RIM ROCK FARMS — The Newton High School cross country teams found the going at Rim Rock Farms a bit of a struggle, as both the Railer boys and girls finished 10th Saturday at the Class 5A state championships.
In the girls' competition, St. Thomas Aquinas posted a perfect score of 15 to win the team title. Bishop Carroll was second at 69. Mill Valley was third at 125. Newton had a team score of 238.
In the boys' competition, Bishop Carroll won with 30 points, followed by St. Thomas Aquinas at 64 and Mill Valley at 104. Newton had a team score of 280.
"This wasn't our best day necessarily," Newton coach Richard Mick said. "We were hoping both teams could finish in the top eight. We have a relatively young team, so scoring well is relatively hard to do. Our kids gained so good experience, so hopefully, they can come back here next year and score even better."
The Railer girls were led by senior Ashlyn Glann in 35th in 16:49.59, followed by sophomore Sadie Winter in 45th in 17:01.21, junior Kasey Stucky in 49th in 17:11.84, junior Elyse Bergquist in 81st in 18:08.80, sophomore Alexa Alexander in 97th in 19:29.96, junior Ashley Akers in 100th in 19:42.26 and senior Ashlynn Hamm in 104th in 20:04.34.
For the Newton boys, sophomore Robert Loeffler was 48th in 17:47.98, junior Thomas Kelso was 50th in 17:50.78, freshman Sam Blaufuss was 80th in 18:34.04, sophomore Caleb Nelson was 89th in 19:02.82, senior Jaecy Friesen was 90th in 19:03.38, sophomore Jason Granados was 96th in 19:13.62 and senior Jack Polley was 99th in 19:31.96.
"I'm happy with the effort," Mick said. "We were hoping for a medal. We were hoping one or two individuals could get a medal. It's tough for us because we don't have hills to train on. There are no hills in Newton. We do what we can, but it feels like you're not prepared for us. Our kids have done everything we ask of them. We try to go to meets with hills — Manhattan, the course at McPherson."
Newton loses five seniors.
"We lose a great group of seniors," Mick said. "We appreciate the effort they gave — not just this year, but in the previous three years. The best thing (the returnees) can do is go out for track and understand how important the summer is for getting ready. Summer is really critical. It's a year-round deal now."