The North boys did not have history on their side coming into Monday’s GWAL Meet.
Carroll was riding a five-year winning streak. North had not captured a team title since 1967. A team not named Carroll or Kapaun had not won a boys team title since West accomplished the feat in 2001. As recently as 2009 the Redskins scored 207 points at the City League meet, a full 177 points behind the champion Golden Eagles.
But the Redskin runners did not care about all the history behind them, just the history they could make.
Led by Tristyn Villa and his winning time of 16:29.00, the North boys finally broke through with a three-point win over the Golden Eagles 38-41.
On that 2009 team that finished 177 points behind Carroll, the first place runner for North was 31st overall in a time of 18:29. On Saturday, North’s five scoring runners all broke 18 minutes and four finished in the top nine of the race.
Carroll put up a strong fight with Gage Garcia and James Hampton finishing just behind Villa in second and third. The difference came when North put four runners in front of Carroll’s No. 3.
Kapaun settled for third with 83 points.
On the girls’ side, it was business as usual for Carroll. Having won the previous three titles, the team was not about to experience a first this season. The Lady Eagles finished with a first, second, fourth, fifth & sixth place finish with a total of 18 points, only three off the best possible score of 15.
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Leading the charge was two-time GWAL runner-up Kaelyn Balch, who finished behind Wichita North runner Amber Eickhorn each of the past two years. With Eickhorn graduating last season, it was Balch's turn to dominate the competition, finishing in a time of 14:51.00, 47 seconds ahead of second place, who just happened to be teammate Katherine Dillard.
Carlin Greene of Wichita East was the only non-Carroll runner to crack the top 6. Greene has also been a habitual top finisher at this meet, having finished fourth, seventh & third in her first three years.