A leg into its Class 5A state cross country meet, Lansing’s Nashia and Malika Baker separated from the pack.
Stride for stride, the duo raced up and down the hills of Rim Rock Farm, trying to put distance between their top two spots and the rest of the pack.
However, by the race’s end, both had been overtaken and passed by their chasers to keep either sister from winning the individual state crown. Despite that, the Lansing runners still placed in the top half of the meet’s results, especially Nashia — who finished fifth overall.
“They set too fast of a pace and it caught up to them,” Lansing coach Brian Malm said. “Still, they did great on the day, as did our other runners.”
Here is a look at how the rest of the area teams did in their respective state meets, which took place Saturday in Lawrence.
Continuing with the Lady Lions, the team placed sixth. After Nashia, Malika Baker earned 23rd place, Jordan Maestas came in 50th and Caitlin LaNeve captured 56th place. Catherine Strehlow won 72nd, Emily Lawrence picked up 92nd place and Abbie Hilliard nailed down 93rd.
Lansing had two boys compete at the state race as well. Chris Brown seized 50th place and Joe Walter snatched 66th.
“ We were happy with sixth place as a lot of them improved their times and competed well,” Malm said of his girls’ team. “Both of the boys that ran had improved their times from where they were and beat people they had lost to early in the year.”
The Lady Pioneers took its entire squad to the Class 5A state meet, where it placed 12th overall. The top Leavenworth placement came from Taryn Schoen, who placed 42nd.
“Lindi Young pulled a hip flexor last week and so we went in shorthanded,” Leavenworth coach Willis Willmeth said. “But you know, when I got home I had a real peace with how we finished. We had every girl but one run their best times of the year at that course and so did our two guys.”
Madison Schoen was next with a 66th finish, followed by Briana Bressman (67th), Lauren Shoffner (101th) and Lila Emerick (102nd). Ashton Larabee captured 103rd place and Erica Bullard picked up 104th.
In addition, two boys participated for Leavenworth. Jordan Boyce pinned down 48th place and Greg Flores came in 84th.
“We had kids performing at levels that they hadn’t before performed at,” Willmeth said. “Of course, you wish to always do better, but I did not walk away from that meet with a bad taste in my mouth.”
The big news of the day for the Pleasant Ridge cross country team came from its girls’ squad, who placed fourth overall.
“The kids left everything out there,” PR coach Chad Hendrix said. “The girls had the highest finish we’ve ever had as a team in school history. Just the consistency we’ve had all season from one to seven, that is what put us up there.”
Rachel Hattok came in 24th place as Ridge’s top placer while Hailey Worthington nailed down 27th, Kristina Silvers finished 28th and Taylor Satre was 45th. Other PR results included Grace McKinney (61st), Peyton Gould (69th) and Sarah Ling (70th).
Pleasant Ridge had one boy compete at state, Tony Weber, and he earned an eighth place medal.
“It was good to see Tony shake off the Rim Rock jitters and run well,” Hendrix said. “He ran like I knew he was capable of.”