Koger conquers state meet

LAWRENCE—Osage City High School junior Aundrea Koger followed up back-to-back top 10 performances at the state cross country meet with a third this year, this time winning the Class 3A girls’ race in 15 minutes and 47.93 seconds.

“Saturday felt pretty surreal, that’s for sure,” said Osage City coach Darcy Keeffe. “She knew what her goal was and what she needed to do to accomplish it. To actually see her accomplish this and become the state champion was phenomenal to witness.”

Koger set the bar in the lead group for much of the race through the finish line, where she four was seconds ahead of nearest rivals Jordan Puvogel, Hiawatha, and Klair Gibson, Douglass.

“I had told her before the race that she was the one for everyone to beat, and they were going to be looking at her to lead them,” Keeffe said. “That was her game plan as well. We talked about staying with the lead pack and then taking the lead. In the end, it was Aundrea that took the lead and won the race.”

“Amazing,” Koger told WIBW-TV following the race. “I didn’t think I would make it this far, coming in freshman year. I got eighth then, seventh sophomore year – it’s really great to finally get first.”

Koger was joined in the race by teammate Sarah Peterson, who placed 29th in 17:45.

“Sarah talked about what her goal of the day was, and she just wanted to run her hardest,” Keeffe said. “Battling mono earlier this season, we knew that she might not finish as high as she did last year.

“I was very proud of her performance and leadership this year,” Keeffe said. “I know that next year she is going to do great things.”

Keeffe looks forward to continued success from both runners in the future, eyeing another championship for Koger.

“Next year will be even more exciting to see,” Keeffe said. “I know that with her work ethic, she will be able to repeat this achievement.”

Dunn takes sixth in 2A

WAMEGO—Osage County’s 2A and 4A representative schools competed at the State Cross Country Meet at Wamego, led by Lyndon junior Chris Dunn, who placed sixth in the Class 2A boys’ race in 17:26.08.

“Chris had a great race,” said Lyndon coach Juanita Spitzenberger. “He started out really fast and led the race for a little over a half-mile before dropping back to fourth place. To start the last quarter of the race, Chris was in eighth place, but fought hard to finish in sixth.

“Chris started out too fast and he agrees that he should have probably started out with Ellinwood’s Pedro Montoya, who is probably the best 2A runner in the state and placed first overall this year,” Spitzenberger said. “I believe that nerves and adrenaline took over as the race was starting.”

Dunn was joined by teammate Dylan Cox, who place 71st in 20:13.04.

“Dylan started out really well,” Spitzenberger said. “He was running in 15th for awhile. He was back in 28th for a while and then he finished in 71st overall against a field of 101 runners.

“I am so very proud of what we accomplished this year,” Spitzenberger said. “It will not be an easy task next year as we are losing three off the boys’ varsity team and two from the girls’ varsity team. We know that we will have a lot of work to do over the summer to get ready for next season.”

Santa Fe Trail was also represented at Wamego by senior Derrick Zaldivar, who placed 59th in the Class 4A boys’ race in 18:36.03.

Burlingame was represented by senior Macy Lang, who placed 61st in the Class 2A girls’ race in 19:09.70.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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