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Newkirk repeats as city boys XC champ; Rural claims team crown



After an injury-riddled spring track season, Hayden senior Tanner Newkirk has been back in his happy place this fall, getting past his injuries and preparing himself for his Class 4A state cross country title defense.

Newkirk took a step in that direction Saturday at the Kanza Park Course, capturing his second straight city boys title with a dominating performance while helping the Wildcats to a solid second-place team finish behind Washburn Rural.

Newkirk clocked a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 22.0 seconds in the city meet, winning by nearly 20 seconds over Shawnee Heights junior standout Kory Sutton (15:41.8).

FBTURfcWEAIjB8kHayden senior star Tanner Newkirk (1699) and Shawnee Heights junior Kory Sutton lead the pack early in Saturday's city cross country meet. Newkirk captured his second straight city title while Sutton finished second. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Newkirk has been dealing with a respiratory issue in recent weeks, but is just happy to be rounding back into form after missing the 2020 state track meet with an injury.

"In terms of injuries and everything I feel great, which is awesome,'' Newkirk said. "I obviously had a solid race here today and I'm happy for my teammates as well because I saw some really big (personal records) out here today.

"Today I just wanted to get the win and try to do all I can to help the team.''

Senior Alex Holmes finished fourth (16:51.1) to pace four Washburn Rural runners in the top 12 individually and five in the top 18 as the Junior Blues topped Hayden by a 47-60 margin.

Sophomore Hayden Keller placed sixth for Rural (16:47.2) while senior Spencer Haddock was seventh (16:56.7), junior Davin Johnson 12th (17:16.3) and junior Grayson Fink 18th (17:37.9) for the Junior Blues.

Washburn Rural coach Matt Swedlund said he is pleased with how his Junior Blues are coming together as a team.

"This is kind of what I anticipated,'' Swedlund said. "Alex Holmes was out early (offseason surgery) and our focus this entire year has been October.

"We think we can pull things together in October and make it interesting.'' 

Runner-up Hayden also got a top-10 finish from sophomore Aiden Amis (10th in 17:13.3) while senior Ryan Rochford was 14th (17:22.1), junior Jake Muller 15th (17:26.6) and junior Nick Lloyd 20th (17:44.1) to round out the Wildcats' top five runners.

Shawnee Heights and Seaman finished a close third and fourth in the team race, with sophomore Jackson Esquibel finishing third (16:06.4) and junior Andrew Emerson eighth (17:11.3) for the T-Birds and senior Jace Moore leading Seaman with a fifth-place finish (16:40.8). 

Topeka West senior Louis Wilson placed ninth (17:12.6) to lead the Chargers while Topeka High junior Michael Christopher narrowly missed a top-10 finish, taking 11th (17:15.6).


Team scores

Washburn Rural 47, Hayden 60, Shawnee Heights 67, Seaman 70, Topeka West 139, Topeka High 154, Cair Paravel Latin 186.

Individual results

1. Tanner Newkirk, Hayden, 15:22.0; 2. Kory Sutton, Shawnee Heights, 15:41.8; 3. Jackson Esquibel, Shawnee Heights, 16:06.4; 4. Alex Holmes, Washburn Rural, 16:15.1; 5. Jace Moore, Seaman, 16:40.8; 6. Hayden Keller, Washburn Rural, 16:47.2; 7. Spencer Haddock, Washburn Rural, 16:56.7; 8. Andrew Emerson, Shawnee Heights, 17:11.3; 9. Louis Wilson, Topeka West, 17:12.6; 10. Aiden Amis, Hayden, 17:13.3.

Other Washburn Rural -- 12. Davin Johnson, 17:16.3; 18. Grayson Fink, 17:37.9; 22. Easton Dial, 17:50.4; 24. Conner Olsen, 18:19.7. 

Other Seaman -- 13. Anson Appelhanz, 17:16.8; 16. Landon Stuke, 17:32.6; 17. Alex Newell, 17:35.3; 19. Adrian Swaim, 17:42.3; 23. Zach Jowers, 18:07.4; 36. Ryan Buckley, 18:54.1; 

Other Hayden -- 14. Ryan Rochford, 17:22.1; 15. Jake Muller, 17:26.6; 20. Nick Lloyd, 17:44.1; 25. Zach Moore, 18:22.7; 38. Nick Padilla, 19:06.4; 

Other Shawnee Heights -- 21. Evan Carter, 17:49.9; 37. Alex Lehmann, 19:01.8; 39. Iassac Song, 19:07.4; 44. Mason Deitcher, 19:16.9; 

Cair Paravel Latin -- 27. Zach Clark, 18:24.9; 29. Jonah Eckert, 18:32.1; 50. Blake Reynolds, 19:36.1; 99. Nathan Walker, 23:36.5; 100. Jacob Bowling, 23:38.5; 109. Bryson Leon, 26:39.5; 116. James Keys, 30:31.1.

 Other Topeka West -- 30. Elijah Phelps, 18:32.6; 33. Kyren Padilla, 18:45.4; 34. James Maag, 18:47.4; 53. Mark Wilkie, 19:45.0; 55. Max Cook, 19:48.6; 75. Brady Clark, 21:15.9.

Topeka High -- 11. Michael Christopher, 17:15.6; 32. Andrew Storrer, 18:38.1; 45. Stuart Campbell, 19:19.1; 47. Jaxon Cowdin, 19:22.2; 48. Caleb Brown, 19:23.4; 58. Rigo Solis Carlos, 19:56.0; 65. Jared Cassell, 20:22.1.  

Highland Park -- 60. Estevan Aguirre, 20:09.6.