Wildcat cross country takes top spots

Junior varsity team starts their season off strong


Photo by Leila Laham

The wildcats attempted to run together at the start of the meet. Sutphen placed third overall, and first for the Wildcats. “I think everyone performed very well,” Sutphen said. “We finished in some of the top spots and overall it was a good race.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, September 5, the Millard West JV Cross Country team competed in a meet at Walnut Creek. Both Millard West boys’ and girls’ JV attended and competed against Papillion-La Vista South, Omaha Marian and Millard North.

The boys’ JV team had 17 total runners competing in the race. Unlike the varsity teams who are only allowing six people per team to run because of COVID-19, JV allows an unlimited number of racers. Freshman Keegan Sutphen took first place for the Wildcats with a time of 20 minutes and 21 seconds. Coming 20 seconds behind Sutphen was junior Mitchell Baird who came in second for the Wildcats at 20 minutes and 41 seconds. The Wildcat third place finisher was junior Karson Koubsky who finished with a time of 21 minutes and 28 seconds. Hitting the finish line at 21 minutes and 31 seconds, Christian Hilliard secured fourth place for the Wildcats. Finishing in fifth for the boys, with a time of 22 minutes and 8 seconds, was sophomore Jacob Schmitz. Two seconds behind Schmitz was Junior Evan Vaslow, completing the race at 22 minutes and 10 seconds. Lastly, sophomore Tate Ray took seventh for the Wildcats and ended with a time of 22 minutes and 13 seconds.

“Everyone performed extremely well and did significantly better than their time trials,” Sutphen said. “We landed some of the top spots as a team and ultimately matched our goal.”

The girls’ junior varsity team has seven total runners. Junior Sydney Beaudin took first place for Millard West with a time of 21 minutes and 37 seconds. Just shy of two minutes behind Beaudin, junior Niah Kirchner finished with a time of 23 minutes and 22 seconds. With this time, Kirchner secured second second place in the race. Junior Becca Baker completed the race in third place for Millard West and had a time of 24 minutes and 20 seconds. After Baker came freshman Izzy Dobson at 27 minutes and 55 seconds.Nine seconds behind Dobson was freshman Malia Coomes who finished fifth from Millard West and had a time of 29 minutes and 4 seconds. Freshman Anna Gillum completed the race in sixth place with 28 minutes and 57 seconds, and the last girl to finish was freshman Sofia Sheikh with a time of 36 minutes and 40 seconds.

“Although our team swept the top three spots, there’s always room for improvement,” Beaudin said. “It was a good course to run on because we will run there again in a few weeks.”

Another highlight from the two races this weekend is Beaudin finishing in first place between all high schools competing. Beaudin usually races varsity, but was unable to attend the meet for the prior weekend, thus leading to her racing in this event. Along with this, Kirchner and Baker finishing second and third for Millard West, also finished second and third in the entire race. The boys’ top finisher, Sutphen, finished third in the entire boys’ junior varsity race, along with finishing first for Millard West. Continuing, all Millard West racers either matched or beat their previous time trial times from two weeks prior to the meet.

Our team has shown significant improvement over the last couple of weeks,” coach Colin Johnston said. “If we keep working hard, working smart and focus on getting a little bit better every day, we will continue to improve and run our best at the important meets at the end of the season.”

The Millard West JV cross country team has another meet on Thursday, September 10. The varsity team has an upcoming meet as well on Saturday, September 12. They are looking to improve their times from the time trial and this past week’s meet and will continue to do this throughout the season.