Week 5 - Quick Turnaround for Many in 1A-3A

Week 5 is always an interesting one in Kansas cross country. The Thursday meets are always a tough turnaround for those who competed hard at Rim Rock just 5 days earlier. The big meet of the week was a meeting of 20 schools at the Council Grove Reservoir. Chapman's Taylor Briggs took down a strong field in convincing fashion. Hadley Splechter was also present, leading a pack that included Chapman's Aaron Modrow (2nd) and Riley County's Brett Kulp (3rd). Each of the above athletes placed in the same spots a year ago.

Halstead's Invitational was no slouch either. A battle raged on the boys' side, with Southeast of Saline defeating Circle on a 6th man tiebreaker. Halstead wasn't too far behind, either. The individual battle between Southeast of Saline's Luke Gleason and Smoky Valley's Ryan Heline was a good one. Gleason took the lead late, but couldn't hold off the finishing surge from Heline.

Wyndom Giefer and Helen Giefer won their respected races at Ness City. Sound familiar? It should, the siblings have each won all 3 of their races this season. The pair ran a little faster this week, though. Helen won in 19:05, ahead of Colby's Lara Murdock who crossed in a respectable 20:28. Wyndom clocked in at 17:20. Wallace County's Trevor Fischer was giving chase, as usual, in 17:50. Scott City won both the boys and girls team titles.

At Central Heights, the undefeated Vikings found themselves in a tough spot, trailing Iola partway through the race, but they came back to win the meet by a hair, 33-35. Tyler Stevenson won the race for Central Heights. The girls race was full of familiar 3A names, but the champion was Elka Billings from Iola. She took the field out hard and was able to avoid any tactics involved with a lead pack by spreading everyone out early. To emphasize the toughness of this field, Wellsville's Paige McDaniel, a runner familiar with state titles, was 6th. Iola won a good team race over Fredonia (who are sporting some sharp new uniforms this season, by the way). Results haven't yet been posted for this meet, but race videos can be found on the meet page.

Clay Center ran well at the Junction City meet, where the boys averaged 18:14 to insert themselves in the 3A title hunt. The girls ran well too, averaging 21:48 and putting themselves atop the very fluid 3A standings. West Franklin's girls appeared to be in limited action this week, with only 1 of their scoring 5 in action. Hiawatha, another top 3A school, also appeared to be absent from action this week.

Lastly, we have the Centralia Invite. Wabaunsee isn't going to let Central Heights take the 2A crown so easily. The Chargers won the meet with 47 points and an 18:37 average, jumping to #2 in the class. The individual battle was tight, with Quinn Buessing of Axtell winning in 17:23, just six seconds ahead of JCN's Trevor Pentlin. Washington County freshman Natalie Harlan landed onto the 1A scene with a 20:10, defeating reigning Twin Valley champion Olivia Kuckelman from Axtell on her PR day of 20:28. Jefferson County North won the team title. Harlan currently has the 4th best time in 1A this year, behind runners from Lincoln and Berean Academy who recently dropped from 2A.

Kansas Milesplit is still looking for results from around the state this week. If you have results from the following meets, please send them in HTML or PDF form to jmadison@milesplit.com.
Pittsburg, Council Grove, Beloit, Berean Academy, Halstead, Horton, Maranatha, Pratt, and Syracuse.