• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Jayhawk cross country runners head to state meet in Wamego

Six members of the Jayhawk women's cross country team and one member of the men's team are headed to the state meet at Wamego on Saturday. Members of the second-place women's team include, from left, Cynthia Cazares, Gia Schneider, Madeline Batcheler, Marissa Batcheler, Adison Randall and Brylee Doleshal. Senior Dakota Wallace will compete in the men's race. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

The Jayhawk-Linn women’s cross country team picked up its second runner-up plaque in as many weeks on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the regional meet at Central Heights. The top-three finish qualified the team for the state meet in Wamego this Saturday.

And while the Jayhawk men’s team fell short of qualifying for the state meet, senior Dakota Wallace made the cut and will also compete at Wamego.

Senior Marissa Batcheler turned in the top time for women’s Jayhawk team at 23:22.24 for 10th place and a medal. Seniors Cynthia Cazares and Madeline Batcheler finished about a minute behind, placing 12th and 13th respectively.

Brylee Doleshal, a sophomore, was 15th, junior Adison Randall placed 22nd, and senior Gia Schneider was 30th. Fifty runners competed in the 5 kilometer event.

Marissa Batcheler, right, holds off a Northern Heights runner in the women's 5K.

Although the Jayhawks had only one runner in the top 10, the combined times gave the team a score of 49 points, only four points behind the first-place team, St. Mary’s Colgan, with 45 points. Central Heights placed third with 76 points.

The top three teams in both the women’s and men’s races advanced to the state meet. The top 10 individual runners also qualified with race officials having the option of sending addition runner to the state meet

For the men, Wallace placed 11th with a time of 19:13.63. Teammate Dillon Champlin was close behind in 13th place. Freshman Truman Schneider was 27th, James Spitzenberger was 34th, and William Lloyd was 54th. Sixty-eight runners entered the event.

Jayhawk Dillon Champlin's face shows the agony as he hits the 45-degree climb midway through the men's race with teammate Dakota Wallace close behind.

The men’s team tied for fourth place with Southeast from Cherokee with 110 points each. Central Heights won the regional with 38 points, Northern Heights posted 81 points for second, and Kansas City Christian took third with 86 points.

Coach Shayla Long said she was very pleased with the second-place finish for the women’s team. “It wasn’t quite what we wanted, but it was a very close team score, and we’re happy to be back to state as a team.

“The last time we ran in Wamego, they ran the course very well, despite it being a tough course. I think they will have great races. I look for the four seniors to finish strong. Brylee Doleshal had the race of her life Saturday, and I think she’ll continue to improve. With a little sickness last week, the girls have room for improvement at the state meet and I’m excited to see how they perform.

Long said that Wallace should also have a good race at Wamego.

“This group of seniors have been running together since junior high, and they were my first group when I moved back and started coaching,” Long said. “They are a great group and it’s been a ton of fun over the years. This last race is pretty special and means a lot to all of us.”

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