Thunderbirds support a big team of runners this year, host a bigger home meet in 2021
Skyline School hosted a cross country meet on Saturday, September 11 in Pratt, and despite a 10 a.m. start time, the day and the competition got hot.
"We had 19 schools with 198 runners entered," said Skyline Cross Country Coach Mike Neifert. "We welcomed Pretty Prairie for the first time ever and had last year's new team, Wichita - Central Christian Academy, back. Even with a couple of schools choosing the meet in Wamego over ours, the field grew from 162 to 198. Another team has inquired about joining us next year."
The size of Skyline's cross country team has increased this year also. The Thunderbirds currently have 12 middle school runners - six girls and six boys, and 11 high school runners - eight boys and three girls.
Many Pratt-Skyline runners posted personal best times in the meet that was won by Pretty Prairie High School in the varsity girls team competition and La Crosse High in the varsity boys team competition.
"I'm really happy with how our runners responded to the conditions," Neifert said. They ran with heart, even though temps go up into the 90s by the end of the meet. It's always good to see great performances against larger schools."
Top placers for Skyline included Cory Hampton and Kyanna Davidson, who placed 20th (29.26) and 21st (29.44) respectively, in the girls varsity race. For the boys, Ethan Robinson led all Skyline runners, placing 5th (20.04).
Other area teams with top 10 runners included Macksville with Jesse Nava in 8th place (20.54) boys varsity, and Abigail Ibarra 14th (26.24) in girls varsity.
Neifert said that more than a dozen volunteers - parents, teachers, and staff members - helped get the course ready and kept things running smoothly during the meet. Pratt County EMS's presence made sure runners who had difficulties were quickly and well cared for, including those who had trouble dealing with the heat.
Skyline cross country teams competed at Chapparal on September 16 and travel to Larned to run on Thursday, September 23.