GARNETT — Running on a course he ran before, Iola High’s Roman Yocham ran with the leaders Saturday afternoon and qualified for his third straight Kansas Class 4A State Cross Country Meet.
Yocham will go alone again this year as no other Iola High boy or girl runner finished in qualifying times. The Class 4A regional meet was held on the Garnett Golf Course.
The Mustangs and Fillies opened the 2010 season on the same course in the Anderson County High Invitational. Competitors Saturday had to deal with a strong wind out of the south.
Yocham had a strong kick up the final hill of the 5K race, finishing third. He ran the course in 17 minutes 42 seconds.
“That was 13 seconds better than he ran the same course earlier. He complained about not feeling well before we left school Saturday,” said Marvin Smith, Iola High head coach.
Smith said Yocham told him he took some Tylenol and basically, ran to qualify.
“Roman ran in the top 10 after the first mile of the race and was fifth by the two-mile mark,” Smith said.
Running a gutsy race was freshman Trent Latta, who has a strained Achilles tendon. Latta finished as Iola’s No. 2 runner, taking 34th in 19:51. There were 95 runners in the race.
Senior Dylan Lower was 36th in 19:53, 31 seconds better than he ran on the course earlier in the season. Juniors Bryan Miller and Christian Kauth went 47th and 49th in 20:12 and 20:13, respectively.
Freshman Michael Armstrong took 60th in 20:37. Tyler Powelson, a freshman, placed 65th in 20:49.
As a team, the Mustangs finished fifth with 165 points. Santa Fe Trail, who had the top two runners in the race, and Labette County each accumulated 69 points.
Santa Fe Trail won the tiebreaker and took the regional championship. Labette County was second followed by Paola with 77 points.
In the girls’ 4K, Iola junior Sydney Owens shaved off over a minute in time running the course but did not finish among state meet qualifiers. The Fillies had only three girls running Saturday.
Owens placed 30th in 18:59. Senior Leah Weir took 47th in 19:57 and senior Abby Works was 52nd in 20:10 in the field of 79 runners.
“Sydney and Leah both improved on their times from that first race on the course but they finished behind several girls they beat in the league meet,” Smith said.
Works didn’t run in the first meet; it was rescheduled because of bad weather.
Paola won the girls’ regional championship with 47 points. Chanute was second with 67 points and Santa Fe Trail took third with 86 points. Girard’s Michaela Bauer was the individual champion, running the 4K race in 16:25.
Yocham will run in his third consecutive state race at Wamego this Saturday. He placed ninth last year, earning All-Class 4A state cross country honors.
The 2010 Kansas Class 4-3-2-1A State Cross Country Meet is held at Wamego Country Club’s golf course.
Yocham will run in the 4A boys’ race at 10:30 a.m.
There is an admission charge for the state meet —
$7 for adults and $6 for students in kindergarten through high school.
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