2023 KSHSAA State Cross Country - 6A Recap

What do Kate Miller, Anjali Hocker-Singh, and Bree Newport have in common? They all walked away from Rim Rock on Saturday with their 4th state title.

Hocker-Singh completed the rare 4-peat of individual titles, and joins an elite list of former Kansas four-time champions that includes Dodie Martin of Stanton County (2A, 1995-1998); Amy Mortimer of Riley County (3A, 1995-1998); Trisa Nicoley of Shawnee Heights (5A, 2000-2003); Laura Roxberg of Blue Valley Northwest (6A, 2004-2007); Cailie Logue of Girard (4A, 2013-2016), and Taylor Briggs of Chapman (4A, 2017-2020).

For Olathe West, they become the first 6A team to win four in a row. Even Shawnee Mission Northwest didn't complete that feat during their run of 10 titles from 1990-2005. Bree Newport and Kate Miller have been on all four of the Owl title teams.

The race itself went about as expected. Anjali Hocker-Singh pulled away to win in 17:30, followed by Washburn Rural's Payton Fink in 18:12. Lorna Rae Pierce of Junction City held off Kalyn Willingham (Olathe West) and Amy Gotfredson (Olathe South) for third.

The Owls medaled their entire top five, while runner-up Olathe North medaled four. That has been the story all year, where West wins the team battle over their next-door neighbor with their killer 5-6-7 combo, which once again finished ahead of North's #5. Final score, 45-68.

Shawnee Mission East upset Washburn Rural to claim the third place trophy 103-113. The Lancers packed together a little better than the Jr. Blues and had a solid top-10 showing from Lida Padgett.

For the boys, it was sweet, sweet victory for Micah Blomker. The Shawnee Mission North senior would not be denied in his final trip to Rim Rock, leaving no doubt early that he would be the champion. Crossing the line in 15:18, he was the fastest of the day over the state course. Brock Olsen of Blue Valley West was in the silver medal position most of the race, but Parker Walion (Gardner-Edgerton) was on his heels most of the third mile. Dylan Plath (Olathe South) also had a good day, beating out Max Larson (Shawnee Mission South) for fourth place.

The 6A boys team race was one of the best of the weekend. Shawnee Mission North was the leaders through three runners, with Gavin Montagne and Diego Rojas finishing ahead of Gardner-Edgerton's #2. Olathe East packed their 2-3-4 together well in the 20-30th place range, and Free State had the tightest pack with the best 5th and 6th runners. It was too close to call at the finish line, and it seemed like everyone performed well, but it was Gardner-Edgerton taking the win with 76 points. Olathe East rode their middle pack to second place with 93, while Shawnee Mission North's front three led them to third with 102. Free State's pack was just a little too late to the line, scoring 111.