By Jimmy Gillispie
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Valor Christian traveled about eight hours east to run at the prestigious Rim Rock Farm on Saturday morning.
The private school from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, located on the south side of Denver, left the meet that featured schools from seven states with a pair of team victories. Both Valor Christian schools finished in the top four at the state meet last year.
On Saturday, the Valor Christian girls ran away with the Gold division title, scoring 82 points – 105 ahead of second place Fayetteville (Arkansas). Manhattan (Kansas) placed fourth with the next four schools coming from the KC area.
Mill Valley finished fifth in the Gold division, leading the KC area schools. The Jaguars were led by senior Katie Schwartzkopf’s runner-up finish in a time of 18:00.3. Valor Christian freshman Keeghan Edwards won the race in 17:50.1.
Mill Valley freshman Charlotte Caldwell was the second Jaguar to finish. She placed 12th overall, finishing the 5K course in 19:16.5.
Immediately following Mill Valley in the team standings were St. Thomas Aquinas, St. James Academy and Blue Valley Northwest. Free State finished two spots behind BVN. Liberty (12th) was the top Missouri school in the girls Gold division.
A total of 12 KC area runners medaled in the top division. Behind Schwartzkopf were Blue Valley West’s Olivia Bakker (3), Piper’s Grace Hanson (5), Shawnee Mission’s Grace Meyer (6), Blue Valley’s Cecilia Fisher (10), BVW’s Katherine Soule (11), Caldwell, St. James’ Sophia Schultz (16), St. James’ Katelyn Menghini (21), De Soto’s Sophie Landrum (22), STA’s Mareike Krebs (23) and Free State’s Isabella Pro (25).
Boys Gold division
The boys team competition was tightly contested, but Valor Christian squeezed by Millard West (Nebraska), winning 73-78.
Liberty North finished third with 110 points, led by a pair of top-five finishes. Sophomore Sam Wilde and senior Ethan Lee placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the race, running 15:32.6 and 15:34.8.
St. Thomas Aquinas finished fourth in the team standings, thanks to three medalists. STA senior Logan Seger finished runner-up, just five seconds behind Valor Christian junior Ty Garrett. Seger’s time was 15:23.9.
STA junior Colby King and senior Ashton Higgerson placed 11th and 17th overall, both earning medals as top-25 finishers.
Other KC area teams that finished in the top 10 were Blue Springs South (8th) and Mill Valley (9th). SJA and De Soto placed 11th and 12th, respectively.
Individual medalists from the KC area also included Shawnee Mission’s Wyatt Haughton (9), SJA’s Eli Moore (14) and Liberty North’s Grayson Tapp (25).
For full results from the meet, click here.