Holly Lindquist and her Smoky Valley boys cross country team were anxiously awaiting for the final results to be announced on Saturday at the Class 4A Regional Meet at McPherson’s Rolling Acres Golf Course.
When it was announced that Wamego, a team the Vikings knew they had to beat to get in, placed third, a mighty woop was let out by the Viking supporters, not to mention a sense of relief.
Lindquist’s Vikings were then the No. 2 team as with four runners in the top eight, it was a foregone conclusion that defending 3A state champion Hugoton was the regional winner and hopes it now can compete at the 4A level.
Hugoton scored 36 points, the Vikings 93 and Wamego 133 as those teams are headed to Wamego for state next Saturday.
“The boys are headed to state with some solid efforts,” Lindquist said. “Not only did the boys team qualify as a team, but Ryan (Heline) qualified as an individual. We knew that Hugoton and Wamego were going to be tough. Hugoton ran lights-out today. We have been working just a tad harder to beat Wamego at this meet, which the boys did handily. Next Saturday we will see how we compare to other 4A teams around the state. It's an exciting time for Smoky Valley cross country.”
Heline was 10th in 18:00. Other places and times were Joshua Peterson (12th in 18:08), Zach Lott (21st in 18:33), Ty Miller (27th in 1:44), Stephen Peterson (28th in 18:45), Carter Couchman (49th in 19:28) and Logan Bodenhamer (67th in 20:05).’
The Viking girls were ninth, led by Kajsa Peterson as she was 21st in 22:54.
Others were Gracie Lott (28th in 23:03), Hailey Priddy (40th in 23:45), Nevada Acheson (72nd in 25:29), Cailey Cornett (77th in 26:40) and Taylor Koontz (79th in 27:09).
“The girls did not qualify for state, but I feel that we had some good performances in tough conditions,” Lindquist said.