By Jimmy Gillispie
The defending Kansas Class 4A girls state champions won’t have to leave their home course before they attempt to win their fourth title in five years.
The Baldwin High girls team has already competed on its home course twice this year with two more upcoming in the next 10 days.
Baldwin will host the Frontier League and 4A regional meets at the Baldwin City Golf Course. The league meet is Thursday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. with the regional meet on Oct. 23.
Baldwin will be challenged at both meets. The BHS girls are ranked No. 2 in the latest Kansas Cross Country Coaches poll, but they will battle the No. 1 and 3 ranked teams for the league and regional titles.
The top-ranked 4A team, Eudora, will be trying to win the league meet for the third-straight year. The Cardinals already beat Baldwin and Louisburg – the No. 3 ranked team in 4A – at the Wamego Invitational early in September.
Now, all three teams will get to know each other quite well. They will all be competing in Baldwin for the league and regional meets.
“We haven’t really seen Eudora since early in the season at Wamego, so this is a chance to see how much we’ve improved since then,” Baldwin coach Mike Spielman said. “It will be a good measuring stick for where we’re at right now.”
The boys race won’t feature top-ranked teams, but it could be quite competitive. The Eudora boys are ranked No. 5 in the state, and they are the defending Frontier League champs.
Tonganoxie won the 2019 league title. The Chieftains are ranked No. 8 in the state, with Louisburg ranked No. 11.
“Eudora might be the favorite, but I think it could be a good race,” Spielman said. “I’m not sure about Tongie or Piper, because we haven’t seen them much.”
The first of two league races begins at 4:30 p.m. with the other race at 5:15 p.m.
Check back for recaps of the meet.