Defending 2A champs look for another strong showing

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Berean Academy junior Andrew Harder is a returning state medalist for the Warriors, the defending Class 2A team champions.

Who to watch for:

• Junior Andrew Harder

• Senior Eli Nord

Coach's pick for top opponents:

HOAL — Remington girls, Hutchinson Trinity boys. Non-league — Buhler, Southeast of Saline.

Schedule:

Sept. 2 @ Clearwater Inv. 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 9 @ Swather Special, Hesston GC 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 @ Buhler Inv. (Westar-Prairie Ridge Cross Country Course) 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 @ Southeast of Saline Inv. 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 30 Berean Academy Inv. (Harvey County East Park) 4 p.m.

Oct. 7 @ Sterling Inv. 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 14 HOAL @ Westar-Prairie Ridge Cross Country Course, Hutchinson 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 23 Regionals TBA

Oct. 30 State @ Wamego CC TBA

ELBING — The Berean Academy boys’ cross country team is again poised to be among the class of the state among the small schools.

The Warriors returns two state medalists and one other state qualifier from the defending Class 2A state champions.

The Berean Academy girls return five state qualifiers from the eighth-place state team last season.

Lewis Wiebe returns for his fifth season as the Warriors’ head coach.

The Berean boys won the Heart of America League title and the Class 2A regional meet. The Warrior girls were fourth in the league and second at regionals.

“(The boys) have a couple really strong runners, and I feel like we have a number of other runners who have the potential to be very solid runners, so we could have a very strong team,” Wiebe said. “(The girls have a fair amount of experience back. We just need to get better and it will be key that some of the younger girls will have to step up to make our team strong.”

Returning medalists for the Berean boys include junior Andrew Harder, who finished fifth at state; and senior Eli Nord, who finished 13th at state.

Also back is state qualifier Nick Krebs, a sophomore.

Returning state qualifiers back for the Warrior girls are seniors Teagan Smith, Johanna Smith and Katherine Harms; junior Tayana Nord; and sophomore Abie Evans.

Looking to move up from the junior varsity ranks for the boys are juniors Creighton Kukula and Mason Regier; and sophomores Isaac Snook and Gavin Evans. Looking to move up for the girls are juniors Liz Bollinger, Madie Briggs and Kessa Case.

Newcomers for the Berean boys include seniors Zachariah Richards and Ethan Cornfeld; sophomore Trevor Nusz; and freshmen Elias Simken and Caden Zimmerman.

Newcomers for the girls include sophomore Hope Brickley; and freshmen Ellie Good, Serena Harder and Anna Powell.

Wiebe called the Hutchinson Trinity boys and Remington girls the top HOAL opponents for the Warriors this season.

The Trinity boys were sixth at Class 2A state last season, while Ell-Saline was seventh and Remington was 10th. The Remington girls were second in Class 2A, while Bennington was 10th.

Top non-league opponents include Southeast of Saline, which won both the girls’ and boys’ Class 3A title; and Buhler, which won the Class 4A boys’ title and placed fourth in Class 4A girls.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com