CHANUTE — At Saturday’s KSHSAA 4A Regional cross country race, one runner from Parsons and two from Labette County punched tickets to the state race.
In the girls’ regional race in Chanute, Parsons’ Kinsey Baldwin and Labette County’s Gracie Gatton both finished in the top 10.
Baldwin placed fourth with a time of 21:26, while Gatton finished eighth with at time of 21:43.
Baldwin was fresh off winning the SEK League title a week ago prior to her fourth place finish at regionals.
“I was really proud of her,” Parsons head coach Sally Clay said. “She got 13th at regionals last year so she really improved. It was really cold and we were running against some pretty heavy competition. So I was really proud of her coming in fourth place.”
Kayli Myers of Winfield won the girls race with a time of 19:39, finishing well ahead of second-place finisher GraceLynn Benavides, also of Winfield, who finished the race in 21:05.
Winfield also won the team regional title on the girls’ side.
As for the boys’ regional race, Labette County’s Alex Meister finished seventh with a time of 17:29 to earn his berth to state.
“Gracie and Alex both have worked very hard starting back in June,” Labette County head coach Marty Warren said. “They worked day in and day out and put in a lot of effort. It’s paid off. I think Alex and Gracie were both actually disappointed in their placing, but they did an outstanding job.”
Winfield’s Corban Priest won the boys regional race, finishing in 16:29. Winfield also won the team standings on the boys side to sweep the Chanute regional.
The KSHSAA 4A State Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday at Wamego Country Club.
Warren hopes both his runners for Labette County can have strong showings.
“Last year, Alex placed 17th at state. So I’m hoping he’s going to be in the top 10. But it’s going to be a job for him to do that,” Warren said. “Gracie went her freshman year but didn’t qualify last year. This year, I’d like to see her be in the top 25.”
As for Baldwin, she expects to excel against a loaded field of competiton.
“I’m glad I did make it state with all the work I’ve been putting in,” Baldwin said. “I’d love to place top 30. The competition there is crazy good. I feel like this has been my best season and I’m proud of it. Making state is a pretty big accomplishment.”