By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural junior Payton Fink won the individual title in Saturday's Class 6A cross country regional at Wichita while leading the Junior Blues to the girls team championship.
Fink posted a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 01.20 seconds to win by nearly 10 seconds over Junction City senior Lorna Rae Pierce (18:11.00) while the Junior Blues put four runners in the top nine places individually to take the team title by a 43-62 margin over the Blue Jays.
Rural also got a fifth-place finish from sophomore Emily Graf (19:53.60), a sixth-place finish from junior Rylee Ismert (20:02.40) and a ninth from junior Brooklyn Nolte (20:21.00).
Sophomore Kenzie Maddox was the Junior Blues' No. 5 runner in 23rd place (21:25.10) while freshman Kate Muir (21:43.60) was 26th and sophomore Lacey Middleton (24:35.30) 43rd.
Freshman Juliahnna Savago led Topeka High with a 21st-place finish (21:15.20).
Washburn Rural's boys finished fifth as a team with 115 points while Topeka High finished eighth (216).
Junior Conner Olsen paced Rural's boys with a 14th-place finish (17:04.20) and sophomore Brooks Kehoe finished 16th (17:05.10).
Borth Olsen and Kehoe earned individual berths for the 6A state meet.
Junior Stuart Campbell (18:43.70) and senior Caleb Brown (18:47.80) finished 36th and 37th for Topeka High.
The 6A state meet will be contested Saturday at Rim Rock Farm, north of Lawrence.
The 6A boys meet is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., with the girls meet at 11:45 a.m.
Hayden, Silver Lake girls earn 3A team berths
Hayden and Silver Lake went two-three in Saturday's Class 3A regional cross country meet at Sabetha Golf Course to earn team berths for the state meet.Class 3A state meet, which will be run at Rim Rock Farm.
Hayden finished second in the team race with 79 points while Silver Lake was third with 86 points.
Freshman Sofia Harper finished second in 21 minutes. 06.77 to lead Hayden while junior Elliot Wrench placed fifth (21:32.44).
The Wildcats also got an 18th-place finish from Elaina Wolff (23:26.05) while junior Ryann Newkirk was 25th (24:03.67), sophomore Kellyn Specht was 41st (25:15.37) and senior Bella Coyle 75th (33:41.11).
Junior Tessa Gerber posted a sixth-place finish in 21:39.30 to lead Silver Lake while freshman Alessandra Gerber placed eighth (21:47.19), sophomore Kylie Podlena 19th (23:32.54), sophomore Breanna Ackerly 22nd (23:58.93), sophomore Ashtynn Forgy 42nd (25:31.59), freshman Carly Blubaugh 65th (29:04.62) and senior Raely Sterling 68th (30:13.82).
Hayden senior Aiden Amis and Silver Lake junior Aemon Coffman qualified for the state meet as individuals.
Amis finished fifth in the regional meet with a time of 17:18.66 while Coffman was eighth in 17:44.19.
The 3A boys meet is scheduled for an 11:10 a.m. start Saturday at Rim Rock while the 3A girls meet is set for 12:55 p.m.
West qualifies two for 5A state meet
Topeka West sophomore Payton Rice and junior Adrian Lehman earned individual state berths for this Saturday's Class 5A state meet at Rim Rock Farm.
Rice posted a 10th-place finish in Saturday's 5A regional at Brown Thrush Park in a time of 20 minutes, 48.26 seconds while Lehman finished 14th in the boys race in 17:21.47.
The 5A girls meet is slated to start at 10:35 a.m. Saturday at Rim Rock while the boys meet is scheduled for 12:20 p.m.