CHANUTE — Parsons’ Kinsey Baldwin captured the SEK League girls cross country title on Thursday, winning the league race by just over 20 seconds with a time of 21:09.

Second-place finisher Addisyn Fowler of Fort Scott finished with a time of 21:31.

“What helped her run such a great race is that she’s been giving it her all during practice. She pushes herself to do well,” Parsons head coach Sally Clay said. “I know she always has the goal in mind to medal at races and pushing herself for the next PR.” 

Clay credited Baldwin’s preparation for posting a personal-best time en route to a league championship.

“It helps that each week when we practice, I try to take to take them out on a course that’s similar to what they’ll see at the meet,” Clay said. “We knew what the course in Chanute looked like so we were able to prepare for it.” 

Baldwin won the race as a sophomore in the field.

“It’s amazing especially since she’s just a sophomore,” Clay said. “She runs track as well. It’s amazing that she’s able to compete against these upperclassmen and surpass them.” 

For Baldwin, she felt a methodical approach to Thursday’s league race was the difference-maker.

“During the race, I just did it patiently with my moves,” Baldwin said. “It still hasn’t hit me that I’ve won. It feels good, though.” 

Labette County’s Gracie Gatton finished fourth in the girls race with a time of 21:52. In other finishers for Labette County’s girls, Elyse Clevenger finished 11th (23:22), Jasmine Perez 15th (24:01), Lilly Ghering 16th (24:13), Natalie Carson 22nd (25:47) and Nevaeh Jones 23rd (26:25).

Parsons’ Tobin Clark finished 34th in the SEK League boys race with a time of 22:15.

For Labette County’s boys, Labette County’s Alex Meister finished third (16:59). 

Chase Carnahan finished 20th (19:35) while Blake Cashman took 22nd (19:41). Zavier Phillips finished 24th (19:54), Tanner Templeton 26th (20:11) and John Redford 28th (20:27).

Chanute is also host to the KSHSAA 4A Regional cross country race next week, where Baldwin hopes to make a bid at a trip to the state race.

“I’m constantly asking her for improvements,” Clay said. “We know she can hang with the other runners. Now she knows the course and she needs to compete with herself. She needs to look for areas to speed up, take inside corners. All the competition now for her is with herself.” 

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