Chanute High School Cross Country Team, a force to be reckoned with in the Southeast Kansas League (SEK), is ready to lace up their running shoes and hit the trails once again. Under the seasoned guidance of Head Coach Brett Rinehart, who boasts an impressive 11 years of experience, the team is gearing up for an exciting 2023 season.

In the previous year, the team had their share of victories and triumphs. The boys’ squad made a name for themselves by clinching the SEK league championship title. Their determination led them to secure an impressive 3rd place finish at the regional level and a commendable 12th place spot at the state meet. A standout performance by freshman sensation Easton Colborn, who secured the runner-up position at the SEK-league meet, underscored the team’s dedication. Notably, four of our runners found themselves in the top-6 at that very meet.

Meanwhile, the girls’ team showcased their resilience by clinching 4th place at the competitive SEK league meet. Although they narrowly missed the chance to qualify as a team for the state meet, Macie Moore, a sophomore standout, shone bright. Moore’s exceptional skills propelled her to a 5th place finish at regionals, earning her a spot at the state meet where she proudly secured 13th place, bringing home her first state medal.

The 2023 season brings both excitement and challenges. The team bids farewell to key players like Gage Jesseph and Brock Godinez, who left their mark with remarkable performances, and best times of 18:47 and 18:56, respectively. However, the return of seasoned runners, including Easton Colborn, who achieved an impressive 2nd place at SEK and a 6th place finish at regionals, brings optimism to the forefront. Also, the team boasts returning talents like Josept Lazzo-Barahona, Trenton Banks, and Tyler Rowden who are set to make their presence felt on the course.

The girls’ team, comprising Macie Moore, Violet Stich, and Jarynn Hockett, is gearing up to continue their ascent. Moore, who secured 4th place at SEK and an impressive 5th place finish at regionals, aims to establish herself as a top-5 contender at the state meet. With only five girls on the team, maintaining everyone’s health remains a key priority this season.

Adding to the excitement are promising newcomers who are eager to make their mark. Jaron Powers, a sophomore with a track record of success in football and the 3200-meter track event, joins the boys’ squad, alongside talented freshmen like Tucker Applegate, Mason Greve, and Joshua Schoenhofer. For the girls’ team, freshman standout Marlee Brown adds a fresh dose of enthusiasm.

As the 2023 season unfolds, both the boys’ and girls’ teams have their sights set on lofty goals. The boys aim to defend their SEK championship title, secure a return ticket to the state meet, and surpass their impressive 12th place finish from last year. Meanwhile, the girls’ team, though small in numbers, is determined to band together and improve upon their SEK league performance.

With former team members making their presence felt in college – such as Brock Godinez and Mackenzie Crapson at Neosho County Community College – the Chanute Cross Country legacy continues to thrive.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 12th, as Chanute High School once again hosts the SEK League meet, promising a day of thrilling competition and inspiring performances.