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Field wide open for TSN's Best of the Best men's cross country list



EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/EGVCXSSVEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


There's a long list of athletes who deserve consideration as the top men's cross country runner in Shawnee Country history.

The tough part will be picking just one.

Topeka West grad Robbie Hays, Seaman's Grant Cain and Washburn Rural's Jacob Morgan were all two-time state individual champions, with both Hays and Morgan going on to compete in the NCAA Championships.

Rob HaysRob Hays

Jacob MorganJacob Morgan

Hayden's Matt Peacock and Silver Lake's Chad Brake won state titles in the 1990s while Hayden's Tanner Newkirk won the Class 4A championship last fall and is already a three-time state medalist with a season of eligibility remaining.

Matt Swedlund, who coached Washburn Rural to the 6A team title in 2019, was a three-time state medalist for his alma matter, while Seaman's Dawson Podlena, Hayden's Robbie Schmidt and Jacob Klemz and Silver Lake's Jerod Barker also won three state medals.

There are 25 candidates in all listed to pick from at https://linkto.run/p/EGVCXSSV while readers also have the option of writing in a name.

Vote as many times as you wish, with the only requirement that eligible candidates must have grown up in Shawnee County or attended one of the county's 10 high schools.

Final selections will be based on reader vote as well as input from TSN contributors and current and past local sports media professionals.   

Votes will be accepted through July 31 before TSN publishes our Best of the Best lists in August.

NEXT UP: Football.

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