Sian Helfrich took 1st in the CKL girls cross country race; PHS' boys took 3rd as a team.

Sian Helfrich, freshman at Pratt High School, went from competing in JV meets early in the season to winning the Central Kansas League varsity meet on Thursday at Sixth Street Park.

In addition, the boys team had a nice third place finish on their home course among the 11-school field.

Helfrich led virtually wire-to-wire and bested her nearest competitor by 19 seconds. Helfrich's CKL-winning time was 22:03.

“Sian ran an excellent race,” PHS head coach Kathy Hitz said. “Her confidence has grown over the last few meets and she is willing to put herself in the front. At one point in the race she got passed and she kept herself close enough that she was then able to reclaim the first position and over the course of the last mile pull away. It is exciting for her to be league champion as a freshman.”

Her running mate Shawndra Bare also was an all-league medalist at 13th 23:36. “She had to battle for that,” Hitz explained. “She’s been ill.”

Pratt had two all-league performers on the boys side. Raul Orozco was 7th 18:08 and Nate Kolm was 8th 18:14.

Smoky Valley won the boys team race with 49 pts. Halstead had 55 and PHS 94. In the girls team competition, Larned edged out Smoky Valley 39-42. Halstead was 3rd with 60.

Other scorers for the Greenback boys were Sergio Adame 24th 19:15; Riley Decker 25th 19:17; Cody James 33rd 20:24.

PHS' displacers (pushers) were Elijah Gatlin 39th 20:39 and Kaiser Pelland 43rd 20:57.

“The boys competed hard, it just was a very competitive race for that team title,” Coach Hitz mentioned. “Their times were comparable to what they ran on our course two weeks ago.”

Next for the Frog harriers is the McPherson 4A regional next Saturday.