KS State Meet Preview: Contenders from Every Direction in 6A

Olathe West's girls pose with their first state championship trophy in 2020. The Owls seek their second on Saturday. (Photo by Lathe Cobb) 


Four years ago, the Olathe school district opened its 5th high school in Olathe West. This was in hopes to relieve the overcrowded buildings at Olathe North and Northwest, which both had over 2200 students. It didn't take long for West to become a powerhouse in girls cross country, getting 2nd at state in 2019, and winning last year. The Owls are nationally ranked, with big wins all over the country, including Roy Griak in September. They have a 63-second pack time, average 18:36 through their top-5, and have multiple top-10 runners in Kate Miller and Bree Newport. You'd think they'd be destroying the competition in Kansas, right?


Olathe West is the undefeated 6A favorite, don't get me wrong. Olathe North, the very school they broke away from, has an elite team of their own, though. They've given West all they have and came up short time and time again, but in doing so they've become virtually unbeatable by the rest of the state. Anjali Hocker-Singh and Kaylee Tobabsen are an incredible 1-2 punch. It's scary to think that these schools were combined just a short time ago... That would easily be a top-10 team nationally.


With the two Olathe Schools ready to go 1 & 2, there's still another state trophy up for grabs. That may be a battle between Centennial League rivals Washburn Rural and Manhattan. Rural has won the last couple of meetings, but it's been close and Manhattan had a win early in the year. Blue Valley Northwest has come on strong at the end of the season, and their momentum could carry them to the podium. Shawnee Mission North, winners of the Shawnee Mission regional, are a dark horse in the team race as well.

Individually, Olathe North's Hocker-Singh and Tobabsen will be at the front, along with West's Miller and Newport. They were all at the Blue Valley Regional last week. Also in that pack was Blue Valley's Tori Wingrove, the EKL champ. They'll be challenged by Dodge City's Serenity Larson, Washburn Rural's Madeline Carter, and Shawnee Mission East's Grace Meyer. All three of them powered their way to regional championships last weekend.


For the boys, it's a few different Olathe schools leading the way. This time it's South and East. Great, we've got all the cardinal directions covered. Good job, Olathe. South is undefeated against 6A competition this year. Led by senior Matthew Tolman, the Falcons are poised to reclaim the state crown. East showed that they're able to make a run for it, though. They were just 1 point behind at the Sunflower League. Olathe South's 17-point cushion at regionals makes them seem like more of a favorite, though.

Outside of those two, Free State, the defending champs, is coming on strong late. They knocked off Manhattan at regionals, and could knock on Olathe East's door should East have an off day. Shawnee Mission North is the more likely candidate to snag a trophy, though. They took care of business at the Shawnee Mission regional and have been consistent all year.

On the individual front, this is Micah Blomker's race to lose. The Shawnee Mission North product slipped up at league with a loss to SM East's Wyatt Haughton but squashed Haughton's hopes at regionals with a 26-second victory. Eight of the top-10 and all of the top six athletes in last year's state meet were seniors, so things will be different this time around. Free State's Ben Shryock was the top returner and was a regional champ last weekend. Olathe South's Tolman has the 2nd best time in 6A this year but was defeated at regionals by Olathe East's Carter Stewart and Olathe West's Aidan Reyna. Any of them could challenge for a top-3 finish. Daniel Zoller of Wichita East was also a regional champ, so keep an eye on him if things get interesting.

KS Milesplit Predictions - Matt Goeckel

Boys Team: Olathe South

Boys Individual: Micah Blomker, Shawnee Mission North

Girls Team: Olathe West

Girls Individual: Anjali Hocker-Singh, Olathe North