WICHITA -- Obviously, Shawnee Heights junior distance star Jackson Esquibel went into Friday night's Class 5A boys 3,200 meters run thinking about what a state championship would mean to him.

JacksonEsquibelStateShawnee Heights junior Jackson Esquibel flashes the No. 1 sign as he crosses the finish line for the Class 5A 3,200 meters state championship Friday night at Cessna Stadium. [Photo by Brent Maycock/KSHSAA Covered]

EsquibelStateShawnee Heights junior Jackson Esquibel and Topeka West senior Lenny Njoroge run with the leaders on the way to a one-two finish in the Class 5A boys 3,200 meters Friday night. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

But Esquibel was also thinking about setting a good example for the entire Shawnee Heights track and field team.

"I've had a lot of teammates who have called me a leader on the team and I really wanted to give a good performance to start off state,'' Esquibel said.

Esquibel did that and then some, winning his first state title in a personal-record time of 9 minutes, 18.67 seconds as Esquibel and friendly city rival Lenny Njoroge of Topeka West posted a one-two finish.

"My goal was to break my PR, which was 9:25,'' Esquibel said. "I've had some struggles PRing in the two-mile this year so I really focused on this race being a race that I could get out quick, not get boxed in and give myself my best chance and I got it done. Thank goodness!''

Esquibel ran with the lead pack of four runners through the bulk of Friday's race before popping into the lead on the final lap and pulling away down the home stretch for the win while Njoroge finished second in 9:21.24.

"I know I can usually find something within at the end but that sixth and seventh lap you question yourself and I just found a way to keep myself motivated and finish as strong as possible,'' Esquibel said.

Esquibel came within an eyelash of winning a second state championship on Saturday afternoon in the 1,600, with it taking a 5A state meet record by Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Luke Brock to beat him.

Brock and Esquibel battled down the final stretch, with Brock winning in 4:15.03 and Esquibel second in 4:15.26.

Njoroge was two spots back in fourth place, posting a time of 4:22.45.

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