The Southeast of Saline boys cross country team capped a near-perfect season on Saturday, winning a thrilling dual with upstart Silver Lake to win the class 3A state championship at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence.
Dylan Sprecker led the way, winning the individual title in 16:31, pulling away late from a pack of pursuers that included Silver Lake's Kyler Kaniper (16:39), Norton Community's Connor Hall (16:40.02), and two of his teammates - Dominic Jackson (16:40.17) and Luke Gleason (16:43.48).
Southeast of Saline scored 35 while Silver Lake had 44 for the runner-up trophy. They were clearly the best two teams on this day.
Southeast of Saline also got strong finishes from Damion Jackson (13th, 17:12) and Andrew Hanson (26th, 17:36.82). The squad was especially good in the second mile of Saturday's race, where it seemed to take command of the team chase.
Silver Lake nearly match the defending champs, however. After Kyler Kaniper, the Eagles' top five included Cameron TenEyck (ninth, 17:02), Gabriel TenEyck (14th, 17:16), Kamryn Kaniper (18th, 17:22), and Mason Brokaw (20th, 17:28).
The win marks the seventh state title for Southeast of Saline's boys' program, matching the seven that the girls' program has won.
Southeast of Saline sophomore Jentrie Alderson won the first state title of her career, clocking 18:50.27. She entered with a season-best of 19:12, nearly 30 seconds better than anyone else in the division, and she proved to be the best in the field on Saturday.
Kats went home with a pretty nice prize, however, with the 3A team title this year. The rest of Norton Community's scoring five included Hannah Bailey (19th, 20:59), Jaelyn Rumback (21st, 21:04), Catherine Hall (26th, 21:20), and Dianna Douglas (42nd, 22:04). Bailey, Rumback and Hall were the epitome of team running, packing up early and moving as a group. Their pack mentality seemed to be a key component to the state championship.
For complete results of the class 3A state championships, see the results page on Kansas MileSplit.