WAMEGO — The Winfield High School boys cross country team came within an eyelash of a team plaque Saturday at the KSHSAA Class 4A State Championships at Wamego Country Club.
The Vikings scored 108 points, finishing in a tie for third with Tonganoxie, but lost out on the third-place plaque due to the sixth-runner tiebreaker. They were just one point away from 4A State runner-up Wamego (107), and 13 points behind 4A State champion Buhler (95).
“Our boys really had a nice race, but it is still tough to swallow to know we missed a state championship by only 13 points and a state runner-up by only one point,” WHS coach Torey Keller said.
“The coaches poll had us ranked sixth going into the State meet, but I always felt if we put it all together on the same day, we would have a chance to do very well.”
Winfield junior Craig LaBrue, last year’s 4A State runner-up, settled for fourth place and first-team All-State honors, completing the 5K race in 16 minutes, 51.35 seconds.
“Craig LaBrue was again a steady leader of our squad from week one to the State meet,” Keller said. “He has been battling a sore hip to sore shins throughout the season, but was always there to lead his squad at a high level.”
Junior Camilo Tarin, who finished 30th at State in his sophomore year, earned second-team All-State honors after placing 11th in 17:09.46.
Senior Peter Stout ended his high school career by cracking the top 30 in 17:48.47.
A pair of freshmen stepped up to help the Vikings with their team score. Corban Priest placed 46th (18:04.44) in his first taste of the Big Show, while Andru Owens was 56th (18:15.84) in his first State meet. Junior Joey Bowlby (20:01.42) and freshman Mark Thompson (20:35.81) rounded out the Winfield runners in 99th and 101st place, respectively.
“Going into the season we were hoping to just get a team qualified to the State meet, but as the season progressed, the huge improvements from our No. 2 to No. 5 runners gave us a different outlook and goals come postseason,” Keller said. “We had two freshmen that really provided a spark to our team. Corban Priest and Andru Owens, I believe, ran as much as two minutes faster than what they did as eighth-graders at some local road races. This is outstanding considering that running CC course over grassy terrain is much more difficult than running on the roads.”
Another impressive freshman was Kayli Myers, who was the lone State representative for the Lady Vikings. Myers missed All-State honors by six places, finishing 26th in 21:08.04.
“Kayli got out pretty hard over the first mile and then struggled a bit through mile No. 2, but did rebound over the last mile to pick up some spots,” Keller said. “I know she was a bit disappointed with her race, but she has had an outstanding freshman season and has learned a ton about competing at the next level. Very proud of her work ethic and how she has given it her best throughout the year.”
Cormick Logue of Girard captured the boys 4A State title in 16:13.3. Taylor Briggs of Chapman won the girls 4A State title in 19:00.05.
WICHITA — Central of Burden senior Challen Jimenez missed second-team All-State honors by four places Saturday, placing 24th at the KSHSAA Class 1A State Championships at the Cessna Activities Center.
The lone State representative for the Raiders, Jimenez completed the 5K course in 18:31.3.
Caleb Eilert of St. John won the boys 1A State title in 16:22.97.
KSHSAA Class 4A State Championships
Saturday at Wamego Country Club
Team Scores — 1. Buhler 95; 2. Wamego 107; 3. Tonganoxie 108; 4. Winfield 108; 5. Towanda-Circle 133; 6. Clearwater 151; 7. Girard 158; 8. Clay Center 176; 9. Bishop Miege 195; 10. Iola 213; 11. Eudora 236; 12. Fort Scott 275.
4A State Champion (104) — Cormick Logue (Gir), 16:13.3.
Winfield — 4. Craig LaBrue 16:51.35; 11. Camilo Tarin 17:09.46; 30. Peter Stout 17:48.47; 46. Corban Priest 18:04.44; 56. Andru Owens 18:15.84; 99. Joey Bowlby 20:01.42; 101. Mark Thompson 20:35.81.
4A State Champion (102) — Taylor Briggs (Chapman), 19:00.05.
Winfield — 26. Kayli Myers 21:08.04.
KSHSAA Class 1A State Championships
Saturday at Wichita
Cessna Activities Center
1A State Champion (87) — Caleb Eilert (St. John), 16:22.97.
Central of Burden — 24. Challen Jimenez 18:31.3.