The Dodge City Red Demons cross country teams are Western Athletic Conference Champions.

Both the boys and girls teams finished first in the WAC meet Thursday.

The Dodge City Red Demons boys cross country team finished first in the Western Athletic Conference Meet Thursday in Great Bend.

Senior Javier Marquez finished first, winning the race in a time of 16:55.

It was far from the only good news for Marquez who was recognized as the WAC Runner of the Year. Marquez, junior Giovanni Valverde, and senior Montel Love earned All-WAC selections, and senior Quest Weller was an honorable mention.

Marquez said it feels good to get recognized like that, but it feels better to get recognized as a team than as an individual.

The team's victory Thursday was one of many strong performances by the team this season.

"I was kind of worried because it was a close race, but we got it done," Marquez said. "It feels good to win with your teammates."

Valverde finished third in a time of 17:01.4. Love finished fifth in a time of 17:10. Weller finished ninth in a time of 17:20. Finishing 15th was sophomore Israel Rojas, who completed the course in a time of 17:36.

Senior Jesus Solis wasn’t far behind, finishing 16th in a time of 17:38. Sophomore Eduardo Hernandez finished 21st in a time of 18:15. Rounding out the Red Demon runners was junior Alfonso Rodriguez finished 22nd in a time of 18:16.

The Red Demons' success this year has been a product of a lot of hard work, Marquez said.

"We put in a lot of miles over the summer, and it feels good to know that it paid off," Marquez said.

Head coach Buc Bolmer said it has been great to have Marquez on the team.

"He's been a leader," Bolmer said. "He's been varsity ever since he was a freshman, so he's been a leader to all of these guys because most of them are on their second year of running varsity."

Most of the varsity team's runners have been junior varsity the last two years, he said.

"That just shows you how much they've improved by doing the offseason work," Bolmer said. "(Javier) is just a good leader and a good example to the team, and now they're all right behind him running wise. We don't have that big a gap. "

The Red Demons are next in action at 10:40 a.m. Oct. 20 at the the Wichita-East High School Regional Meet, scheduled to take place at the Wichita-Cessna Activities Center.

It'll be a course the Red Demons are familiar with, with some good teams, such as Wichita East, which Bolmer called probably the favorite, as well as Garden City and Liberal, the latter of which is new to the regional.

"It'll be another fight," Bolmer said. "I think the kids will be looking forward to the challenge. They like challenges."

Here were the final team placings at the WAC meet Thursday:

1. Dodge City - 33 points
2. Great Bend - 38 points
3. Garden City - 76 points
4. Liberal - 78 points
5. Hays - 145 points