan Rogers took ninth overall to help the Louisburg boys to a runner-up finish last Thursday at the Louisburg Invitational. The Wildcat boys medaled four.

In its final tune-up before the postseason begins, the Louisburg cross country team got a chance to run on its home course one final time last Thursday for the Louisburg Invitational.

Although it was a small meet, one that consisted of six teams, it brought a lot of competition from around the area and the Wildcats more than held their own at the Lewis-Young Park course.

The Louisburg boys were two points shy of first as the Wildcats finished runner-up to Fort Scott with 53 points. In the process, Louisburg also medaled four individual runners and continued to show its progression despite missing one of their main runners in Caden Bradshaw.

“The boys continue their mission to improve weekly and this was another example of the reward received for hard work,” Louisburg coach John Reece said. “Four individual medals is outstanding and to finish just behind Fort Scott, a ranked team, and to beat the other league schools for a second place finish as a team is awesome. I want to put them in ghillie suits and quietly roll into the post season and surprise everyone like I know we can.”

Along with Fort Scott, the Wildcats competed against Spring Hill, Ottawa, Paola and Piper and saw some of the best competition in the Frontier League.

Louisburg senior Carson Houchen ran another strong race to lead the Wildcats. Houchen finished sixth in 18 minutes and 23 seconds.

Junior Ryan Rogers was the next Wildcat to medal as he finished ninth in 18:57 and senior teammate Cade Holtzen was 10th in 19:12.  Junior Hayden Ross also earned a medal as he took 12th in 19:23.

Sophomore Leo Martin finished one spot out of a medal in 16th in 19:31 and freshman Noah Cotter took 17th in 19:49. Junior Sawyer Richardson was 28th in 21:19.

Sophomore Claire Brown leads a pack of runners up a hill toward the finish line last Thursday at Lewis-Young Park.

Freshman Lola Edwards continues to make her mark on the Louisburg girls squad as Edwards took runner-up and set a new personal-best time of 20:27. That time gives her the third fastest time in school history.

Another freshman, Maddy Rhamy, also made a statement as she ran a time of 21:48 to medal seventh and recorded the sixth fastest time in program history. Sophomore Claire Brown also garnered a medal as she took 15th in 23:26.

“It is always nice to run on your course, even if we goofed up the first go-round with a new path,” Reece said. “I feel that we have one of the toughest late season small meets around. The girls ran well again. Lola improved on her PR and Maddy also set a PR which is great to see. We are hopeful for a return at regionals for Reese (Johnson).” 

The Lady Cats ran without one of their top runners, Reese Johnson, and took fourth as a team with 78 points.

Sophomore Bree Gassman was 26th in 24:18, while Nova Ptacek (24:23) and Erin Apple (25:05) came in 28th and 32nd, respectively.

The postseason will begin this Thursday when the Wildcats compete in the Frontier League Invitational at Ottawa’s Eisenhower Road Course. The following week the Wildcats will compete at regionals as they try to earn a state berth.

“We are in the toughest league in 4A and competition is incredible,” Reece said. “Our regional will be our league plus three schools so we will have to bring our A-game. There will be schools not qualify for state that would be a top half finisher, but we are ‘Built Different’ and we will be ready to compete.”

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