Two Jayhawk runners advance to state cross country meet

Junior Dakota Wallace will represent the Jayhawks at the state cross country meet this Saturday. (File photo)

The Jayhawk-Linn cross country team qualified two runners for the state meet last Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Central Heights Class 2A regional. It also placed fifth as a team in the girls race and sixth in the boy’s competition.

Madeline Batcheler placed 11th with a time of 22:56:19 and earned a place in the state meet this Saturday, Oct. 30. She narrowly beat her sister, Marissa Batcheler, who posted a 12th-place time of 22:57.17 but narrowly missed qualifying for the state event.

Jayhawk Dakota Wallace, also a junior, placed 16th with a time of 18:47, good enough for him to win a state berth as well. Sophomore Dillon Champlin finished 17th with a time of 18:56.

“I’m very happy for Madeline and Dakota,” said Jayhawk coach Shayla Long. “I think they’ll finish the season with great races.”

Junior Gia Schneider placed 22nd in the girls race, Sophomore Adison Randall was 33rd, closely followed by junior Cynthia Cazares in 34th, and freshman Brylee Dolshal placed 42nd.

While the regional race marked the end of the season for most of the team, the Jayhawks will not lose any runners to graduation in May. That should give the Jayhawks plenty of experience both in distance events in track next spring and when cross country ramps up again next fall.

“I’m proud of all of them no matter how the season ends,” Long said. “It’s a tough sport and I know everyone ran the best they could for that day, but it hurts when you don’t finish with your best race of the season.

“Overall, everyone had a good season and I think they’ll be able to reflect on the positives, and hopefully grow for next year.”

Madeline Batcheler and Wallace will toe the starting line for the state meet at the Sand Plum Nature Trail at Victoria, just a few miles east of Hays. The girls race starts at 10 a.m., and the boys start at 11:20 a.m.

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