WAMEGO — What a difference just one person can make.
On Saturday morning the Yates Center boys cross country, poised to come into the Wamego Country Club and take the school’s first cross country title in their history, faced the bitter pill of disappointment, coming just 19 points shy of achieving that goal.
That’s when the error was spotted. Senior Jordan Smith, a top three runner for the Wildcats, was nowhere to be seen on the results. After checking with the officials, everything changed.
Smith had finished seventh but the camera and sensor had read the wrong number when he crossed the finish line. What was a 19-point loss became a 15-point win and celebration ensued.
“Frustration led to elation by me,” McVey said. “I knew it would be a tightly contested race between us and them, so when we lost I was disappointed. I couldn’t believe we had lost by that much and looked again, discovering the error that had been made. To go from discouraged to relief in just a few moments was a roller coaster of a ride.”
Leading the way for Yates Center was junior Hadley Splechter as he’s done all season, winning the meet with a time of 16:05 which was just a second shy of the course record.
Seniors Colin Bedell (17:28) and Smith (17:37) also had top 10 finishes coming in sixth and seventh. Austin Moffet had his best performance of his career, finishing 33rd with a time of 18:42.
Kobe Forsyth (19:00) finished 39th, Asher Sievers (19:21) finished 56th and senior Braydon Gaulding (20:35) rounded out the Wildcats, finishing 82nd.
The Wildcat boys won seven of their nine meets this year including regionals last week. The state title is just the second for Wildcat sports in school history after boys golf won in 2010.
PHOTOS: Yates Center Junior Hadley Splechter run in the 2A State Championship race in Wamego on Saturday. Splechter and the Yates Center boys team each finished first. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
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