Varsity Kansas

XC: Rankings (10-5) [Updated]

By Taylor Eldridge

[Updated: Now that I have seen the individual girls results of the Newton Invitational.]

Another week of great races, another week of rankings. There were a lot of good races in the area last week and I am just so impressed with the top runners in this area.

We had unreal races ran by Neil Metler and Mackenzie Maki down at the Cowboy Jamboree at Oklahoma State. We had Adam Porter and Cameron Sprague going low (under 16 minutes) in Newton. We had Dani Walker and Molly Milbourn continue to raise the standard in the area. The Derby girls were once again. Just good, good stuff.

So how did it all shake out in this week’s rankings? Click the jump to find out. Also, I discovered the use of headings. So hopefully they’re easier to read this week.

GIRLSTop 10 Teams1. Bishop Carroll

Top 5 (season best time): Kaelyn Balch (14:01); Kristen Sponsel (15:58); Christen McCaulley (15:59); Brandy Tholstrup (16:11); Natalie Englert (16:21).Results: 1st at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 1st at Swather Special on 9/10; 1st at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 2nd at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 1Justification: The top team in the area took the week off last week, maybe to rest up for the El Dorado this week. Or maybe just to get a week off from the sickness going around. I know the boys team had it bad, so hopefully the girls team will be ready to go for the big meet his week.

2. Derby

Top 5: Emily Hornbeck (15:09); Amber Green (15:52); Valerie Nielson (16:55); Brenna Kleman (16:57); Breah Waldron (17:16).Results: 2nd at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 3rd at Swather Special on 9/10; 1st at K.C. Turner Invitational on 9/16; 10th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 5th at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 2Justification: In Oklahoma, they only run the 2-mile and Derby represented Kansas very well with a fifth place finish. Emily Hornbeck and Amber Green were studly in their top-10 finishes and it looked like Breah Waldron ran a good race. It's hard to match up where their times would match up with a 4k time, but they are still sitting pretty at #2 this week.

3. Newton

Top 5 runners: Mallorie Coffman (15:41); Erin Loeffler (15:46); Shannon Ahlstedt (16:00); Laci McCartney (17:05); Ardys Woodward (17:37).Results: 2nd at Swather Special on 9/10; 1st at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 11th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 1st at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 5Justification: I know that East beat them straight up at Rim Rock, but I just think that this week Newton really came through with its top three runners. If Coffman, Loeffler and Ahlstedt can race like that every week then they are going to be a very good team this season. Three runners inside of 16 minutes is hard to beat.

4. Goddard

Top 5 runners: Megan Ballinger (15:18); Julie Randall (16:13), Courtney Maddux (16:25); Sarah Irsik (16:38); Meredith Skidmore (17:36).Results: 5th at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 1st at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 3rd at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 13th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 2nd at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 3Justification: Didn't find the individual results from Newton, so not sure but I know talking to coach Wetta that four of the top seven ran personal bests last week. Randall really broke through and if she can step up into that #2 runner slot, the Lions will be very good this season. Maddux and Irsik are solid #3 and #4 and the #5 time keeps coming down. Looking good for Goddard right now.

5. East

Top 5 runners: Carlin Greene (16:18), Kristen Lumpkins (16:19), Laura Combs (16:36); Lauren Sinik (17:14); Cate Dunn (17:32).Results: 2nd at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; Participation at North Invitational on 9/10; 5th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 1st at Ark City Invitational on 9/24; 8th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 4Justification: East takes a week off this past week to rest up for El Dorado this Saturday. Probably a little unfair to move them down one just for not running, but I was really impressed by Newton's running last week. A good showing against in El Dorado will move the Aces right back up though.

6. Maize

Top 5 runners: Dani Walker (15:02); Kelsy McNay (16:14); Najai Hill (16:18); Mary Kranick (16:31); Jordan Goss (17:49).Results: 3rd at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 10th at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 4th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 15th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 2nd at Junction City Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 6Justification: Walker, Hill and Kranick set season-bests last week. That's always a good sign. The team has been without McNay, so having her will help even more if she comes back. Sarah Allen and Corinne Penner are starting to come on to push Jordan Goss for the #4 and #5 times. If the Eagles can continue to lower them in the 17's, they should rise. I know they beat East heads up at Southeast, but right now, without Kranick, I think East is deeper. If she returns, Maize gets a boost up the rankings.

7. Kapaun Mount Carmel

Top 5 runners: Mackenzie Maki (14:44); Marie Schaller (16:37); Katie Hand (17:05); Emilee Strecker (17:28); Veronika Kolejakova (17:28).Results: 4th at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 4th at Swather Special on 9/10; 6th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 20th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 15th at Cowboy Jamboree (6A)Last ranking: 7Justification: Maki ran a great race to win the meet and Schaller (12:39) ran well behind her. Not sure how the next times translate, but here they are: Bridgette Valliere (13:09), Katie Hand (13:31) and Melissa Davied (14:10). Some new names there, so we'll see if they can translate to 4k times this week.

8. Clearwater

Top 5 runners: Logan Davis (16:29); Michelle Babb (16:45); Kristen Babb (16:52); Brooke Winter (17:08); Tracy Rausch (17:21).Results: Participation at Clearwater Invitational on 9/3; 6th at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 1st at Peabody-Burns Invitational on 9/17; 1st at Oxford Invitational on 9/24; 2nd at Cowboy Jamboree (3-1A 2-mile) on 10/3.Last ranking: 9Justification: Clearwater continues its strong push up the rankings with a solid second place showing at the Cowboy Jamboree. Logan Davis (12:28), Michelle Babb (12:31) and Kristen Babb (12:36) are making a very solid top three and Tracy Rausch, Brooke Winter, Cheyenne Layton and Katie Garrison are more than capable of providing a good #4 and #5 time.

9. Buhler

Top 5 runners: Shelby Nelson (16:05); Ellyn Willse (16:06); Katie Winter (17:17); Toni Androski (17:20); Carly Berblinger (17:31).Results: 1st at Great Bend Invitational on 9/5; 2nd at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 1st at Valley Center Invitational on 9/21; 1st at McPherson Invitational on 9/24; 6th at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 8Justification: Two of the normal top five didn’t run at Newton, but good results were seen from Willse, Winter and Androski, all setting season-bests. Without its top runner in Nelson, the team score was a little low. Don’t pay too much attention, as I think Buhler bounces back this week with its top group.

10. Hutchinson

Top 5 runners: Madison Schrock (16:12); Maple Shalonda (16:23); Rachel Seitz (16:40); Erin Allender (17:03); Maggie Heck (17:19).Results: 4th at Great Bend Invitational on 9/5; 3rd at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 7th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 5th at Rim Rock Invite (Blue) on 9/26; 4th at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: N/RJustification: Sort of a surprise pick this week, but really the 10th spot on the girl’s side is wide open. Took a peak at Rose Hill’s team and some others, but couldn’t find anybody that matched up better than Hutch. All five girls ran strong last week and ran season-bests. We’ll see if that was a one-week wonder, or if the Salt Hawks are for real. My bet is the latter.

Top 10 Runners1. Kaelyn Balch, Bishop Carroll

Results: 14:39 (1st) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 14:37 (1st) at Swather Special on 9/10; 14:01 (2nd) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 14:56 (1st) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 1Justification: The number one runner takes the week off, like her team. She should be gearing up for another sub-15 minute race at El Dorado this week. Should be a good one!

2. Mackenzie Maki, Kapaun Mount Carmel

Results: 14:49 (2nd) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 14:44 (1st) at Swather Special on 9/10; 14:48 (3rd) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 15:29 (2nd) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 11:16 (1st) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3.Last ranking: 2Justification: Call it a confidence-booster, call it whatever, but Maki returned to form this weekend. She ran a smart race, staying with the pack until the last 500-meters then blasting them with her kick to win the entire race. Will this spark her to challenge Balch this week?

3. Molly Milbourn, El Dorado

Results: 15:18 (1st) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 15:18 (1st) at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 14:49 (1st) at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 15:20 (1st) at McPherson Invitational on 9/24; 14:59 (1st) at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 4Justification: Again, can there be a 3a and a 3b? It's so hard to rank where Walker and Milbourn would be if they raced against each other. Milbourn has more experience winning (5-for-5 so far this season), but Walker has been pushed more this season. Molly wins again without much of a push this past week, but it sets up a great matchup this week at El Dorado. I'll move Milbourn up on a hunch that she does well this week.

4. Dani Walker, Maize

Results: 15:38 (3rd) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 15:20 (4th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 15:28 (2nd) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 15:02 (1st) at Junction City Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 3Justification: The area girl's runners this year are insane. So many are right around breaking 15 minutes. Walker almost did it this past week at Junction City, easily winning her first race of the season. That should be a good confidence-booster entering this week's big test at El Dorado.

5. Emily Hornbeck, Derby

Results: 15:58 (4th) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 15:09 (1st) at Swather Special on 9/10; 16:54 (2nd) at K.C. Turner Invitational on 9/16; 15:52 (10th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 11:35 (7th) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3.Last ranking: 5Justification: Derby has run in some tough races this year, up in KC, at Rim Rock and now in Stillwater. This will be good experience for Hornbeck and Green to gear them up for the state meet later this month. 11:35 is a good 2-mile time for Hornbeck, she was only a few seconds away from 5th place.

6. Amber Green, Derby

Results: 15:58 (5th) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 15:52 (2nd) at Swather Special on 9/10; 16:44 (1st) at K.C. Turner Invitational on 9/16; 16:02 (13th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 11:45 (9th) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3.Last ranking: 6Justification: Right where Hornbeck is, you can expect Green to be right behind her. Again this week they place in the top-10 and they are continuing to make the best 1-2 combo in the area. Don't see much changing going forwards.

7. Morgan Wedekind, Valley Center

Results: 12:33 (1st) at Clearwater Invitational (2-mile) on 9/3; 16:33 (1st) at Wellington Invitational on 9/12; 15:22 (1st) at Valley Center Invitational on 9/21; 16:02 (4th) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: N/RJustification: I think Valley's girls took a week off after running twice last week. Wedekind is still having a great season and shouldn't be overlooked. She'll run on Thursday at Circle, so how she runs there will be very interesting in how she matches up against some very good talent.

8. Amber Eichkorn, North

Results: 16:24 (6th) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 17:25 (1st) at North Invitational on 9/12; 15:28 (5th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 16:32 (10th) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 8Justification: She took the week off last week to rest up, or at least from what I can she did. Most teams did just as a little rest going into the final stretch of the season now. Eichkorn has been nothing but solid this whole season, so reason to change anything here.

9. Megan Ballinger, Goddard

Results: 16:38 (8th) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 15:18 (2nd) at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 15:34 (6th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 16:31 (24th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 15:34 (2nd) at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 9Justification: It's not her best time of the season, but the 15:34 last week was probably one of her stronger races of the season. She wasn't anywhere close to Milbourn, but she beat the Newton girls. Great race from Ballinger keeps her on the list.

10. Anastasiya Menestrina, Bishop Carroll

Results: 16:26 (7th) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 16:04 (1st) at Southeast Invitational (JV) on 9/19; 16:37 (13th) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 10Justification: Carroll's top seven took the week off and will rest up for the Eldo meet this Saturday. I strongly consider Newton's Mallorie Coffman, Rose Hill's Taylor Carlson, Douglass' Sarah Wright, but I just couldn't come up with a reason to drop Menestrina off the list. Her times just match up with everyone I left off.

BOYSTop 10 Teams1. Mulvane

Top 5 runners: Evan Landes (15:55), Nikki Trooien-Smith (16:06); Nick Lockwood (16:13), Wyatt James (16:21); Josh Hansen (16:43).Results: 1st at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 1st at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 1st at Chaparral Invitational on 9/17; 3rd at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 1st at Berean Invitational on 10/1.Last ranking: 1Justification: All five runners are under 17 minutes now. Two runners are nearly under 16 minutes. It can't get much better for the Wildcats right now. They are looking virtually untouchable so far this season.

2. Bishop Carroll

Top 5 runners: Cliff Kissling (16:44); Gage Garcia (17:14); David Thor (17:15); Andy Schepis (17:26); James Hampton (17:29).Results: 1st at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 1st at Swather Special on 9/10; 11th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; Participation at Cowboy Jamboree (5-4A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 3Justification: It's been a rough past week for the Carroll boys team. Most of the team was wiped out by the flu entering this week, then another rash hit and left only Kissling and Garcia to race in Oklahoma. Both ran season bests, so it paid off. But don't be surprised if Carroll needs a week or so to recover to full strength.

3. Campus

Top 5 runners: Brock Nooney (16:22); Bryant Keirns (16:29); Cooper Clark (17:06); Chris Kelly (17:15); Jeremy Shear (17:15).Results: 2nd at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 4th at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 2nd at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 13th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 3rd at Topeka Seaman on 10/3.Last ranking: 3Justification: Campus gets some good experience up in Topeka and is still a ways off from the state's best. But Nooney ran a great race and surprisingly surpassed Keirns for the team's lead. Clark was great once again, but the #4 and #5 runners were a little off. Good motivation to keep up the good work, as Campus has good potential.

4. McPherson

Top 5 runners: Adam Porter (15:15); Morgan Peterson (16:33); Caleb Porter (16:56); Nick Rempe (16:58); Skyler Janda (17:38).Results: 4th at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 6th at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 1st at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 1st at McPherson Invitational on 9/24; 1st at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 5Justification: Mac came through big with another team win (its third on the season) at Newton. The times were a little slow across the board, but all that matters is the win. Preston Mossman was the fifth time, which creates a new possibility for the #5 time for McPherson, something that they have been looking for all season.

5. East

Top 5 runners: Aaron Heil (17:04); Jesse Parker (17:28); Will Marsh (17:29); David Perales (18:00); Jacob Seamster-Davis (18:04).Results: 5th at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; Participation at North Invitational on 9/12; 3rd at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 6th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26.Last ranking: 4Justification: East will be at full strength when running at El Dorado this week after taking a week off last. I dropped them down one, not because they didn't run last week but I am just impressed with McPherson.

6. Hutchinson

Top 5 runners: Cameron Sprague (15:57); Chris Wise (16:41); Seaver Williams (17:41); Tyler Williams (17:54); Derek Mitchell (18:12).Results: 3rd at Great Bend Invitational on 9/5; 1st at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 4th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 10th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 3rd at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 6Justification: By my count, all five ran season-bests. Everybody lowered their times and the good thing was seeing Sprague and Wise perform. The #3-#5 times all were lowered and Hutch has to like the momentum taken away from Newton with that third place finish.

7. Derby

Top 5 runners: Neil Metler (15:53); Brandon Lewis (17:50); Vontez Curry-Long (17:59); Craig Compton (18:02); Darren Dawdy (18:05).Results: 4th at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 3rd at Swather Special on 9/10; 1st at K.C. Turner Invitational on 9/16; 21st at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 10th at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 9Justification: Talk about a great race from Metler. Wow. He is having a heck of a season. Not to mention a great race from the pack behind him. They were bunched up very well and they all ran season-best times. Plus they edged Northwest, so that means they are improving this season. Great signs for the Panthers.

8. Northwest

Top 5 runners: Robbie Martinez-Garcia (16:26); Daniel Herbert (16:43); Andrew Johnson (17:25); Kevin Crafton (18:12); Max Surmeier (18:20).Results: 3rd at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 7th at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 6th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 14th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 11th at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 7Justification: The top five finally ran together at the same meet to mixed results. On one end, the team has to be happy with Robbie and Herbert both improving on their season-best times. If they can stay there in the 16's, Northwest will have a solid 1-2 combo. But Johnson fell off a little this week and leaves some motivation to improve the #3-#5 times. Derby passes them, just barely, but I have a feeling Northwest will improve its ranking next week.

9. El Dorado

Top 5 runners: Casey Nightengale (16:31); Dale Nuckolls (16:48); Michael Riedl (16:56); Ben Jiles (17:02); Spencer Jensen (17:33).Results: 6th at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 5th at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 2nd at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 2nd at McPherson Invitational on 9/26.Last ranking: 9Justification: El Dorado narrowly missed knocking off McPherson last week, as they placed five in the top 10: Nightengale (17:34), Nuckolls (18:08), Riedl (18:11), Jiles (18:27) and Jensen (18:36). In my opinion, they were a little more impressive than the Pups last week and that should be a good duel the rest of the season.

10. Maize

Top 5 runners: Ryan Hopkins (17:03); Daniel Van Sickle (17:45); Landon Kilgore (17:57); Eli Ybarra (18:02); Brooks Rummery (18:19).Results: 2nd at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 10th at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 5th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 26th at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 2nd at Junction City Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 10Justification: Maize has had some tough luck this season, but it may have finally started to come together on Saturday. It was the best bunch-up of the season for the Eagles, as #2-#5 ran well. That #5 time was lowered and the closer it can get to breaking 18 minutes, the better Maize will be.

Top 10 Runners1. Adam Porter, McPherson

Results: 15:55 (1st) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 16:39 (2nd) at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 15:18 (1st); 15:18 (1st) at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 16:36 (1st) at McPherson Invitational on 9/24; 15:50 (1st) at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 1Justification: Porter was finally pushed last week by Sprague. He took him down to the wire, but Porter proved he is still the man and is still my No. 1.

2. Evan Landes, Mulvane

Results: 16:25 (3rd) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 16:36 (3rd) at Wamego Invitational; 16:39 (1st) at Chaparral Invitational on 9/19; 16:20 (5th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 15:55 (1st) at Berean Invitational on 10/1.Last ranking: 2Justification: Landes has really come into form as the season has progressed. He really built on last week's race at Rim Rock and broke through with his first sub-16 minute 5k of the season. Wouldn't expect anything less.

3. Neil Metler, Derby

Results: 16:47 (1st) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 16:34 (1st) at Swather Special on 9/10; 17:15 (1st) at K.C. Turner Invitational on 9/16; 16:32 (15th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 15:53 (2nd) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 4Justification: I know NTS beat him last week at Rim Rock fair and square, but how do you deny Metler after the race he ran in Oklahoma? We are talking one of the better races of the season anywhere in this area so far. He is having a heck of a season on a very difficult schedule. He's definitely filling the shoes of Jake Wike right now.

4. Nikki Trooien-Smith, Mulvane

Results: 16:20 (2nd) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/3; 16:35 (2nd) at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 16:55 (2nd) at Chaparral Invitational on 9/17; 16:29 (12th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 16:06 (2nd) at Berean Invitational on 10/1.Last ranking: 3Justification: He is knocking on the door of breaking 16 minutes, but hasn't quite found it yet this season. It's kind of surprising, but don't be shocked if he continues to dip below 16 minutes in the season's final weeks.

5. Cameron Sprague, Hutchinson

Results: 16:28 (3rd) at Great Bend Invitational on 9/5; 17:04 (2nd) at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 16:25 (2nd) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 16:53 (4th) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 15:57 (2nd) at Newton Invitational on 10/3.Last ranking: 5Justification: Race of the year no doubt about it for Sprague. He pushes Porter to the very end and breaks 16 minutes to set a season-best. There were a lot of good races this past week, so it's hard not to move him up any. But the top-5 are very solid right now, let's just say that.

6. Robbie Martinez-Garcia, Northwest

Results: 16:54 (2nd) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 17:13 (8th) at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 16:40 (5th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 17:13 (10th) at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 16:26 (8th) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 7Justification: His times are coming down, so watch out for Robbie Martinez-Garcia. He is one of those runners that takes it easy at the start of the season, paces himself well, and then really hits his peak towards the end of the season. You know his times will be down there, so watch for him to climb the rankings starting now.

7. Bryant Keirns, Campus

Results: 16:31 (4th) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/5; 17:00 (6th) at Emporia Invitational on 9/12; 16:36 (4th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 17:09 (41st) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 16:29 (8th) at Topeka Seaman on 10/3.Last ranking: 6Justification: This week he was surprisingly passed up by his teammate Nooney, so not sure what to make of that. Keirns has already established himself as one of the top runners in the area in previous meets, but he needs a good week to move back up.

8. Cliff Kissling, Bishop Carroll

Results: 16:52 (3rd) at Swather Special on 9/10; 17:12 (43rd) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 16:44 (5th) at Cowboy Jamboree (5-4A) on 10/3.Last ranking: 8Justification: Another solid race by Kissling, as he sets a season best in the Cowboy Jamboree. It will be interesting to see what he can do when he is back to full strength, and teammate David Thor pushing him in practice if he can get healthy too.

9. Nick Lockwood, Mulvane

Results: 17:23 (15th) at J.K. Gold Classic on 9/3; 17:53 (16th) at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 17:45 (4th) at Chaparral Invitational on 9/17; 17:04 (32nd) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 16:13 (3rd) at Berean Invitational on 10/1.Last ranking: 9Justification: Lockwood was a controversial selection last week, but I think he proved it was justified this week with a time of 16:13. No matter what course you're running, that's blazing. He's not far behind NTS, so believe that he belongs.

10. Skylar Gutierrez, Southeast

Results: 17:17 (3rd) at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 17:23 (1st) at North Invitational on 9/12; 16:50 (7th) at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 16:56 (2nd) at Ark City Invitational on 9/24.Last ranking: 9Justification: Southeast was like many schools this past week to take the week off leading into El Dorado. Nothing to update here really.

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