LINDSBORG —Smoky Valley High School cross country head coach Holly Lindquist isn’t shy about expectations for her boys team.
“Our boys team is returning all but one of our varsity team that finished fourth at state this past season,” Lindquist said. “We are looking for a state championship as a team, as well as for Calvin Shannon.”
Shannon is heading into his junior year after a phenomenal showing at the KSHSAA 4A State Track and Field Championships last spring.
Shannon took second place in the 1600 meters and the 3200 meters, while taking fifth in the 800 meters.
The 2015 cross country season ended with a seventh place finish for Shannon at state.
Although Shannon will be leading the Vikings, it will hardly be a one man show. SVHS has five returning runners, who placed in the top 76 at state. With the amount of talent and experience this team has, it’s no wonder Lindquist has state aspirations.
Leading the second tier Vikings is senior Logan Windholz, who placed 29th at state last year. Lindquist believes Windholz will be in the mix for a state championship, which gives him and Shannon great competition in practice.
Junior Zach Lott is looking to improve off his 53rd place at state, while Josh Peterson, Isaac Peterson and Carter Couchman all placed in the 70s range.
All these entries led the boys to a fourth place team finish. With Shannon and Windholz at the helm, the Vikings have a top three spot locked up if they race to their potential.
But the girls don’t have depth as a luxury, and will be “rebuilding” in 2016.
“The girls are young this year,” Lindquist said. “We lost three due to graduation, so we will be rebuilding the girls team.”
The girls return four from their varsity squad a year ago, which includes two sophomores, a junior and a senior. None of whom medaled at state.
The underclassmen outperformed the underclassman, as the freshman duo of Gracie Lott and Hailey Priddy both finished higher at state than junior Calley Cornett and lone senior Kaleigh Salzman.
The girls won the Central Kansas League last year, before taking ninth at regionals and not placing at state.
A quest for a state championship starts Sept. 1 at the Lindsborg Golf Course, as the boys and girls host a home invitational.
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