PIoneers, Lions and Spires all collect top finishes over weekend races

With both the Leavenworth and Lansing cross country teams competing at the Carl Owczarzak Classic in Shawnee Saturday, there was a good chance the winner’s podium would have some Leavenworth County flavor.
By day’s end, that became an understatement.
The competition, which splits participants up by class, saw numerous area runners collect top finishes and in some instances, win the entire race.
In total, eight Pioneers and 15 Lions brought home a medal.
For Leavenworth, Greg Flores won the boys’ freshman race while Nathanal Oplia came in 28th and Phillip Pearce 29th. Pioneer Rapael Tate placed 13th in the sophomore race and Ben Richardson took ninth in the junior run. Jonathan Opila was 21st and Carson Owens 38th.
“Overall, we really ran good,” LV coach Willis Willmeth said. “We talked about people stepping up and Josh Camerena and Ben Richardson both really stepped up, along with Greg doing great to win his race.”
In the senior’s competition, Jordan Boyce won fourth for LV while Josh Camerena came in 12th, Brandon Baker 23rd and Stuart McDaniel placed 31st.
The Lady Pioneers top finishes came from freshman Taryn Schoen and junior Briana Bressman, who each won third in their respective races.
Madison Schoen was sixth in the senior race, Lindi Young was seventh, and Annika Wulff and Bria Erron placed 17th and 21st in the junior competition.
Lansing’s highlights came from junior Jordan Maestas and senior Nashia Baker, who each won first in their respective girls’ races.
Catherine Strehlow took 11th in the freshman run, where Skyler Blakely won 21st, and in the sophomore competition Emily Laurence came in 9th, Jennine Redden 13th and Blake Colby 15th.
“It was a great day overall for us as we had 15 medalists and two race champions on the day,” Lansing’s Brian Malm said.
Malika Baker, Caitlin LaNeve and Abbie Hilliard placed third, ninth and 12th overall in the senior race.
The Lions’ boys’ squad saw senior Chris Brown and freshman Matt Paxton take seventh and Nicholas Albl  came in eighth during the freshman race.
Jack Bresser was 12th in the sophomore run, Dylan Root 19th and Andrew Redden 20th, while Joe Walter placed 10th in the junior race. Senior Vincent Brosius finished 17th.
Leavenworth will compete in the Sunflower League competition Saturday in Lawrence. Lansing will be off until its regional tournament next week.

Spires take Haskell crown
With the season’s end nearing, the University of Saint Mary men’s cross country team is beginning to peak.
Participating in the Haskell Indian Nations Invite, the Spires placed first overall as a team.
“Today they ran with a mission and I am extremely happy with each of their performances,” USM coach David Dominguez said.
Caesar Castillo finished fifth overall to lead Saint Mary while Nick Haines added a ninth place finish and Brooks Ballou came in 11th. Cameron Avilez won 12th place.
The Lady Spires were shorthanded for the race and thus only had four competitors.
Of those, Karoline Banasik won 45th place, Samantha Winter was 49th, Carolyn Ellis 83rd and Angelia Meyer 98th.
“The women ran a smart race and as a result were able to achieve personal bests,” Dominguez said.