Class 1A - 3A - League Rivals Battle for Bragging Rights

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3A Southeast of Saline sophomore Luke Gleason takes off from the start at the Lakeside Invitational/NCAA League Meet. Gleason was crowned the NCAA League champion at the meet last week, posting a time of 16:50.00. ~ Photo by Jessica Sprecker. 

League meets are often some of the most heated races of the season. Rivalries are at their peak with every team hitting its stride and a trophy on the line. The winner gets to call themselves league champs for a year, while the others will have to wait for their next chance. By this point in the season, runners are familiar with each other. They know the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors from racing several times before. Two teams that are quite familiar with each other are GWAC favorites Hugoton and Scott Community. Both are strong programs with several recent podium finishes, and this year is no different. On the boys side, the two have met twice already this season. Hugoton took a victory in week 3, and Scott City placed higher last week. The third meeting was a tight one, with Hugoton coming out on top 45-46 behind a 1st place performance from Jacob Eckert in 17:42. Scott City's girls have been dominant this year, and won the GWAC title with just 22 points. Colby's Lara Murdock held off a slew of Scott City runners to win in 20:38. The Beavers took the next 4 spots.

At the Flint Hills/Lyon County Championships, West Franklin's girls won a second straight title, scoring 28 in beatdown fashion. Central Heights freshman Lily Meyer won the FHL title in 21:10, but it wasn't enough to topple LCL Champ Macy Smith, who finished in 20:54. For the boys, Central Heights was hoping to play with a perfect score, but Northern Heights' Taj Bailey and Council Grove's Jeric Heath were determined to break up the pack of Vikings, placing 2nd and 4th respectively. The Vikings still won impressively with a 29-point cushion over Northern Heights though. To flex their muscles even further, Central Heights dropped their 7th runner down to win the JV race. Tyler Stevenson claimed the individual varsity title for Central Heights in 17:45. A group of middle schoolers also highlighted the meet, with Mission Valley's AJ Rubio edging Council Grove's Kodi Downes, both ran an 11:08. Kyle Haner from West Franklin was 3rd in 11:15. Those are the 2nd-4th best times in 1A-3A. Emma Bailey ran a 12:35, good for 3rd best in 1A-3A.

At the Big 7 Championships, Hiawatha put on a show, winning the boys race with 30 points, and the girls with 38. The Redhawks also won the individual titles Justin Hodge blazed a 15:43 to cruise in the boys race, and Elizabeth Kettler won her 4th league title in 19:14. Hiawatha sits atop the 3A standings on both sides for now, but this was the case at this time last year as well, but they averaged 35 seconds slower when state rolled around.

At the Central Kansas championships, Halstead looked good in their victory, Josh Talbott was the top finisher in 17:09, beating Larned's Braydon Lothman. Pratt won the girls race behind a 20:10 performance from freshman Addie Hoeme.

The Heart of America meet, Bennington's girls took down Berean Academy, scoring 23 points. Ashlyn Harbaugh and Peyton Piepho went 1-2 to lead the way. The Berean boys wouldn't be denied though, and Drew Janzen put the cherry on top with a 17:52 individual victory. Plenty of HOA teams will be fighting next week for spots to compete at 1A and 2A state.

Other winners this week were:

Central Plains League: Claire Leib (Wichita-Trinity), Owen Pearce (Kingman); Trinity's Girls and Kingman's boys

CNC League: JP Rutledge (Riverton/Baxter) Springs, Rachael Stephans (Girard); Girard's boys and girls

Hi-Plains League: Ethan Thompson(Meade), Sarah White(Lakin); Stanton Co's boys and Cimarron's girls

Central Prairie League: AJ Miller (St John-Hudson), Erin Hammeke (Ellinwood); St John's boys and Ellinwood's girls

Mid-East League: Brett Kulp (Riley Co), Julia Streit (Rossville); Silver Lake's boys and Rock Creek's girls

NCK League: Aaron Modrow (Chapman), Taylor Briggs (Chapman), Clay Center's boys and girls

Twin Valley League: Tyler Simmons (Washington Co), Natalie Harlan (Washington Co); Axtell's boys and Centralia's girls

Wheat State League: Morgan Becker (Canton-Galva), Elsie Clark (Goessel); Goessel's boys and girls

NCAA League: Luke Gleason (SE Saline), Hannah Burkes (Beloit); SE Saline's boys and Beloit's girls

Northern Plains League: Caleb Eilert (Beloit-St John), Jaycee Vath (Lincoln); Beloit-St John's boys and Lincoln's girls

Kansas Milesplit is still looking for results from HOPL(at Pretty Prairie), NEKL(at Jackson Hts), NCAA/NPL/Lakeside, SPIAA(at Coldwater), TRL(at Cherokee), TVL(at Iola), and Wheatland. Please send these in non-scanned HTML/PDF format.