Area runners win league titles
A pair of Butler County runners won titles Saturday at the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division II cross country championships at Centennial Park in Newton.
Elizabeth Vetter of Andover won the girls’ race in 19:11.32. Brett Schoenhoffer of Andover Central won the boys’ race in 16:45.39.
Both runners won their races by substantial margins.
In the girls’ team standings, Goddard Eisenhower edged Andover 44-40 for the title. Valley Center was third at 54. Andover Central was fourth at 95.
In the boys’ team standings, Eisenhower topped Andover 40-55. Arkansas City was third at 90. Andover Central scored 115 points.
The races were held in cool and windy conditions.
“It felt really good,” Vetter said. “I felt strong despite the wind. It was a good race. Honestly, we didn’t go against the wind too much, so it was a pretty good course.”
Vetter finished second in her section at the Newton Invitational, held on the same course, but improved her time by more than five seconds. The runner who beat her at that meet — Alexa Rios of Maize South — won the AV-CTL I race later in the day, but with a slower time.
“Today, I PR’d, so it was a really good time for me,” Vetter said.
Vetter, a junior, finished 17th at Class 5A state last year, while Andover was 10th in the team standings. If she can make it back to state, she’ll be running in her backyard at the 4 Mile Creek Resort in rural Augusta. The meet was moved from Rim Rock Farm outside of Lawrence.
“It depends on my competition, but I plan to run at state,” she said. “I want to finish in the top 10. We’re hosting, so that will be good. Rim Rock, despite the hills, is the faster course. I didn’t run at (4 Mile Creek) this year, so I don’t know how that will go.”
Schoenhoffer took second on the same course at the Newton Invitational to a runner from Great Bend of the Western Athletic Conference. He was a second off his time there.
“I knew it was windy, so I tried to go out smart and not kill it on the first mile,” Schoenhoffer said. “I feel like I ran a pretty good race. I didn’t feel like I ran a good race here the last time. I feel like I got it together today. (The time) was a little slow, but I think I can improve on it.”
Schoenhoffer was 13th at state last year.
“I’d like to finish in the top five at state,” Schoenhoffer said. “I hope we can get the team there. I ran at (4 Mile Creek) a lot, so I know it pretty well. This course affects you differently than at Rim Rock. At Rim Rock, if you start out fast, you can coast on the downhill. Here, you can’t do that.”
Both Andover and Andover Central will run at the Class 5A regionals Saturday at Brown Thrush Park in Wichita with the top three teams and up to six runners not on the top three teams advancing to state. The boys run at 9:30 a.m. The girls run at 10:05 a.m.