Boys’ Cross Country Team Takes 5th at State

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Brian McGee

The Boy’s Cross Country team on the podium after getting 5th at state.

Alyssa Huffmaster, Reporter

The Blazer Boys Cross Country team traveled to Augusta, Kansas on October 30 and earned 5th place at State.

“I felt elated for the kids,” head coach Brian McGee said. “I felt relief that we as coaches did right by them and didn’t disappoint them.” 

All-State Runners included two seniors: Kasen Keeler, who placed 17th and PR’d with a time of 16 minutes and 19.8 seconds, and Jordan Kilonzo, who placed 19th and got a time of 16 minutes and 23.9 seconds. The boys finished out their high school career 5th and 6th fastest 5K runners in GEHS cross country school history and went to state the past two years back-to-back.

Pullquote Photo

I think without being on the cross country team for four years, I’d be a completely different person, because the people I’ve bonded with and worked with shaped who I am today.”

— Jordan Kilonzo

“I think without being on the cross country team for four years, I’d be a completely different person, because the people I’ve bonded with and worked with shaped who I am today,” Kilonzo said. 

Out of 104 total runners at state, Parker Walion placed 30th, Jackson Elsey 53rd, Isaac Meili 54th, Robert Falker 61st, and Landon Comstock 65th. All 5 of these boys PR’d.

The Kansas Sunflower League is an extremely difficult league to compete in, according to McGee. Seven of the top ten boys’ teams in the 6A division are Sunflower League schools. 

“If you survive our region and go to state as a team, you are automatically one of the best teams in the state,” McGee said. 

After placing 3rd at state last year, the Blazer Cross Country team hopes to continue beating the competition and making it to state. 

“We’ve only been to state three times, and two of those times were 2020 and 2021, so I’m pretty happy with being a part of those two teams and hopefully establishing a tradition in going to state every single year,” Kilonzo said. 

The coaches and members of the cross country team mention again and again how close the team is. 

“Cross country is different from all the other team sports, everyone is so much closer,” Kilonzo said. “We know when to goof off and have fun, but when it’s time to work we’re probably the hardest workers in any sport.”

Coaching this team this year has been the biggest honor of my career.”

— Brian McGee

The twenty, thirty, or even forty miles that cross country athletes run every week starting in July shows their dedication to the sport.

“Those kids inspired me and other coaches every day,” McGee said. “Coaching this team this year has been the biggest honor of my career.”