MANHATTAN — The Emporia High boys cross country team got a pair of Top-10 finishes and the girls three among the top 11 in their season opening meet on Saturday in Manhattan.
The strong debuts pushed the Spartans to a fourth and second place team finish respectively.
“I thought it was a nice start to the season,” EHS head coach Mike Robinson said. “(There’s) still a lot to work on but I think we have the potential to be pretty competitive this year.”
Junior Treyson True led the EHS boys, finishing the course in second with a time of 16:36.2.
Jonathan Laudie placed 10th with a time of 17:43.5 and was the first freshman to finish the race overall.
Seniors Zac Proehl and Caleb Hollenbeck were next Spartans done, taking 22nd and 25th respectively.
Junior Lane Wullschleger was 26th (18:34) and junior Sam Gillen (18:56.2) took 33rd. Senior Connor Hauff was 55th.
The only runner to top True’s finish was Manhattan’s Daniel Harkin, who had a nearly 20 second gap. True had a similar edge on the next closest runner behind him.
“I was proud of him for putting himself in position to get top-3 in a tough field,” Robinson said. “Harkin ... is a nice runner and it’s great that Treyson is using him to better himself. He stuck with Harkin for longer than he ever has, I believe.”
For the E-High girls, freshman Elizabeth Willhite was seventh with a 21:10.6. Junior Taryn West was ninth overall, crossing the finish roughly 20 seconds after her teammate, with senior Kelsey Boettcher placing 11th with a mark of 21:46.6.
Avery Gutierrez wrapped up her race in 22:32.5, good for 23rd and Kaitlynn Laudie was 29th with a 22:58.9.
“Elizabeth Willhite and Jon Laudie were two freshmen that we knew would be competitive, but I wasn’t expecting those performances from them so early in the season,” Robinson said. “They got in there and competed hard.”
E-High will next run at its home invitational Saturday morning at Jones Park with races set to begin at 9 a.m.