Traveling just down the road to Junction City, the Manhattan cross country teams beat Maize in both varsity races to sweep first-place honors at the Junction City Invitational Saturday.
Alaina Schroeder took first place in the girls’ race in a time of 14:39.85. Behind her was Christina Wankum (15:42.34) in fifth place and Megan Ochoa (15:54.49) in sixth. Emilie Liebe (16:17.50) was 14th and Katherine Culbertson (16:34.73) and Amanda Frakes (16:46.48) were 19th and 25th, respectively. Lauren Wankum (16:53.50) finished in 26th place.
Manhattan won the girls’ race with 44 points, five points ahead of second-place Maize. Derby took third with a 67 team score, with Great Bend (97) and Salina South (151) rounding out the top five.
On the boys’ side, Manhattan won by a larger margin. The Indians took first with a team score of 45, with Maize behind them in second with a 63. Derby (100) took third, with Great Bend (123) and Hays (124) rounding out the top five.
Chris Melgares (16:28.43) and James Leblow (16:33.86) finished third and fourth, individually, while Michael Melgares (17:04.82) finished in the top 10 in ninth place.
Isaac Blankenau (17:17.80) took 12th, with Isaiah Koppes (17:39.67) right behind in 18th place.
Cale Benne (17:50.70) and Zane Hayden (18:02.36) rounded out the MHS scores in 24th and 31st place, respectively.
“Times were solid today and kids competed tough,” head coach Susan Melgares said. “They are still putting in higher mileage and tough workouts, so legs are less than fresh.”
The Manhattan coach was proud of her teams for finishing ahead of Maize, which is typically among the state’s best.
“Maize is one of the best teams in the state this year,” she said. “So it is a good achievement for both boys and girls to beat them.”
Manhattan is back in action next week at the Salina Central Invitational.