• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View women recapture Pioneer League championship

Updated: Oct 27

Still in training, the Prairie View women's cross country team will work to repeat its performance as regional champion on Saturday. The regional team includes, from left, Bree Allen, Wylie Teagarden, Ryleigh Leuker, Kelsey Konitzer, Kally Stroup, Ella Steinle, and Ella McCammon. (Screen capture, Prairie View cross country Facebook page)

The Prairie View women’s cross-country team repeated as league champs, and sophomore Bree Allen repeated as women’s champion at the Pioneer League meet at Osawatomie on Thursday, Oct. 13. The team won the league meet last year with Allen taking first place as a freshman.

The top five runners on the team turned in a score of 36 points, four ahead of second-place finisher Santa Fe Trail with 40 points.

The team will travel to Council Grove this Saturday, Oct. 22, to compete in the Class 3A regional meet. Santa Fe Trail will be there, however, one of the toughest competitors will be West Franklin out of Pomona. West Franklin senior Emma Bailey posted a time of 19:51.7 in the Flint Hills League meet last Friday.

Both Allen and Bailey were given the nod by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) as some of the top Class 3A runners to watch this season.

That could be a challenge for Allen, a sophomore, who ran the 5-kilometer course at the league meet in 19:57.92 to earn a gold medal. In most of her races this year, Allen has finished well ahead of the rest of the field, usually a full minute or more. But the race between these two runners could push both to even faster times.

“Our regional will be very tough this year,” said coach Marcie Caldwell. “Bree will have more competition, which is good because she’ll have to push herself.”

However, Caldwell expects even tougher competition for a berth at the state meet.

“The top four teams from state last year will all be at Council Grove, plus Santa Fe Trail has been looking strong all season,” Caldwell said. “The top three teams qualify for state, so each of our runners has their work cut out for them.

“I think they’ll be ready; we’ve talked about what they’ll need to do to qualify as a team, but it all depends on what happens on race day.”

Prairie View’s Wylie Teagarden, also a sophomore, finished fifth at the Pioneer League meet last week with a time of 22:28.73.

Lady Buffalo runners Ryleigh Leuker, Kelsey Konitzer and Kally Stroup finished 10th, 11th, 12th respectively. Ella McCammon came in 24th, Ella Steinle was 31st. Those five runners plus Allen and Teagarden will be the team advancing to regionals on Saturday.

Prairie View’s Quinn Browning placed 36th, and Reagan McCarthy was a step behind her in 37th. Steinle, Browning and McCarthy have been competing at the junior varsity level, but were moved up to varsity in the final race of the year. Caldwell said most teams bring their junior varsity runners for the league event.

Also running for the Buffalos in the league meet was the only person on the men’s team, Harvey Hernandez-Guerrero. He placed 32nd. Hernandez-Guerrero has also been running at the junior varsity level this year.

In addition to the top three teams qualifying to go to state, 10 individual runners, and possibly more, will receive a berth at the state meet. The Class 3A meet will be on Oct. 29 at Rim Rock Farm north of Lawrence. Rim Rock, which has challenging terrain, is the University of Kansas cross country team’s home course.

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