Girls cross country places first at regionals, nine runners qualify for state

Led by senior Riley Beach’s first place finish, the girls cross country team placed first at regionals, Oct. 24, and are now looking to repeat their success at the state competition along with junior Andrew Mason and sophomore Sam Hurley who qualified for the boys team.


Gabbie Fink

Senior Riley Beach runs in a meet on Sept. 19. The girls cross country team took first place in regionals.

Jack Nitz, Sports Editor

After the girls varsity cross country team finished first at the Eastern Kansas League competition, head coach Ian Frazier said the team spent little time celebrating their victory before they began focusing on regionals. 

“After winning league, the girls spent the day celebrating, but the very next day they moved on to their next goal, which was to win regionals,” Frazier said. “The message on Friday and into the next week was ‘we’re getting back to work, we’re going back to the process and we’re moving onwards.’” 

Agreeing with Frazier, senior Riley Beach said after placing first individually and as a team at EKLs the team was excited, but she knew she needed to look toward the next competition.

“We were really excited as a team then I was also excited from winning from the individual perspective,” Beach said. “I knew that the week for regionals my fitness wasn’t going to change at all, so all I needed to focus on was my mindset and controlling what I can control.”

Similar to Beach, junior Andrew Mason said his success at EKLs increased his confidence as he prepared for regionals.

“Placing seventh at EKLs felt great and it definitely boosted my confidence,” Mason said. “But as I looked ahead toward regionals, I kind of ignored times and placement and just focused on doing my best.”

Continuing their success from EKLs, the Huskies placed first at regionals, with three top ten finishers. After winning regionals, Frazier said the team felt rewarded as they saw their hard work pay off.

“It was a very awesome experience for the girls, getting to see their patience, their goal setting, their accountability and their persistence over the spring pay off,” Frazier said. “It was a great opportunity for them to be able to see their success before heading on to the next task at hand, so very validating and very rewarding.”

Unlike the girls team, Mason said the boys team was not able to feel the same excitement from winning regionals.

“Obviously it’s fine to qualify for state individually, but it definitely would have been way more fun having the whole team,” Mason said. “When [the girls] saw they got first as a team they were all celebrating and I was kind of wishing that we could’ve had that experience.”

Despite facing many setbacks due to COVID-19, Beach said the team was able to overcome obstacles through strong team chemistry. 

“We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles, but I think those brought us closer together and showed us that we all have a support system in each other,” Beach said. “I think that was due to the nature of this team and how tightly knit the girls are and it’s given each of us confidence in each other.”

Looking forward to the state meet, Beach said she is hopeful to continue the success from previous meets and her goal is to win the title both individually and as a team.

“Individually, I’m really hoping to win the state title this year. I think that my training is really wrapping up the way that I want it to be and I think I have the right mindset to go give it my all,” Beach said. “The team has worked so hard over the last couple of months and our goal was to go for that state title and I think that staying consistent and having that goal in mind all season has really driven us to push ourselves to be the best team that we can be.”

As he prepares for the state meet, Mason said he is looking to place highly, but ultimately is focused on working hard and having his best race possible.

“The one thing Coach Frazier has put in place with the championship part of the season is eliminating outcome goals and creating goals with how much effort you put in,” Mason said. “My goal for state is to put in 100 percent effort and I believe the results will show if I do that.”

As the team prepares for their last race of the season, Frazier said he is continuing to share the message that he has preached all season.

“All season I’ve been telling them ‘doing the work in the process to make yourself great is not glamorous, it’s not something that’s going to gain you recognition, but it is something that has value and it is something that will lead to results,’” Frazier said. “As they get ready for state, I hope they reflect on all the hard work they have put in and use it for motivation.”

The cross country team will participate in the state meet on Oct. 31 at 4 Mile Creek Resort in Augusta, KS.