MHS girls 6th at state cross country

By Grant Guggisberg

LAWRENCE — With a sixth-place finish and a pair of individual medals in the Class 6A girls’ race, the Manhattan High girls’ cross country team made their coach proud on Saturday at Rim Rock Farm.

Alaina Schroeder repeated her third-place performance from last year in a time of 15:20.03, with Cara Melgares (16th, 16:00.21) also medaling.

“They competed,” Manhattan head coach Susan Melgares said. “We have not had as high of a talent level as maybe we have had in the past, but the girls gave everything they had. What else can you ask? You have to be proud of them and thank them for that.”

Manhattan finished with a team score of 158, tied with Maize, but lost the tiebreaker because of its sixth runner score.

Megan Ochoa finished in 27th place (16:21.98), with Mackenzie Gwinner (78th, 17:32.01) and Taylor Efurd (84th, 17:44.90) rounding out the team score. Molly Bollman (86th, 17:54.57) and Katherine Culbertson (92nd, 18:27.07) rounded out the group.

“We came in with the No. 5 ranking, and I guess it was a tie for fifth,” Melgares said. “So we held about where we’ve been all season. That’s always a nice thing to place at state as your ranking. So it was good.”

For Schroeder, the goal was to win in her final race at state, but she was pleased with the finish.

“I did the very best I could,” Schroeder said. “Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself after the race, and obviously I wanted to win, but I left it all out there. I can’t ask for more from myself than that.”

While the girls’ team was hoping for a top-three finish and some team medals, Schroeder knows each of her teammates did their best.

“The goal for the meet was to leave it all out there,” Schroeder said. “This was our last race of the season. I can’t ask anymore from them — I know they did their very best.”

Melgares said she was proud of Schroeder’s performance in her last cross country meet.

“It was a very solid race for her,” Melgares said. “I’m proud of her, especially with her challenges health-wise. She ran very tough today and a third place finish in Class 6A is very impressive.”

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