It was a rare moment that could’ve easily derailed Haylee Warren’s chance to win the girls individual title in Independence City Championships cross country race.
It was definitely won that is tough to overcome.
Warren went down a hill where there was a mud puddle. After stepping in it, she lost her left shoe midway through. She was trailing Van Horn freshman Anya Linstrom at the time, but she didn’t let the hiccup slow her down.
She ended up passing Linstrom and took first with a time of 24 minutes, 3.2 seconds to help lead her Patriots to a team championship (24 points) Tuesday at Bingham Middle School.
“When I saw her pass me after losing my shoe I thought, ‘Wow! She’s a heck of an athlete,” Linstrom said.
Truman swept the varsity races as the boys team finished with 23 points to take first. It was the fourth time the Patriots won both the boys and girls varsity races in the history of the event.
“There’s a lot of pride in that,” Truman coach Marcus Summers said. “That was the goal.”
Afterward, Warren was exasperated, as she had a hard time standing in one place while drinking a cup of water. After a few minutes, she gathered herself to discuss her victory.
“I am a little dizzy,” Warren said. “I am really happy with my race. I felt like I could get in the top five before the race.”
Summers said he’s had a runner lose their shoe before but was amazed at how Warren gained ground on Linstrom and passed her.
“She was determined,” Summers said of Warren. “I was impressed by her effort. She has the No. 1 spot on her team, but we have some girls right there with her. We just have a good core.”
That was a big part of the Patriots’ victory, but other contributed as Hailey Williams took third (25:23), Molly McClung took fourth (25:38.7), Angela Burns took seventh (26:35) and Jewelia Nichol took ninth (28:58.7) to round out the scoring for Truman.
Even though she fell just short of winning, Linstrom was pleased with her performance after finishing at 25:02.2. She helped lead the Falcons to a second-place team finish (35 points).
“I feel like there’s room for improvement, but I am proud of myself for getting second,” the freshman said. “This is my first year running cross country. I thought I would get sixth or seventh, but not second.”
Other Falcons in the top 10 were Breannah Pace (fifth, 26:02.9), Victoria Barber (sixth, 26:31.4) and Esli Alvarado Isla (eighth, 28:00.7). Fort Osage took third with 61 points and its top finisher was Nora McDaniel, who was 11th (29:57.1). Chrisman didn’t qualify for a team score, but Evelyn Boughan placed in the top 10 for the Bears (ninth, 28:23.3).
On the boys side, Jack Getman, who is just in his second year competing in cross country, took second (18:42.2) to lead his team to a team victory.
“I put it all out there, I am happy with what I did,” said Getman, a sophomore who just started cross country last year. “I had a great summer. I ran about 600 miles. I want to dip under 16:40 and make it to state.”
He got a big assist from his teammates as Joshua Nunn took third (19:17), John Crump III took fourth (19:24), Nathan Lewis took fifth (20:10.2) and Hayden Torpey took ninth (20:47.7).
“These guys love running,” Summers said. “You saw a lot of grit on a tough course. They are doing what we expect they are going to do and what they expect of themselves.”
Fort Osage’s Michael Reddick took the individual title with a time of 18:26.9. It was his third straight city individual title as the senior has one more year to qualify for state after falling short the last three seasons.
“It’s discouraging (to miss out on state in the last three years, but I put in some extra training this year,” he said. “I had tendonitis in my hips and I rehabbed from that. I feel like I am healthy and ready to make it to state.”
He’s on a mission and that has shown during his offseason. He ran more than 500 miles over the summer to get geared up for 2019 campaign.
“It just goes to show all the effort I put into this sport,” Reddick said. “I love it with all my heart. Finishes like this proves that training like that is so important.”
His Indians finished third with 63 points, 17 points behind second-place Chrisman. The top three finishers for the Bears were Kimori Pointer (sixth, 20:30.1), Alijah Twaddell (seventh, 20:35.8) and Kona Hudson (eighth, 20:45.1).
Van Horn was fourth with 95 points and were led by Angel Marmolejo (10th, 20:48.2).