Varsity Kansas

XC: Rankings (10-26)

By Taylor Eldridge

No, this isn’t the 26th. Who cares, let’s get to some cross country rankings.

In celebration of the Yankees’ losing, I have posted the boys’ teams rankings and the top 8 boys. Ha, ok I ran out of time before class. Plan on having the next two up sometime this afternoon. Hold your breath, they will be shockers.

GIRLSTop 10 Teams1. Bishop Carroll

Top 5 (season best time): Kaelyn Balch (14:01); Anastasiya Menestrina (15:37); Kristen Sponsel (15:58); Christen McCaulley (15:59); Brandy Tholstrup (16:11).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; 2nd at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 1st at City League on 10/17; 1st at 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 1Justification: The top five are really starting to all come on. Balch returned from a foot injury fine; Menestrina continued her surge late in the season; and the 3-5 runners are interchangeable right now, which gives Carroll a lot of flexibility. They're looking tough right now.

2. Goddard

Top 5 runners: Megan Ballinger (15:14); Courtney Maddux (15:44); Julie Randall (15:54); Sarah Irsik (16:05); Tiana Hacker (16:40).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; 3rd at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 2nd at Class 6A Regional (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 2Justification: The team was without 4 runner Irsik, or they would have likely won the schools' first-ever regional title. If Ballinger, Maddux and Randall can all stay under 17 minutes at Rim Rock, then the team should be competitive. But the ultimate finish will come down to how well Irsik returns and if Meredith Skidmore or Hacker can put up a good fifth time.

3. Derby

Top 5: Emily Hornbeck (14:42); Amber Green (15:08); Valerie Nielson (16:19); Lindsay Cuadra (16:31); Brenna Kleman (16:39).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 atCowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3; 5th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 2nd at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 3rd at Class 6A Regional (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 3Justification: You can never count out this team, although Washburn Rural is looking like a sure lock for the 6A title. But to almost beat Manhattan shows Derby isn't going anywhere. Green and Hornbeck you know will be up there and Nielson has been pretty consistent as the third runner. Then it will come down to Cuadra, Kleman and Claire Cox and how well they can put together the last two scores.

4. Newton

Top 5 runners: Mallorie Coffman (15:41); Shannon Ahlstedt (15:42); Erin Loeffler (15:46); Laci McCartney (16:55); Kelsi Langley (17:00).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; 4th at El DoradoInvitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 1st at Class 5A Regionals (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: 4Justification: Just when I thought I had their top three figured out, they rearrange again. This time it went Ahlstedt-Loeffler-Coffman. To be able to have those three up there all right at the same level is huge and then when they have McCartney running well and then the emergence of Langley, a freshman, Newton will be a very tough team in 5A.

5. Maize

Top 5 runners: Dani Walker (14:43); Kelsy McNay (15:58); Mary Kranick (16:01); Najai Hill (16:16); 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 atJunction City Invitational on 10/3; 3rd at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 1st at Class 6A Regional (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 5Justification: I feel bad not having Maize higher because they are right there with Goddard, even when it is healthy. The team is building a pretty solid nucleus in Walker-Kranick-Hill, and then the high-end potential on McNay is good. Also, freshman Alex Johnson stepped up and gave the Eagles a new fifth score, so that is an added bonus this late in the season to pick up another solid score.

6. Clearwater

Top 5 runners: Logan Davis (15:54); Michelle Babb (16:08); Kristen Babb (16:09); Tracy Rausch (16:51); Brooke Winter (16:59).Results: Participation at Clearwater Invitational on 9/3; 6th at Wamego Invitational on 9/12; 1st at Peabody-Burns Invitational on 9/17; 1 st at Oxford Invitational on 9/24; 2 ndat Cowboy Jamboree (3-1A 2-mile) on 10/3; 1st at Circle Invitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. IV on 10/15.Last ranking: 6Justification: Clearwater has come on late in the season and even with a not-so-good race, they came home as regional champions. Expect them to run a lot better at state with the two freshmen (Babb and Davis) to move up with the senior Babb. Rausch ran solidly as the fourth score and if she can repeat that performance at state, then Clearwater will right in the running.

7. Hutchinson

Top 5 runners: Madison Schrock (16:12); Shalonda Maple (16:23); Rachel Seitz (16:30); Erin Allender (16:47); Maggie Heck (16:49).Results: 4th at Great Bend Invitational on 9/5; 3rd at Hutchinson Invitational on 9/10; 7th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 5 th at Rim Rock Invite (Blue) on 9/26;4th at Newton Invitational on 10/3; 7th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 4th at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 2nd at Class 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 8Justification: Hutch moves up from last week, thanks to great races from Maple and Heck. Hutch snuck in there to snatch the second team spot and they are really running well entering the state meet. If Schrock and Seitz can run up near the front with Maple, then Allender and Heck should be able to provide a pretty good team score.

8. East

Top 5 runners: Carlin Greene (15:55), Kristen Lumpkins (16:03), Cate Dunn (16:33); Laura Combs (16:36); Andrea Livingston (16:52).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 RockInvite (Crimson) on 9/26; 6th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 2nd at City League on 10/17; 4th at Class 6A Regional (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 7Justification: It's a real shame that this team won't be going to state. They still had a great season and it should be a force in the coming years with all the talent that is on this team. Still, look for Greene and Dunn in the state meet.

9. Buhler

Top 5 runners: Ellyn Willse (16:06); Katie Winter (16:42); Toni Androski (17:20); Diosha Johnson (17:23); Carly Berblinger (17:32).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 atNewton Invitational on 10/3; 4th at Salina Invitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. III on 10/15; 2nd at Class 4A Regional (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 9Justification: So I found out last weekend that Nelson (talked to her dad, who is awesome) is hurt. That's a shame, she was having such a nice season. But the Crusaders proved to everyone they are still a legit 4A contender by pushing Clearwater to its limits at regionals. Hard to single anyone out when the whole team is running so well.

10. Kapaun Mount Carmel

Top 5 runners: Mackenzie Maki (14:23); Marie Schaller (16:26); Katie Hand (17:05); Emilee Strecker (17:28); Veronika Kolejakova (17:27); Bridgette Volliere (17:38).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) on 10/3; 12th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 3rd at City League on 10/17; 2nd at Class 5A Regionals (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: N/R

Justification: After Maki and Schaller, it has been a real question mark this whole season. Well, it looks like Kapaun is starting to fill in some answers. They've rotated a lot of girls, but it seems like the group now is Kolejakova, Volliere, Megan Crawford, Hand and Melissa Davied. They are picking up steam, we'll see if they can surprise at state.Top 10 Runners1a. 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 RockInvite (Crimson) on 9/26; 14:24 (2nd) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 14:47 (1st) at Class 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 1aJustification: Balch didn't have to expend much energy in winning regionals last week, while nursing that arch injury. She said it felt fine after, so we'll see if/how it affects her at Rim Rock.

1b. 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 RockInvite (Crimson) on 9/26; 11:16 (1 st ) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3; 14:23 (1st) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 14:32 (1st) at City League on 10/17; 14:55 (1st) at Class 5A Regionals (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: 1bJustification: Same story as Balch for Maki, didn't have to push much in the win. She has the momentum heading in with the win at El Dorado and then two good ones at league and regionals, so we'll see if Balch can come back strong. Expect this one to end in the kick.

3. Morgan Wedekind, Valley Center

Results: 12:33 (1st) at Clearwater Invitational (So./Fr. 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; 14:54 (1st) at Circle Invitational on 10/9; 14:39 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. II on 10/17; 14:51 (1st) at Class 4A Regionals (El Dorado) on 10/24.Last ranking: 3Justification: Well, the freshman just keeps off knocking off the big names. Milbourn was the last one at regionals and now Wedekind has a pretty dang good resume in her first year of running. Wamego is whole nother beast though, so we'll see if she can keep her amazing season going there.

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; 14:43 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 15:28 (1st) at Class 6A Regionals (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 4Justification: I was hoping Walker would be matched up with the Derby girls one last time before state, but it didn't happen. Instead, she won without being pushed. It should be a heck of a race between her and the Derby girls to decide the spots after Clifton in 6A.

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 (10 th ) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 11:35 (7 th ) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3; 14:42 (3rd) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 14:43 (2nd) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 15:20 (3rd) at Class 6A Regionals (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 5Justification: Although Green beat her last race, I bet they will flip-flop back at state. They are both such great runners though, it's hard to tell. They're both going to be up there at state, it's just a question of how high now?

6. 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 Invitationalon 9/24; 14:59 (1st) at Newton Invitational on 10/3; 15:18 (4th) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:03 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. III on 10/17; 15:14 (2nd) at Class 4A Regionals (El Dorado).Last ranking: 6Justification: Milbourn wasn't too close to Wedekind, but you never know if she's been saving it all for state. She's proven she runs best when it counts (at state) and has ran well on the hilly course at Wamego. How much left does she have? We'll find out, should be a great race to decide 4A.

7. 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 (13 th ) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 11:45 (9 th ) at Cowboy Jamboree (6A 2-mile) on 10/3; 15:08 (3rd) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 15:17 (2nd) at Class 6A Regionals (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 7Justification: She actually edged her teammate Hornbeck, so that was a good accomplishment. If those two can go 2-3 at state, then Derby might be right there in the team title discussion.

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; 15:26 (2nd) at City League on 10/17; 16:05 (2nd) at Class 6A (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 9Justification: She goes under the radar every week and she keeps putting up solid numbers. What a stud. It will be interesting to see how the top of 6A shakes out from the Wichita area.

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; 15:29 (7th) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:14 (4th) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 16:18 (3rd) at Class 6A Regionals (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 8Justification: Maybe a little slow, but Dodge City is a longggg course. I expect her to bounce back and lead a Goddard team that is determined to compete for the 6A state title.

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; 15:57 (16th) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:40 (3rd) at City League on 10/17; 15:37 (2nd) at Class 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll).

Last ranking: N/R

Justification: I think there is a trend developing here. With every personal best she sets each week, her interviewing skills increase as well. By state, she I bet she'll be hoping she can give a what it feels like to win state quote. Very well could happen.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; 1st at Circle Invitational on 10/9; 1st at AV-CTL Div. III on 10/15; 1st at Class 4A Regionals (El Dorado) on 10/24.Last ranking: 1Justification: Looks like the state title is in the bag for the Wildcats. If they win, I might just have to shake their hands haha.

2. Bishop Carroll

Top 5 runners: David Thor (16:25); Cliff Kissling (16:44); James Hampton (17:04); Gage Garcia (17:14); Andy Schepis (17:26).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; Participation at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 1st at City League on 10/17; 1st at Class 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 2Justification: They were supposed to be taking it kind of easy last week. Apparently seven in the top-15 is going easy. Pretty incredible.

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; 1st at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. II on 10/17; 1st at Class 6A Regional (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 3Justification: Campus took care of business at regionals, now it will be time to prove it belongs in the discussion for a team title in 6A. They will get their chance and it appears like they are heading in with some good momentum.

4. Hutchinson

Top 5 runners: Cameron Sprague (15:39); Chris Wise (16:30); Seaver Williams (17:34); Tyler Williams (17:53); Derek Mitchell (18:01).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; 5th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 1st at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 2nd at Class 5A Regional (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 4Justification: They just keep improving. They have steadily climbed up the rankings and now they are starting to peak. I like them and McPherson to make some nnoise up at Class 5A state.

5. 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; 4th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 2nd at AV-CTL Div. II on 10/17; 1st at Class 5A Regional (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: 5Justification: McPherson has been my surprise pick at state now for awhile. I just like their potential. It would be unfair to move Hutch down just on a hunch, but I think both will do well at 5A state.

6. East

Top 5 runners: Aaron Heil (16:28); Will Marsh (16:57); Jesse Parker (17:10); Jacob Seamster-Davis (17:43); Tanner Follis (17:50).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; 2nd at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 3rd at City League on 10/17; 2nd at Class 6A Regional (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 6Justification: I thought it would be close between East and Derby and I was right, only two points separated the pair. Both benefit from Manhattan dropping, but East would have been there anyway. It will be interested to see how their spread-out attack works up at state.

7. Northwest

Top 5 runners: Robbie Martinez-Garcia (16:23); Daniel Herbert (16:43); Andrew Johnson (17:25); Max Surmeier (17:48); Kevin Crafton (17:58).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; 11th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 2nd at City League on 10/17; 2nd at Class 6A Regionals (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 7Justification: Northwest is finally starting to come on and race well when it counts. I know they have been frustrated all year, but now they can prove how good of a team they really are with a good performance up at state. Johnson ran a great race last week and he is making a pretty solid top three with RMG and Herbie.

8. Derby

Top 5 runners: Neil Metler (15:42); Brandon Lewis (17:11); Darren Dawdy (17:38); Craig Compton (17:46); Vontez Curry-Long (17:59).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; 6th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 2nd at AV-CTL Div. II on 10/17; 3rd at Class 6A Regionals (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 8Justification: Derby is the big benefactor in Manhattan's drop. But can they use the second chance and make some noise up at state? Lewis is running well and the pack behind him is providing some good support. Behind a great race from Metler, I think Derby will pick up some great experience for a young team.

9. Maize

Top 5 runners: Ryan Hopkins (17:03); Eli Ybarra (17:30); Daniel Van Sickle (17:41); Landon Kilgore (17:57); Brooks Rummery (18:03).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; 3rd at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 3rd at Class 6A Regionals (Dodge City).Last ranking: 10Justification: Maize ran well enough to qualify in Dodge City and welcomed the return of Hopkins back. He should be finish fairly high at state and the team is getting nice production of Ybarra and DVS right now, as well Kilgore and Rummery.

10. Kapaun Mount Carmel

Top 5 runners: Tim Wescott (17:35); Kory Glasgow (17:51); Tony Baldessari (17:54); Cody Saunders (18:23); Matt Ayres (18:32).Results: 5th at Bishop Carroll Invitational on 9/5; 4th at Swather Special on 9/10; 7th at Southeast Invitational on 9/19; 16th at Rim Rock Invite (Crimson) on 9/26; 16th at Cowboy Jamboree (6A) on 10/3; 12th at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 3rd at City League on 10/17; 2nd at Class 5A Regionals (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: N/RJustification: I almost wrote off Kapaun a couple of weeks ago, but look at them now. Wescott is truly an amazing story and for him to be up there at the top is great. Baldessari has been spectacular as of late, and the depth here is starting to take over and put KMC up there in the running.

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) at Buhler Invitational on 9/17; 16:36 (1st) at McPherson Invitational on 9/24; 15:50 (1st) at Newton Invitational on 10/3; 15:38 (1st) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:47 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. II on 10/17; 16:52 (1st) at Class 5A Regionals (Emporia) on 10/24.Last ranking: 1Justification: Sort of a week off (another win) to look forward to the big showdown between Porter and Sprague. I think it's pretty clear that this one is going to be decided very late in the kick.

2. 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; 15:39 (2nd) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:48 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 16:27 (1st) at Class 5A Regionals (Bishop Carroll) on 10/24.Last ranking: 2Justification: I talked to him for awhile at the race last Saturday and he reads the blog, so bonus points for him. He proved why he's the best runner not named Porter on Saturday and this week he'll try to prove he is the best runner against Porter.

3. 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; 16:09 (1st) at Circle Invitational on 10/9; 15:58 (1st) at AV-CTL Div. III on 10/15; 16:18 (1st) at Class 4A Regional (El Dorado) on 10/24.Last ranking: 3Justification: Landes just keeps plugging along and picking up win after win after win after win. You can't knock anything Mulvane does and it's looking pretty likely he will claim two state titles on Saturday.

4. 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; 15:42 (3rd) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 15:53 (2nd) at AV-CTL Div. I on 10/17; 16:09 (1st) at Class 6A Regional (East) on 10/24.Last ranking: 4Justification: Maybe the most impressive from the top four in their regional victory. Metler has put together such a great season and I think he's surprised people with his success. He'll try to shock them one more time on Saturday.

5. 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; 16:23 (6th) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 16:24 (1st) at City League on 10/17; 17:06 (1st) at Class 6A Regional (Dodge City) on 10/24.Last ranking: 6Justification: It was a tough decision to move him over both the Mulvane boys', but I just think RMG will get it done in crunch time. He's ran so well the last two weeks and really proved he belongs up here. It will be interesting to see what he can do at state now.

6. 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; 16:32 (4th) at Circle Invitational on 10/9; 16:17 (2nd) on AV-CTL Div. III on 10/15; 16:41 (3rd) at Class 4A Regional (El Dorado) on 10/24.Last ranking: 5Justification: How scary is it that NTS is Mulvane's third runner? Well, at least he was last week. I still think he will turn it on at state and either win or get second, but just goes to show how scary-good Mulvane is this year.

7. 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; 16:22 (3rd) at Circle Invitational on 10/9; 16:28 (3rd) at AV-CTL Div. III on 10/15; 16:35 (2nd) at Class 4A Regional (El Dorado) on 10/24.Last ranking: 7Justification: He passed up his teammate NTS last week at Regionals. Not sure if that will be last, but who cares? Lockwood will more than likely finish top-5 at state and be collecting another state title ring.

8. David Thor, Bishop Carroll

Results: 17:19 (1st) at Swather Special (Soph.) on 9/10; 17:15 (45th) at Rim Rock Invite (Gold) on 9/26; 16:43 (11th) at El Dorado Invitational on 10/10; 16:25 (2nd) at City League on 10/17; 16:43 (4th) at Class 5A Regional (Bishop Carroll).Last ranking: 10Justification: Here comes the late season surge from Thor, who is finally healthy it appears. He took it easy on Saturday and still finished fourth, so look for him to make some noise up there at the 5A level on Saturday.

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