(Photo: Twitter @greghall24)
Blue Springs Flexes, Rockhurst Regroups, Mugeche, Findley Dominate in Kansas
It was a beautiful day to run fast at St. Thomas Aquinas's Greg Wilson Classic on the Johnson County Community College course. And boy did those who competed run fast. Many who participated turned in times that would otherwise be thought to have ran closer to October, but in fact, it is merely the first weekend of September. We haven't reached Forest Park XC Festival and we already have a number of sub-16:00s on the boys side, predicated by the 15:11 run by Blue Springs Senior Victor Mugeche for the easy win. His time broke his older brother, Stephen's, course record of 15:14 and sets him up very well as we head further into the season. "This course is really forgiving so I wanted to get how hard...I think I was through in [4:45]," said Mugeche of his race. "Just powered through the rest of the race and mentally tried to pick up my cadence and closed down this nice hill here." Though he may make it sound easy, 15:11 - regardless of the conditions - is anything but! His teammate and fellow senior, Oaklee Hauschild, was 2nd in the varsity boys race in a time of 15:51 - a personal best for Hauschild as well. Oaklee is coming off a full 1:02 PR in the 3200 this spring, having run 9:25 for the distance, and looks prepared for a major breakthrough this season. "I definitely want to be one of the top 5 guys at state," said Hauschild, "Maybe even top 3."
For the girls, it was more of the same dominance from two of Missouri's finest. Victoria Findley kicked off her highly-hyped senior campaign with an impressive 18:16, winning by 54 seconds over teammate and fellow senior, Danielle Hotalling. Just 8 seconds behind Hotalling was Blue Springs junior Tessa Valdivia. Findley enters the season as MoMileSplit's Preseason #2, but definitely made a statement with her performance over the weekend. In regards to her race, Findley reported, "I was hoping there would be a pack for a mile and a half [or a] mile, but there was one girl up front and then...she was gone so I said 'I guess I'll have to run this alone.' But I think it was good, I'm really happy about it." Findley will not be alone this weekend as she will battle Preseason #1 Mikayla Reed, who was idle in Week 2, in their first showdown of the season at Forest Park XC Festival.
(Photo: Twitter @greghall24)
Blue Springs came away with the victories on the girls side, flexing some serious muscle at a very competitive meet. Valdivia led her Wildcats with senior Elaina Hubner 22 seconds back in 5th and freshman Annemarie Rehbein running 19:55 for 9th. The Wildcats' 52 points were 28 ahead of 2nd place team Mill Valley of Kansas and 29 ahead of Blue Springs South. On the boys side, St. Thomas Aquinas took the top spot at their home meet, but it was the Rockhurst boys who made the most noise of Missouri teams. Rockhurst was led by junior Tom Seitzer as he guided Peter Campbell and Andrew Connor all under 16:15. The defending state champs scored 65 points to finish just 9 behind Aquinas, but also 28 ahead of Preseason #2 Blue Springs.