Cross country takes second at Regionals

Julianna Poe, Online Editor-in-Chief

State is on the horizon for both the girls and boys Manhattan High Varsity cross country team after two Regional Runner-Up titles.

“I feel like we did really well as a team and we accomplished our goal of qualifying for State,” freshman Landon Knopp.

Freshman Rebakah Pickering led the girls team with a fourth place finish. Not far behind her, sophomore Haley Henningson took sixth, freshman Malea Jobity secured 12th, senior Rachel Corn placed 14th and to finish the team score, freshman Jalissa Jobity took 16th.

“This is the, I would say personally, the best cross country season I have had and I feel like this is the strongest I’ve run before,” Corn said. “This is definitely the highest on the team I’ve ever placed. I’ve been pretty consistently the fourth or fifth place runner and so overall [with] this being my senior season and everything I’m really happy with how that’s been going.”

For the boys race, senior Ben Mosier secured a second place finish, 11 seconds from a first place title. Knopp placed fifth, senior Max Bowyer took seventh, sophomore Ethan Bryant secured 11th and senior Parker Dawdy placed 15th.

“I was just really excited just to get a chance to [go] to State,” Knopp said.

The week before Regionals, the Centennial League meet was held at the same location: Milford Lake. Instead of feeling prepared going into Regionals, according to Corn, knowing “where all the difficult parts were” led to her “anticipating” their struggle instead of overcoming them.

“I kept thinking that it was going to be so much easier the second time around [because of] knowing what all the hard parts of the course were and knowing how to tackle it,” Corn said, “but it ended up being so much harder because [I knew] where all the difficult parts were [and I was] kind of anticipating them the whole time.”

For Knopp, however, running the course the week before helped him better prepare to race.

“I just kind of knew what was coming and that helped me mentally prepare,” Knopp said.

For many runners on the Varsity team, this is their last year competing.

“I am already really emotional about it. I’ve been doing this for four years. It’s really become a big part of who I am and I have a lot of my friends and different relationships with people because of the sport so it’s really weird that this is my last week of practice,” Corn said. “I am not trying to run in college so it’s really final for me so I’m excited for it, but I’m really not looking forward to not ever doing it again.”
On Saturday, the team will travel to Andover for State.

“We’re just really excited to represent MHS,” Knopp said. “[Our team goal] is probably just to place, especially for our seniors, both boys and girls.”