Many runners don’t necessarily like turns in a race course, especially the sharp, hairpin turns in Buhler. Valley Center’s Morgan Wedekind uses turns to increase her lead.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Wedekind. “I had never seen this course before, the weather is kind of bad, but I was happy with my time, but I still wanted to get faster times in the future.”
Wedekind won the christening race of the Buhler course with a time of 15:18.9, almost a full thirty seconds ahead of second place Elise Larson of Andover. Larson finished with a 15:48.6.
Taking third, fourth and fifth place was Kalee Owens (16:05), Kayla Barton (16:17) and Selby Marten (16:19.2), all from Valley Center. The 5A No. 4 Lady Hornets dominated the Buhler meet with a score of 26. Winfield took second with 71 and Eisenhower rounded out the top three with 88.
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE GIRLS' RACE
Thursday was relatively cold with temperatures hovering around 60. Rain and wind were extremely prevalent all day leading up the race and during.
“I didn’t mind the rain and the temperature,” said Wedekind. “I thought it was great. I didn’t get hot or anything. The only thing was that the wind made it worse. Other than that, it was great.”
She showed why she runs some of the fastest times in the state as she essentially toyed with the other runners in the race.
“I knew it was really hilly with a lot of turns,” she said. “I ran really slow up the hills and sprinted down the other side of them. I also did a few pick-ups when I wasn’t comfortable with how close the other girls were getting to me.”
Wedekind tried to pick up her pace anytime she turned a corner.
In the boys’ race, Winfield’s Josh Hanna beat out teammate Riley Osen with a time of 16:41.6. Osen, a freshman, finished nine seconds behind in 16:50.6. Hutch Trinity’s Cordell Goering took third with a time of 16:58.6.
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE BOYS' RACE
Unlike Wedekind, Hanna didn’t think the course was too hilly.
“For the most part, it was pretty flat,” said Hanna. “It went up and down, but there weren’t any sharp climbs or falls.”
He stuck with his strategy of staying with his group, then pulling away in the last mile, which is something he executed to perfection.
“I stuck with my teammates until the last mile, which is what I usually do,” he said.
Winfield came away with a huge win with 54 points. Hutch Trinity took second with 107 and Eisenhower third with 114.
Thursday was the christening race on the new Buhler course, designed by Hutchinson Community College cross country coach Rod Zook.
“I had so much fun running it,” said Wedekind. “It was a great course.”