The Winfield girls cross country team took the medal stand Saturday at the Class 4A State Championship in Wamego after a strong third-place finish in which two runners placed in the top 20 and four in the top 30.

Head Coach Torey Keller called the performance outstanding and said the team surpassed expectations with a score of 93, 45 points ahead of fourth-place Buhler and beating out nine other state qualifiers. Eurdora High School won the championship.

The runners as a group fell back some in the second mile of the 5K (3.1 miles) but gained ground down the stretch, Keller said.

“I was really, really proud of how the girls competed and executed to reach

their goals,” he said. “I could tell that they were all focused and hungry

throughout the race. A great, great team effort by all. An effort that

our community should be very proud of.”

Junior Kayli Myers led the way in 15th place out of 101 runners. Fellow junior Gracelynn Benavides was less than five seconds behind in 17th  place.

Both wore medals for finishing in the top 20 and also earned second-team All-State honors in Class 4A. Rounding out the top five runners for the girls was sophomore Skylar Flower in 24th place; sophomore Lauryn Turner  26th, and freshman Lydia Nelson in 41st.

On the boy’s side, junior Corbin Priest took 9th place and earned first team All-State honors. He shaved 17 seconds off last year’s State race and broke the 17 minute mark.

“This kid has been putting in the work since the completion of track season,” Keller said. “You would be hard pressed to find many that dedicate themselves and make the necessary sacrifices to be the best they can be.”

The boys team was picked to finish 10th overall but came in ninth. Buhler repeated as champions.

The Winfield squad battled injuries and illness this year and were pleased to make the State meet.

“So, I was very proud of the guys on how we finished out the season and beat some people at the state meet,” Keller said.

Girls 4A State Team Results

1. Eudora         56

2. Baldwin         64

3. Winfield         93

4. Buhler        138

5. Louisburg    144

6. Wamego        158

7. McPherson    188

8. Circle        193

9. Rose Hill    217

10. Clay Center     237

11. Labette County    264

12. Hayden    273

Girls Individual Results (101 runners)

1. Hayley Trotter, Clearwater 19.26.6

Winfield runners

15. Kayli Myers 20.59.7

17. Gracelynn Benavides 21.04.1

24. Skylar Flower 21.25.1

26. Lauryn Turner 21.25.3

41. Lydia Nelson 22.04.8

57. Shino Inamura 23.00.2

92. Brooke Brogan 24.50.1

Boys 4A Team Results

1. Buhler        51

2. Wamego        67

3. Augusta        130

4. Bishop Meige    132

5. Eudora        151

6. Hayden        174

7. Circle        177

8. Louisburg    195

9. Winfield        207

10. Abilene        220

11. McPherson    269

12. Wellington    297

Boys Individual Results (101 runners)

1. Sawyer Schmidt, Augusta 15.54.5

Winfield runners

9. Corban Priest    16.59.4

48. Heath Reed    18.31.2

52. Mark Thompson    18.42.2

64. Jayden Brown    18.58.5

92. Nikolas  Smith    20.22.8

98. David Keller    21.06.05

100. Kale Jewers    23.17.2

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