Class 4A: Lakelin Conrad Wins Third Kansas X-C Title

It most certainly was not easy, but Lakelin Conrad of Wichita Collegiate became the ninth Kansas boy ever to win three state cross country titles Saturday at the Wamego County Club.

Conrad fought off Abraham Garcia of Hugoton to win the 4A state championship in 16:19.5. The win goes nicely with the 3A state championship he won in 2014 and the 4A title he won last year. Conrad was also third in the 4A championships in 2015.

No Kansas boy has ever won four state titles. Conrad's accomplishment comes on the heels of the same feat completed by Olpe's Kyler True last year.

Garcia's time was 16:23.1, leading Hugoton -- the class 3A state champs last year -- to third place in 4A this year. Cale Carson of El Dorado placed third in 16:30.0.

Circle High School won the boys' team championship with three state medalists and a 51 second pack time. Circle scored 54 to win a tight team race against Andover Central, which had 59.

Circle's Avery Stuever led his team with a fourth-place finish in 16:37.9. Emmett Keller was eighth in 16:58.8, and Eli Jacobson 18th in 17:09.6.

Andover Central ran well, with Matthew Maki in ninth (16:59.1), Kale Flores in tenth (17:00.5) and Monty Christo in 14th (17:04.8). Andover Central had its five runners in before Circle's five, but was not able to make up the early deficit.

In the girls' class 4A race, Baldwin returned to the top of the division with the school's 23d state championship, scoring 61 points for a relatively easy win over Andover Central, which had 92.

Baldwin freshman Ambrynn Stewart placed fourth in 19:45.2 and junior Natalie Beiter was eighth in 20:01.9 to lead their team. Freshman Lauren Russell also medalled in her first-ever state meet, placing 16th in 20:29.1.

Fort Scott placed third in the 4A girls standing, scoring 110 points.

Chapman's Taylor Briggs pulled off what many may consider a huge upset for the individual title. The freshman standout out-dueled Independence sophomore Renee Trout, winning in 18:46.4. Trout, who had won seven of eight races this season, was second in 18:59.7.

Briggs' win, however, probably wasn't much of a surprise to those in the middle of Kansas. She had been dominating her competition throughout the season, gradually dropping her season-best times. Saturday's win marks a personal best time, and she becomes the first-ever girls state champion from Chapman.

Aimee Davis of Clearwater, who was the runner-up in class 4A as a freshman last year, placed third this year in 19:18.6.