The Skyline Thunderbirds boys and girls crosscountry teams both took HOPL league championships on Thursday. In a meet held at Kinsley, the HOPL portion was hosted by Burrton.
The T-Bird boys won handily, besting their closest competitor Pretty Prairie 20-36. The girls race was much closer, the Lady T-Birds edging Pretty Prairie 17-19 to claim their championship.
The top individual for Skyline on the day was Brooke Fisher who broke the tape for the girls in 16:37 to pocket the HOPL gold medal.
Other finishers for Skyline were Madalyn Owens 5th 20:02; Kadi Richardson 7th 20:35; Ascha Lee 9th 21:01; Briana Neifert 11th 27:08.
Roman Ibarra got the silver medal to lead the Skyline boys effort. He was 2nd in 17:36. Lucas Cason continued his steady improvement, getting 4th 17:59.
Right behind him was Tony Ibarra 5th 18:05. Colin Kumberg also had a top 10 finish, getting 10th 18:44.
Rounding out the Skyline finishers were Khaleb Cason 12th 19:21 and Jared Shriver 24th 21:27.
The Thunderbirds have been boasting a solid girls crosscountry team in recent years. In fact, the girls were defending the HOPL league title they won last year on the way to a state berth.
However, Skyline’s boys have not even fielded a full crosscountry team in the past several seasons, so for T-Bird head coach Lynette Freeman, this year has been special so far. The boys not only have a full squad, they are winning.
Coach Freeman was understandably ecstatic over her charges dual victory at the HOPL meet. “The kids did a fantastic job today,” she enthused. “I can’t put into words how proud I am of each and every one of these kids! It was one of their best meets so far this season, even with all the injuries on the team.”
Skyline will compete next Saturday October 26th in Regionals at Meade with a chance to qualify both boys and girls teams for State. “We are looking forward to it,” concluded Coach Freeman.