Saturday morning, the Dodge City Red Demons cross country teams compete at the 6A state cross country meet.
The race takes place in Lawrence, Kansas, at the Rim Rock Farm. The girls races at 10 a.m., with the boys starting at 11:45. During the time between the two, state races for 5A and 3A classifications will be starting.
Both Red Demons teams are just a week removed from last Saturday’s strong finishes at the regional meet. The girls finished first among girls teams, the boys finished second. This week’s course will be more familiar for the boys team than the girls, because the boys raced there back on Sept. 23.
The girls have not had a race there this season, but girls head coach Brian Lenz said he doesn’t think that will be a problem because teams get to run the course leisurely the day before, familiarizing themselves with it and discussing strategy for how to deal with the specific challenges it presents.
“We go up the day before and we’ll jog the course the day before and we’ll have the time to get really discuss the different aspects of the course as we go through it the day before,” Lenz said. “There’s no concern as far as any surprises or anything for em.”
The Red Demons top two girls runners, Ayanna Hensley and Luz Lopez are ones to watch out for. Hensley has run twice there with good results, Lenz said, and Lopez ran great last year at state on the same course.
“We’ve had a history of going up there and competing really well at the state meet, so I’m expecting the same thing this year,” Lenz said.
After last week’s performance, Lenz said it’s become clear the team runs their best at the end of the season.
“That was shown last week, and so I’m sure we should be able to carry that over another race,” Lenz said.
Boys head coach Buc Bolmer said the course is a little hilly, something Lenz also said, but both also testified to its quality, with Lenz saying it has some great facilities.
“It’s just designed to cross country,” Bolmer said. “It’s a beautiful course, pry one of the best in the nation in my opinion.”
Back in September, a few of the boys got jittery the night before, Bolmer said. That shouldn’t be the case this time though.
“I don’t think they’ll be as nervous this time around,” Bolmer said.