Wichita Trinity boys repeat, SES three-peats on Class 3A course
LAWRENCE, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The usual powers were back at it at the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships Saturday at Rim Rock Farm just outside of Lawrence. Last year, Wichita Trinity ended Southeast of Saline’s three-year reign atop the class. The Knights again defeated the Trojans to repeat as team champions. The Southeast of Saline girls won their third-straight title by a comfortable margin over Cheney.
Trinity junior Clay Shively lost the individual title to Southeast’s Dylan Sprecker last year in Wamego. Saturday, back on the normal 3A course at Rim Rock, Shively was shooting for a course record, which Shawnee Mission East senior Wyatt Haughton set earlier in the day at 14:59. Shively missed out on that but still won the championship by 15 seconds in 15:26.11. Classmate Jacob Hobson finished behind him in 15:41.26, followed by Collegiate senior Cj Meyer in 15:56.07 for the bronze. Collegiate sophomore Will Meyer ran fourth in 16:04.49, and Southeast of Saline senior Damion Jackson capped the top five in 16:11.43.
“I kind of figured I was going to be running by myself after the first mile or mile and a half,” Shively said. “I didn’t want to get too comfortable running not as hard as I can, so I set the goal to go after the course record of 15:10. I knew if I was in a race with (Shawnee Mission’s 6A runners Wyatt Haughton and Micah Blomker), I could definitely get it. I knew solo was definitely going to be a challenge.”
All five Knight scorers finished in the top-18 to win individual medals. Junior Samuel Ferguson finished eighth in 16:20.72, and sophomore Caleb Tofteland crossed three seconds behind him in ninth. Senior Ian Carroll placed 18th in 16:55.05. That means Trinity should remain a powerhouse in 2023.
“It’s amazing,” said Shively. “The Lord has just tied together a team of brothers who long for humility and love, but also long to run fast. We are currently the top team in the state, all classes. Next year, I believe we’re going to do that again. I believe the No. 1 team in the nation isn’t out of reach.”
Junior Levi Allen ran sixth for Southeast of Saline in 16:15.37, and Brayden and Cayden Walker finished 14th and 15th, respectively, for the Trojans in 16:31 and 16:36.
Trinity scored 35 points for the team win, followed by Southeast of Saline with 58 points, and Hiawatha with 155 points for the final team trophy.
SES girls three-peat in 3A
Losing an individual state champion can definitely impact a team score at the highest level. Southeast of Saline paid that no mind Saturday, easily beating the Cheney by 44 spots for a third-straight title with 64 points. Wichita Trinity scored 110 points for third place.
“It’s the girls’ ability to come in and put the miles in over the summer,” said SES coach Wade Caselman. “All of them have taken in what we want out of them, and they just apply it to what they do each and every day in practice.”
Prairie View sophomore Bree Allen finished behind SES’s state champion Jentrie Alderson last fall. With Alderson gone to graduation, Allen claimed her first title by 41 seconds in 18:56.48. SES, however, had three runners in the top-10, with sophomore Abby Commerford running fifth in 20:08.39, followed by senior Ashley Prochazka in seventh in 20:16.58, and freshman Breckyn Alderson in 10th in 20:24.49. Sophomore Cali Augustine placed 33rd in 21:21.62, and junior Brookelyn Adams won the final team points in 52nd in 22:01.05.
“It’s great to have that intersquad competition to help them become stronger and better,” Caselman said. “Having that depth is nice. If somebody has a bad race, we’ve got the depth that someone else can step in and be right there for them.”
Hesston freshman Ashley Lehman made an immediate splash with the silver medal in 19:37.91. Wichita Trinity freshman Brecken Howell followed her in 19:52.31 for the bronze. Cheney senior Abbye Hudson placed fourth in 19:58.74, and Commerford finished out the top-five.
Cimarron sophomore Janae Fugitt placed sixth in 20:16.09. Eureka freshman Rose Buck finished ninth in 20:17.04. Five of the top-10 individual finishers this year were freshmen, and three more were sophomores.
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