Posted Date: 10/20/2017
Luke Oatney Runs Into School History
Luke Oatney recently captured his fourth consecutive Northeast Kansas League Cross Country championship when he ran away from the competition at the meet held at Jackson Heights High School. Luke is close to winding up an outstanding four-year career, competing with the Rams team. Not only has he been league champion every year he has been in high school, but he also holds the league record for the five kilometer (3.1 miles) event.
Luke will run at Regionals on Saturday, October 21, and will be looking to return to the familiar course at Rim Rock Farm, north of Lawrence, for the Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 3A meet, scheduled for October 28. Luke has participated in three previous State meets, having placed second at Regionals his freshman year (2014) and then winning Regionals the past two years (2015 and 2016).
Luke has placed in the top ten at State in his three previous years, earning a ninth place finish his freshman year, second place his sophomore year and eighth place last year, his junior year. He is one of only four runners in the history of Pleasant Ridge High School Cross Country to medal three times at State, with Charles Gray (PRHS Class of 1983), Brian Gray (Class of 1987) and Josh Knight (Class of 1990) being the others. Luke will look to become the first ever runner from Pleasant Ridge to place four times.
The teams Luke has run with have won four straight NEKL championships, and have placed in the top ten at State for three straight years (second in 2014, fifth in 2015 and third in 2016). If Luke qualifies for State this year, he will be only the second runner in the history of the school to be a four-time qualifier (Brian Gray, being the other). Dayton Flack, another senior on this year’s team, also has that possibility, as he has run on teams the last three years that qualified.
Running is part of the Oatney family as Luke’s mother, Rita (Wagner) Oatney was a state champion in the 800 and ran a leg on the 4X400 relay team that took gold at the State Track meet in 1983.
Luke, and the rest of the team, will run at Riley County High School on Saturday, October 21, and will look to qualify for State, the following Saturday, at Rim Rock Farm.