MHS XC girls

In this file photo, the Manhattan High girls take off from the starting line at their home invitational on Sept. 4. The Indian girls took first at Emporia on Saturday. 

Manhattan High cross country continued its hot start to the 2021 season with team medal finishes at Emporia’s invitational at Jones Park.

The Indian girls grabbed their second gold of the season, beating Olathe East by a couple points. The results flipped on the boys’ team leaderboard, with Olathe East besting MHS.

Manhattan freshman Rebekah Pickering turned in another top-five finish, taking fifth overall with a time of 19:49.6 to lead the way for the Indians.

Junior Amelia Knopp finished eighth with a time of 19:55.7, sophomore Haley Henningson finished 16th (20:27.5), senior Rachel Corn took 19th (20:37.4), senior Morgan Turner took 22nd (20:43.6), junior Saylor Salmans finished 42nd (22:03.6) and junior Audrey Cook finished 54th (22:37.7).

Meanwhile, the Manhattan boys turned in a strong performance but could not catch an Olathe East squad that placed its top-five runners in the top 20.

MHS senior Ben Mosier (16:40.7) and freshman Landon Knopp (16:50.2) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, followed less by senior Max Bowyer, who took seventh (16:41.6).

Sophomore Ethan Bryant took 30th (17:40), sophomore Lucas Holdren finished 38th (17:56.5) and senior Parker Dawdy took 41st (18:08.6).

Up next, the Indians take their show out of state, as they travel to Joplin, Mo., for the Missouri Southern Stampede, one of the largest cross country meets in the Midwest.

Early season poll released

Cross country coaches around the state voted in the Jim Maska Early Season Poll, and several area teams found themselves among the top seven in their respective classes.

The Manhattan High boys are ranked first in Class 6A while the girls are No. 2, trailing only Olathe West.

The Wamego boys are second in Class 4A while the Red Raider girls are ranked fourth.

Both Riley County teams and the Rock Creek girls are receiving votes in Class 3A. The Wabaunsee boys and girls also are receiving votes in Class 2A.