After resuming its spot at the top of the cross country coaches’ rankings this week, the Manhattan High boys’ cross country team backed up its top ranking with its fifth team victory of the season at the Junction City Invitational on Saturday.
The Indians won with a 17 team score, winning by 69 points over second-place Maize. Derby came in third with 111 team points. Overall, the boys’ team is 5-0 in meets this season, including wins in a pair of high-profile races that feature the best teams in the region.
Manhattan’s Chris Melgares won the boys’ race in a time of 16:13.34, with Jack Keeley (2nd, 16:27.50) and Jackson Schroeder (3rd, 16:28.56) right behind. Isaiah Koppes (5th, 16:36.68) and Josue Alvarado (6th, 16:37.65) rounded out the scorers for the Indians, with Nick Bandy (8th, 17:09.53) and Peter Gruenbacher (14th, 17:29.51) also running well, despite not counting toward the team score.
The team ran without one of its best runners in Michael Melgares, but still won easily.
On the girls’ side, Alaina Schroeder took second in the race in a time of 14:55.64, with Cara Melgares (3rd, 15:29.16) and Megan Ochoa (6th, 15:44.31) also finishing in the top 10. Taylor Efurd (20th, 16:31.72) and Katherine Culbertson (21st, 16:36.20) represented the other scorers for the Indians, while Rachel Beach (34th, 17:08.48) and Alyssa Smith (37th, 17:21.26) rounded out the Indians’ lineup.
The girls’ team took second place with a team score of 52 behind Maize, who won with a 39. Maize South was in third place with a 69.
Manhattan runs in Salina next week.