Halstead Emerges from Backyard Brawl

Believe it or not, Halstead has not always been the state powerhouse we've come to know. In fact, their lone state appearance before their current run came in 1997 where they placed 6th. In 2010, the program was at rock bottom, sitting 42nd of 44 3A teams in Milesplit's database. By 2013 the program was back at state for the second time in school history. Halstead's three titles since then have placed them in a three-way tie for 2nd all-time among 3A schools. The only school ahead of them? Southeast of Saline, whose last title just happened to be witnessed by Halstead in 1997. The Trojans have been asleep since their runner-up finish in 2009, but this year they are back in style. The two schools, among others, met in the fields surrounding Southeast of Saline High School in the heat of Tuesday afternoon. Halstead came out of the dogfight with a 45-46 victory. Seeking revenge, the Trojans march into the Dragons' nest this week, visiting Halstead's Wedgewood Golf Course for the meet on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Goessel won both team titles at Marion on Tuesday. Collin Oswalt was on double-duty this week, winning the boys individual title and then running 15:54 on Saturday in Rim Rock's gold race. Also running twice this week was Hugoton, who won the boys title at Ulysses and both team titles at Stanton County. Isaiah Barrea of Stanton County (17:48) and Paige Harris of Ashland (21:00) won the individual titles at Stanton Co.

Sabetha's girls won the Tonganoxie Invite behind a 2-3 finish by Hattie Lukert and Skylar McAfee. Atchison's Adalynn Collins won the meet in 20:57. The absence, possible due to injury, of Senior Megan Meyer hurts Sabetha's chances at a 3A title. On the boys side, Tonganoxie took the meet, while Hayden freshman Tanner Newkirk ran a 17:20 for a gold medal.

On Thursday, Marysville's boys took the Republic County meet despite a 1-2 punch by Beloit-St John's Caleb Eilert (17:42) and Brandon Bates (17:49). Republic County's girls won their team title as well. At Royal Valley, Daniel Little of Jackson Heights won in 17:59, and Rossville's Julia Streit won in 21:34. The team champions were Perry-Lecompton's boys and Jackson Heights' girls.

Last, and certainly not least, is the Rim Rock Classic, where a majority of the 1A-3A schools competed in the blue race. Buhler's Tanner Lindahl put out a strong race and won in 16:23, ahead of Hiawatha's Justin Hodge who crossed at 16:49. The female champion was Renee Trout of Independence(KS), crossing the finish in 19:29. While Buhler won the division on both sides and 4A schools dominated the team scores, there was strong showings from the lower classes. Norton's boys beat Hiawatha by just 20 points, and KC Christian's performance put them in the conversation for 2A. For the girls, Scott Community proved they're legit by narrowly taking down 3A favorites West Franklin and Hiawatha, along with 7 other schools from last year's 3A state meet. Bennington also showed they're the team to beat in 2A this year, posting an average of 22:01.

Kansas Milesplit is still looking for results this week from Larned, Nemaha Central, Oxford, Wabaunsee, and West Franklin. If you have them, please email them to jmadison@milesplit.com