Cross Country concludes historic season Saturday


Drew Hanson, Co-Editor

Southeast of Saline Cross Country is good. Really good. The boys’ and girls’ teams are both headed to the state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence for the first time since 2011.

However, this doesn’t mean they haven’t been successful before. Since 2011, there have been three state championships won, two on the girls side, and one on the guys from last season. This year, both teams look to continue that success with spots on the podium.

The girls’ team has seen tremendous improvement since last year’s non-qualifying season, taking second to the top-ranked team, Norton, at last Saturday’s regional. At state, the girls are in a three team free for all with Silver Lake and Norton. While they are ranked ahead of Silver Lake, Norton holds the top spot in the latest coaches poll.

The girls defeated Norton at the Lakeside invitational but came up short to them at Saturday’s regional. Although they came up short, they’ve got firepower. Lead runner, Jentrie Alderson, is one of the best runners in the state and number one in 3A by over a minute with her time of 18:40.

Ashley Prochazka and Mallorie Pearson are also all-state contenders. It’s hard to say these things in cross country, but it is almost certain the girls will hold one of the top three places on the rock. If our top runners can pack together, they have a good chance of outrunning Norton for the top spot. 

The boys are fresh off a 75-point win over number three Norton at last Saturday’s regional. They’re also the defending state champs and were ranked number one all season – until this week. Silver Lake came out on top of the latest coaches poll.

However, the Trojans see this as an advantage.

“I think it’s good for us,” runner Dominic Jackson said. “It will motivate us to run even faster, to prove them wrong.”

By the numbers, Jackson looks to be right. Despite posting a pack time 19 seconds slower than Southeast, Silver Lake came out on top. And despite the rankings, Southeast is faster runner for runner, so the safe bet would be on the Trojans take the top spot Saturday.

Also looking to take the top spot is sophomore Dylan Sprecker, who has the fastest 3A time this season. Contending for all-state are Luke Gleason, Dominic Jackson, Drew Hanson, and Damion Jackson.