The Frontenac Raiders have a cross country program on the rise.

The Frontenac Raiders have a cross country program on the rise.

Increased numbers and the girls team qualified for the Class 3A state cross country championship at last week’s regional in Burlington.

“As for the program, it will continue to grow,” Frontenac head coach Mindy Kuplen said. “This year was a record 27 runners. Lots of freshmen and that's always good. Numbers have always been good. We needed this year to prove to ourselves that we can compete at a higher level, even though we have been competing against bigger schools for years.”

Kuplen said that it’s been 10 years since a Frontenac cross country runner made state — Jennifer Hunt, older sister of current state qualifier Kelci Hunt. Kyle Hutsey finished 10th in Class 3A, running 12 minutes, 43.89 seconds back in 1999.

This year, Frontenac made state as a team with a third-place regional finish — senior Taylor Seward ran fifth (16:56), freshman Tabor Spurling 17th (17:56), junior Amanda Cicero 20th (18:15), freshman Abby Welcher 33rd (19:19), junior Kinsella Brunetti 36th (19:35), sophomore Allie Moody 37th (19:52) and senior Kelci Hunt 46th (20:43).

Kuplen said all her girls are proud of what the team accomplished last Saturday at Burlington.

“They are a very tight bunch and so supportive of each other,” Kuplen said. “Both boys and girls had personal record times at regionals.

“As a coach, I am so pleased with their desire and heart. They worked all summer and don't want it be over yet. One of them even asked if there were nationals. They've gained confidence at each meet. They won the Ft. Scott Invitational and that seemed to be the beginning of bigger things for them. Everyone has been real supportive of us and it's been fun for them getting to be in the spotlight.”

The 3A girls race takes place today at Rim Rock Farm, Lawrence, starting at 11 a.m. The 3A boys race begins at 12:30 p.m.

The Pittsburg girls squad qualified for the 4A race today in Wamego — Emilee Beitzinger, Hannah Carrier, Sarah Jewett, Chelsea Baker, Lauren Ouderkirk and McKenzie Spresser are Pittsburg team members.

Also racing at Rim Rock Farm today will be St. Mary’s Colgan runners Jonny Adamson and Aaron Gouvion on the boys side and Rachel Farmer and Emily Dickey on the girls side.
In the Class 2A boys race (Wamego), Northeast will be represented by freshman Michael Toms and junior Walter Cunningham.

A Little History

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of a state cross country championship, the Kansas State High School Activities Association has made available “A History of the KSHSAA State Cross-Country Championships 1956-2010,” edited by cross country historian Carol R. Swenson. The book will be on sale at the state meets today in Lawrence and Wamego for $10 and then made available online at www.kshsaa.org.

Famous runners featured in the pages include Billy Mills (Haskell), Archie San Romani Jr. (Wichita East) and Jim Ryun (Wichita East).

Plus, women’s basketball player Jackie Stiles finished top 10 all four years of her career running at Class 2-1A Claflin — 1993-1996. Colgan graduate Maggie Fleming finished second in 1994 (one spot ahead of Stiles) and third in 1995 (one spot behind Stiles). Stiles was also a track standout.
Pittsburg State Athletic Hall of Fame member Christie (Allen) Logue finished top 10 during all four of her years at Labette County — sixth in 1985, fourth in 1986, third in 1987 and fourth in 1988 when Labette County competed in Class 5A. From 1982 through 1997, the Labette County girls placed top 5 as a team 13 times.

Girard head cross country coach Matt Logue won back-to-back state titles (1987, 1988) in his prep days running for Lansing and his father, Lansing head coach Errol Logue.

Girard runner Abby Friggeri won a Class 4A girls title in 1996.

Northeast runner Austin Bogina finished top 10 all his four years — 10th in 2007, eighth in 2008, second in 2009 and first in 2010.

Fredonia runner Lane Boyer was the last boy runner to win three straight titles — 2004-2006.


Schedule of Events
Wamego Country Club
10 a.m. — Class 4A Girls
10:30 a.m. — Class 2A Boys
11 a.m. — Class 1A Girls
11:30 a.m. — Class 4A Boys
12 a.m. — Class 2A Girls
12:30 a.m. — Class 1A Boys

Rim Rock, Lawrence
10 a.m. — Class 6A Girls
10:30 a.m. — Class 5A Boys
11 a.m. — Class 3A Girls
11:30 a.m. — Class 6A Boys
12 p.m. — Class 5A Girls
12:30 p.m. — Class 3A Boys