In sports, sometimes the outcome of games or meets doesn't
come close to matching the hype leading up to the event.
That was not the case this past weekend.
In fact, I'd say this past weekend's onslaught of league
meets was under-hyped compared to the excitement that came pouring in with
results from one league meet after another beginning last Thursday.
There were nine girls in Kansas who went under the 19:00
mark, and three of those didn't even win their league meet. One girl - Molly Born
of Shawnee Mission Northwest - went wayyy
under 18:00, putting up an other-worldly time of 17:37 to win the Sunflower
League championship at Rim Rock Farm.
Only one guy went under 16:00 during league championship
week: Calvin Shannon of Smoky Valley clocked 15:57 to win the Central Kansas
That same league had one of two ultra-exciting team finishes
where a defending state champion had to claw for a victory. Despite Shannon's
winning time, his Smoky Valley team fell one point short of taking down
defending class 3A champion Halstead, which scored 46 points.
In the Eastern Kansas League, reigning 5A state champion St.
Thomas Aquinas' girls beat St. James Academy by two points. St. James Academy,
with a team of seniors and freshmen, has emerged as a serious threat to unseat
St. Thomas as the 5A champs, having beaten the Saints and everyone else at the
Rim Rock Farm Classic in late September. On Saturday, St. James posted a pack
time of 18 seconds but ultimately couldn't overcome St. Thomas' top-end
St. Thomas Aquinas junior Margaret Pigott, the defending
individual state champ in 5A, won the EKL with a time of 18:49, the fourth
fastest time run by a Kansas girl this past week. Lily Strauss of Blue Valley
North was close behind, placing second in 18:53.
Other Kansas girls dipping under 19:00 this week include Aimee Davis of Clearwater (18:22 to win the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail title); Emily Venters of Lawrence Free State and Amber Reed of Shawnee Mission North (18:18
and 18:50 for second and third, respectively, in the Sunflower League); Cara Melgares of Manhattan (18:52 to win the Centennial League); and Gabriella Reyna
(18:54 to win the Greater Wichita Athletic League).
Among the guys:
Lakelin Conrad of Wichita Collegiate won the Ark
Valley Chisholm Trail Division 3 and 4 meet in 16:02;
Alex Gill of St. Thomas Aquinas (16:05) beat
teammate Will Cole (16:17) to win the Eastern Kansas League;
Dylan Brenneman of Spring Hill, who has run
15:24 this season, clocked 16:09 to win the Frontier League;
Pierce Flanders of Washburn Rural (16:09)
outdueled Seaman's Dawson Podlena (16:14) and Hayden's Robbie Schmidt (16:17) to
win the Centennial League meet. The trio had also battled it out the week
before, with the same result, at the Topeka City meet the week before;
Alex Moen of Andover (16:11) out-sprinted Maize
South's Ethan Kossover (16:15) and Salina South's Josh Reed (16:17) to win the
Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Div. 1 and 2 meet;
Great Bend's Kerby Depenbusch ran a season-best
16:16 to win the Western Athletic Conference over a wave of Dodge City and
Garden City runners. Garden City's Marcus Tula (16:23) and Erik Chaparro
(16:35) were second and third, while Dodge City's Marcelo Cruz (16:41), Alex Ultreras (16:50) and Jason Luft (16:53) place fourth through sixth.
Dodge City's boys proved to have a little more depth and won
the WAC title by a comfortable 11-point margin, 33-44 over Garden City.
Matthew Harding of Bishop Carroll won the Greater Wichita
Athletic League in 16:58, leading his team to a 30 point win over Wichita East
(34-64). Wichita East turned the tables in the girls' division, scoring 30 to
easily out-distance Bishop Carroll, which had 57.
The two teams who tied for the Class 6A girls state
championship last year - Lawrence Free State and Manhattan - looked good as
they rolled to their respective league titles.
Free State won the Sunflower League with 50 points, beating
Shawnee Mission Northwest (61). After Venters, Free State's Kiran Cordes (19:05
for fourth) and Abby Zenger (19:49 for sixth) also placed in the top 10.
Manhattan's girls rolled the Centennial League, placing 7
runners in the top 10, and posting an average time of 19:51. It was the seventh
straight Centennial title for Manhattan, and ninth in the past 10 years. It was
also the third straight league title for Melgares, a senior. Michelle Sanchez
(19:45) and Clara Mayfield (19:48) completed a sweep of the top three places.
Manhattan's boys also won for the seventh straight time, but
it was not nearly so easy. Flanders and the Washburn Rural team were actually
ahead of the Indians after three runners, but couldn't bring up the back end to
unseat the defending champs.
Kyler True of Olpe, back from recent injury, didn't run in a
league meet - but he won the Burlington Invitational, which was actually three
meets in one as it played host to the Three Rivers League meet and the
Tri-Valley League meet.
True won the overall title in 16:02, while Yates Center's
Hadley Splechter (17:00), Colin Bedell (17:03) and Jordan Smith (17:19) were
the top three in the Three Rivers League, and Joe Kline of Humboldt (17:13) won
the Tri-Valley title.
Champions galore this week - and wish I could re-hash 'em
all. Fortunately, we received a lot of results from all around the state - we
had 26 leagues that reported this week. Check out more individual and team
results on our results page, http://ks.milesplit.com/results.
LOGUE CHOOSES IOWA
In case you haven't heard yet, Kansas' First Lady of
distance running - Cailie Logue of Girard - has chosen to continue her career
next year at Iowa State. I'll have a story and Cailie's thoughts about her
decision in an article that will appear soon on Kansas MileSplit.