The Bulldogs boys cross country team, competing at the State meet for the first time in 20 years, finished 10th of 12 teams and placed two in the top 50 out of 104 runners.

“Not everyone had their best race, but I thought everyone competed well,” head coach Andrae Harper said. “(Junior) Manuel Leos had his best race of the season and got under 17 minutes for the first time in his cross country career.”

Leos finished 34th and sophomore Owen Seaton finished 41st at the Class 5A State Championship held Saturday near Augusta.

Two freshmen girls qualified as individual runners for the Lady Bulldogs. Jasmine Calvo finished 40th out of 102 runners. Natalia Onelio came in 89th.

“I am very proud of how our girls and boys competed this season,” Harper said.” We had several big (personal records) for the season.”

Harper said this was by far the most successful boys team he’d coached, and the team will lose just one runner in senior Chase Mathews, who will be missed.

“I am happy and glad to see the boys team accomplish their goals of winning a league championship and qualifying for the State meet,” he said. “I am excited for what the future holds for both the boys and girls.”

Mathews ends his cross country career competing at State twice. He qualified last year as an individual runner, finishing 27th overall. He was 71st this year.

Mathews, who earned a scholarship to run cross country and track at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, said this season has enlighten him on being a team. He foresaw success as the group’s sumner training progressed.

“In the past the cross country program wasn’t the best, and I was really the only runner training by myself a majority of the time,” Mathews said. “When these young guys came up I wasn’t sure what to think. If anything I was intimidated they’d catch up to me (which they eventually would).”

The senior leader said that witnessing the growth of the younger runners, especially Leos, put him in awe.

“I can’t wait to see what these guys end up doing. Hopefully, a few of them will follow me to Wisconsin.”

Mathews credited Harper and assistant coach Rakiyah Taylor for helping him develop. “Without them I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at right now,” he said.

Boys 5A Team Results

1. St. Thomas Aquinas     55

2  Blue Valley SW         69

3. Bishop Carroll         91

4. St. James Academy     96

5. Kapaun Mt. Carmel         155

6. Maize             195

7. Shawnee Heights        195

8. Lansing            198

9. Maize South        198

10. Arkansas City        220

11. Seaman        278

12. Newton            296

Boys Individual Results

1. Logan Seger, St. Thomas Aquinas 15.39.2

Arkansas City

34. Manuel Leos     16.58.6

41. Owen Seaton    17.06.1

59. Gabe Onelio    17.26.9

71. Chase Mathews    17.41.7

89. Brandon Klotz    18.27.6

102. Mason Burr    19.56.0

104. Tanner Barbour    21.06.4

Girls Class 5A Team Results

1.  Mill Valley 71

2.  St. Thomas Aquinas 73

3.  Great Bend 78

4.  Seaman 114

5.  Bishop Carroll 127

6.  St. James Academy 154

7.  Maize South 177

8.  Kapaun Mt. Carmel 182

9.  Emporia 205

10.  Hays 279

11.  Leavenworth 304

12.  Basehor-Linwood 338

Girls Individual Results

1. Katie Schwartzkopf, Mill Valley 17.51.8

Arkansas City

40. Jasmine Calvo 20.26.9

89. Natasha Onelio 21.58.0

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