The Smoky Valley boys cross country team placed second at the McPherson Regional on Saturday, qualifying the entire team for state next week in the process. In doing so, the Vikings earned this week’s Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week award, presented by the McPherson Sentinel. The cross country team will be in the running for the Fall Sports Team of the Year award at the conclusion of the fall season.

The Vikings were led by freshman Ryan Heline in 10th place with a time of 18:00.78. Four additional Vikings placed within the top 30: Josh Peterson (12th), Zach Lott (21st), Ty Miller (27th), and Stephen Peterson (28th). All five Vikings will be in action this Saturday at state in Wamego.

The Vikings finished just ahead of Wamego at regionals — a team that has gotten the better end of the Vikings a few times this season.

“Every single one of the boys on the team did their job and that was to step it up a notch,” head coach Holly Lindquist said. “Wamego has beat us twice this year by a minimal margin; we’ve had the motto the last few weeks of ‘just a bit more’ to be able to get a little edge on them. They did just that!”

The Vikings now have one more week of practice before the biggest meet of the year.

“Our team goals are to go out and run our absolute best, and hopefully end up as a top-six 4A state team,” Lindquist said.

The Vikings are scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in Wamego.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel