No Surprise: Oswalt, Vath Roll to 1A Titles

Collin Oswalt became the first state cross country champion ever in the 63-year history of Central Christian High School when he out-ran the field Saturday at the class 1A championships in Wamego.

Oswalt, a sophomore, raced to the front and kept the pressure on throughout. He won the race in a time of 16:37.3. Caleb Eilert of Beloit-St. John (16:58.3) and Trevor Fischer of Wallace County (16:59.3) were game competitors, finishing second and third on Saturday.


Oswalt was third at this meet a year ago, and picked up a couple of medals in the 1600 (sixth) and 3200 (fourth) at last spring's track and field championships. Saturday's race also was his seventh win in eight races this season.


Oswalt has now won 25 of 31 races on record in his high school career. That's a winning percentage of .806 - and he's likely to become even more dominant over the next couple years.


Lincoln's girls crushed the field, flirting with a perfect team score as sophomore Jaycee Vath and senior Aubry Donley put up a 1-2 finish. Lincoln scored 16 points for the team title, beating Berean Academy (41 points) and South Central (86).


It was the first individual state title for Vath, whose time on Saturday was 19:47.7. She placed second in the class 2A race last year, and had a pair of third-place finishes in the track championships last spring.


Vath is just the second girls state champion ever for Lincoln; Jenna Farris won three consecutive titles from 2010 through 2012.


Donley was the only class 1A runner to have beaten Vath this year. Saturday, she beat everyone else in class 1A with a time of 20:13.6. Kristin Hackney of South Central finished third in 20:30.7.


Lincoln's team-win was punctuated by a pair of freshmen, Raegen Stewart (21:26.4) and Shelbie Ford (21:31.7), who finished eighth and ninth. Berean Academy was led by Erin Topham (20:47.9) and Brooke Weibe (21:03.4), who finished fifth and sixth.


In class 1A boys, the heavily-favored St. John's boys fell victim to an upset by Wallace County - and it was a thriller. Wallace County scored 42 points for a one-point win over St. John. It's the first-ever state championship for Wallace County.


Fischer's third place finish was a huge key for Wallace County, but the squad also got a medal-winning performance by Richard Kaiser (12th, 18:02.8). St. John was led by a fifth place finish by AJ Miller, and a 13th place by Mason Osborne (18:08.1).


Last year's state champs, Beloit-St. John, was third this year, scoring 72 points to edge Axtell by two points for the final podium spot.