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Newkirk dominates regional, Hayden qualifies boys, girls teams for 4A state

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

If Tanner Newkirk's performance in Saturday's regional cross country meet is any indication, it may be a tough task for anyone in the Class 4A boys state field to take the title away from the reigning champ in next week's state meet at Wamego Country Club.

Newkirk, completing a sweep of city, Centennial League and regional titles, tuned up for state in impressive fashion at the Kanza Park course, posting a runaway win by 54 seconds in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 16.67 seconds while helping the Wildcats earn a team berth for state with a runner-up finish.

"I think I'm in my best shape of the season and the work has obviously paid off,'' Newkirk said. "Today I felt really good and I was able to come out here and do really well.

"I knew I could beat my time from city and I knew this was a fast course so I decided I might was well come out here and try to run a (personal record) and run as fast as I can.''

FCbOnMlXMAEGPQTHayden senior Tanner Newkirk posted a 54-second win in Saturday's Class 4A regional cross country meet, pacing the Wildcats to a second-place team finish. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Newkirk achieved that goal by six seconds despite running alone for virtually the entire race.

"My body felt good and my lungs felt good so I thought today could be a good race,'' Newkirk said. "I just wanted to do all I could that's in my control to have my best race and it worked out well.''

Already a three-time state medalist, with second and first-place finishes, Newkirk is looking to end his high school career with a bang next Saturday.

"I'm really excited, I'm ecstatic,'' he said. "I'm looking to maybe set the course record and just run a really fast last cross country race.''

With Newkirk leading the way, Hayden finished second in the regional team standings by a 36-56 margin to Wamego.

Wildcat sophomore Aiden Amis finished eighth (17:10.41) while senior Ryan Rochford was 12th (17:24.85), sophomore Zach Moore 17th (17:47.83) and No. 5 runner Nick Lloyd, a junior, 18th (17:51.04).

FCbPh1zWEAg svHElliot Wrench finished second in Saturday's Class 4A regional cross country meet, leading Hayden's girls to a third-place team finish and a berth in the state meet. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Hayden's girls team also punched its ticket to the state meet with a third-place team finish, with sophomore Elliot Wrench finishing second individually in 20:26.26 to pace the Wildcats.

Sophomore Elaina Wolff placed 10th for the Wildcats (22:06.83), who also got a 16th-place finish from freshman Ryann Newkirk (22:40.94), an 18th from senior Riley Schmidtlein (22:53.12) and a 23rd-place finish from junior Catherine Doyle (23:43.90) to round out Hayden's top five.

 Rock Creek sophomore Kyra Nippert was the girls individual champion in 19:48.36.

CLASS 4A REGIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

Girls

Team scores

Wamego 43, Clay Center 59, Hayden 66, Holton 103, Abilene 117, Rock Creek 134, Concordia 161.

Individual results

1. Nippert, Rock Creek, 19:48.36; 2. Wrench, Hayden, 20:26.26; 3. Smith, Clay Center, 20:34.51; 4. Lind, Wamego, 20:43.01; 5. Bathurst, Abilene, 20:51.16; 6. Pittenger-Reed, Wamego, 21:03.39; 7. Wilkerson, Wamego, 21:34.41; 8. Umscheid, Wamego, 21:46.34; 9. Robinson, Holton, 21:55.42; 10. Wolff, Hayden, 22:06.83.

Other Hayden -- 16. Newkirk, 22:40.94; 18. Schmidtlein, 22:53.12; 23. Doyle, 23:43.90; 25. Haas, 23:55.80;.  

Boys

Team scores

Wamego 36, Hayden 56, Abilene 83, Clay Center 85, Chapman 135, Holton 152, Rock Creek 163.

Individual results

1. Newkirk, Hayden, 15:16.67;  2. Smith, Clay Center, 16:10.56; 3. Morenz, Wamego, 16:15.87; 4. Elliott, Chapman, 16:25.52; 5. Stegman, Wamego, 16:27.12; 6. Wolfe, Wamego, 16:37.77; 7. Cottone, Abilene, 17:07.87; 8. Amis, Hayden, 17:10.41; 9. Cutting, Wamego, 17:15.39; 10. Waite, Abilene, 17:20.21.

Other Hayden -- 12. Rochford, 17:24.85; 17. Moore, 17:47.83; 18. Lloyd, 17:51.04; 23. Muller, 18:05.52; 25. Padilla, 18:08.91.