The Class 1A Kansas cross country championships were a time to
bid a fond farewell to one of the state's all-time greats, and launch what may
be a historic run for another.
Olpe's Kyler True won his third Kansas cross country state
championship, taking the 1A title in a good matchup with Beloit-St. John's
David Lutgen. True jumped to an early 40 meter lead over Lutgen that he managed
to hold, winning in 16:18. Lutgen was a solid second in 16:26.
True previously won state titles in Class 2A in 2014 and
2015. He becomes the eighth male runner in Kansas to win three individual state
titles, an accomplishment first achieved by Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills
from 1954-1956. There has never been a Kansas male runner who has won four
Lucas Skinner of South Gray, runner-up to True last year in
Class 2A, was third this year in a time of 17:25. Adam Bates of Beloit-St.
John's (17:41) and Quanah Gardiner of Ashland (17:42) rounded out the top five.
The Class 1A meet may also have launched a new run at state
championship history. Freshman Autumn Princ of Sylvan-Lucas capped off a season
in which she dominated the Class 1A ranks by winning the state title in a time
of 19:44. She won by a minute over Rock Hill's Sarena Meier.
Princ got a good look at what it looks like to be a
four-time state champ: Girard's Cailie Logue won the 4A title at Wamego on
Saturday, becoming just the fifth Kansas runner ever with four cross country
Robyn Selzer of Wallace County, runner-up a year ago, placed
third this year in a time of 21:09, followed by Paige Harris of Fowler (21:27)
and Sarah Tarn of South Gray (21:43). Tarn is also a freshman.
Goessel won the girls state team title in what seems to be
the only way the team knows how: In a very close finish. A week ago, they
battled St. Paul to a six-point win at the regional meet
At the state meet, they fought off Ingalls by five points,
while last year's state champions -- Greeley County, which barely qualified as
the fourth team out of their regional last week -- was third at state with 69
Ingall's team finish is impressive for another reason; the
squad has just four runners and had no margin for error if one of its runners
had an off day.
Lutgen's Beloit-St. John's teammates followed his lead to a
convincing win in Class 1A boys. The squad scored 51 points to beat Frankfort
(70) and South Gray (78).