From My View: The Race for the 6A Girls Title

Kansas MileSplit reporter Pat Melgares joined the throngs of spectators at the class 3A/5A/6A Kansas State Cross Country Championships who ran from point to point watching each race unfold.


Today, we'll take a look at how the race for the class 6A girls individual state title shaped up, through Pat's camera lens. We'll look at other races in the days to come.


Strong Start: Just past 1/2 miles in, the lead pack includes all of the top contenders for the individual title. Washburn Rural's Jaybe Shufelberger (far left), who enters with the top time in the state at 17:59.8, sets the opening pace. Just off her shoulder is the 2017 state champion, Riley Beach of Blue Valley Northwest.



First Break: Shufleberger, Beach (hidden) and Mill Valley's Katie Schwartzkopf make the first move, leaving the rest of the pack at 3/4 miles.


Midway point: Just past 1 1/2 miles, Schwartzkopf, a freshman, is running like a seasoned vet. She has a lead of a couple strides over Manhattan's Clara Mayfield, the 2017 state runner-up. Beach is in third and Shufelberger is in fourth.


Lead Change: Mayfield grabs the lead for the first time on the lower portion of the course.


Two Miles: Mayfield appears to be in control, stretching the lead to 25 meters over Schwartzkopf and another 30 over Beach.


Drastic Change: Just past King's Bridge, at the top of the hill, Schwartzkopf and Beach have rallied to overtake Mayfield and appear headed for a sprint showdown across the Jim Ryun Skyline.


All Alone: Beach is hit hard by dehydration and fades quickly. Schwartzkopf, however, is seemingly not affected by the heat late in the race. She is in full stride and pulling away on the Jim Ryun Skyline. She turns a tight race into a 23-second victory and the fastest time among all classifications, 18:19.50.


Fight for Home: Mayfield fights down the Jim Ryun Skyline, seemingly fending off dehydration, as well. She hangs on for third place. Shufelberger, seen on the far, lower left of this picture, rallies late to grab the runner-up spot.

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