WFHS Cross Country

Head Coach: Ryan Hahn

Assistant Coaches: Jessica Bailey and Makayla Hahn

History has been made for West Franklin Cross Country! The Falcons toed the line on October 30th to face the state’s best in Wamego. Cool temps and clear skies set the stage for a great day of racing, and the athletes did not disappoint.

The boys team walked in with eagerness hidden under their determined faces. Having won their regional race, many of the team members were running at the state meet for the first time in their career. The crowds were roaring with excitement as the starting gun fired, and they were off. Up and down the relentless hills of the Wamego course, the Falcons passed runner after runner. Freshman Hunter Bailey propelled himself all the way to 19th place, giving him the title of an All State Cross Country Runner. Kyle Haner charged into the finishing chute in 28th, with Lucas Hassler having a fantastic race to place 35th. Lucas ran nearly a minute faster than he did at the state meet in 2020. The lead three were backed up by brave efforts from Martir Caceres-Ramos, Kale Link, Nathan Hassler, Noah King, and Timothy Pearce. As a team, they gathered and awaited the results to find that they had indeed achieved something remarkable. They finished in 6th place, making them the highest placing boys cross country team in West Franklin History.

This season brought many emotional moments. Big wins and subtle challenges. In the end, I could not be more proud of this boys team and their efforts. It has been an honor to watch them progress and to share each season with the four seniors who were the creators of such a great team culture.

The girls team followed about an hour later, with their excitement contained by their focus on the task at hand. Southeast of Saline was a heavy favorite to win in the last coaches poll, but the Lady Falcons were on the lookout for an opportunity to make the challenge for first. The race began, and they went on the hunt. A little more than a mile into the race, every Falcon had their eyes on a purple jersey. And the race was on. Emma Bailey capped off a stellar season by finishing in 4th place with a great time of 20:20 on the challenging course. Hope Crabtree ran a 20 second lifetime best to join Emma for All State honors in 16th place. Lily Judd held strong throughout the race for her teammates, placing 27th. Katie Cameron was one second from a lifetime best, as she came in ahead of a string of runners from Southeast. She claimed 30th place. Mackenzie Walter kicked hard into the finish in 38th. Liz Pischel and Lena Walter rounded out the West Franklin finishers, and the wait was on. When the dust had settled, and the scores were counted, both teams were well ahead of third place. A mere 17 points from stealing the title, the Lady Falcons had big smiles on their faces. Your 2021 Girls 3A State Runner Up Cross Country Team is West Franklin!

Each of these girls has their own story regarding how they got here and the challenges they faced. This season has been beautiful because we have been able to see their stories merge, creating a team of high quality individuals with the strongest of bonds. And now they have made history by claiming the best state finish in West Franklin history.

Thank you to the community for their wonderful support. From the best wishes this week, to fans traveling to Wamego, to the crowd celebrating the team’s return to the school, please know that we are very appreciative of every effort that you have made on our behalf.

Top 3 teams earned plaques. Top 20 individuals earned medals and the title of “All State”

High School Girls (Team 2nd*): Emma Bailey (4th*), Hope Crabtree (16th*),Lily Judd (27th), Katie Cameron (30th), Mackenzie Walter (38th), Liz Pischel (95th), Lena Walter (96th)

High School Boys (Team 6th): Hunter Bailey (19th*), Kyle Haner (28th), Lucas Hassler (35th), Martir Caceres-Ramos (72nd), Kale Link (81st), Nathan Hassler (86th), Noah King (91st).





2021 Girls 3A State Runner Up Cross Country Team

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Girls

Lily Judd

Emma Bailey

Hope Crabtree

Katie Cameron

Mackenzie Walter

Lena Walter

Boys

Nathan Hassler

Timothy Pearce

Kale Link

Noah King

Kyle Haner

Martir Caceres-Ramos

Lucas Hassler

Andre Snow

Hunter Bailey

Gideon King