By RICK PETERSON
Shawnee Heights senior star Jackson Esquibel headlines the 2023 All-Shawnee County boys cross country team after winning his first Class 5A state XC title this fall after winning a state track championship last spring.
Esquibel, a four-time state qualifier and three-time state XC medalist, won the 5A title in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 34 seconds at Rim Rock Farm to complete a sweep of the city, United Kansas Conference, regional and state individual titles as a senior.
Washburn Rural, which won the city team championship, is represented on the all-county team by senior Max Gutierrez, junior Conner Olsen and sophomores Brooks Kehoe and Higgins Hawks, with Kehoe and Olsen qualifying as individuals for the state meet. .
Seaman, which qualified as a team for the 5A state meet, put sophomores Brody Anderson and Jack Walker on the all-county team while Topeka West is represented by senior Elijah Phelps and junior Adrian Lehman and Shawnee Heights by junior Evan Carter.
Hayden senior Aiden Amis, a 3A state qualifier, represents the Wildcats on the All-Shawnee County team.
Shawnee Heights coach John Oshel and Seaman coach Luke Wiens were named the boys co-coaches of the year for 2023.
All-Shawnee County boys capsules:
AIDEN AMIS, Hayden -- A senior, Amis placed third at the city meet, sixth in the Centennial League meet and fifth in Class 3A regional competition to earn a state berth. Amis placed 29th in 3A. Amis medaled in eight of nine meets he competed in this fall. Amis has the second-best five-kilometer time in Hayden history with a personal-best of 16:03.
BRODY ANDERSON, Seaman -- Anderson, a sophomore, began his high school cross country career in impressive fashion this season, earning All-Shawnee County, All-United Kansas Conference and all-regional honors. Anderson set the fastest five-kilometer time in Seaman High history at the city meet, clocking a time of 15:50 and smashing the previous record by seven seconds.
EVAN CARTER, Shawnee Heights -- Carter turned in a solid junior season as one of Shawnee Heights' top runners, placing in the top 19 throughout the year with a best finish of fifth and a time of 16:51. Carter finished strong with an 11th-place at city and a 12th-place showing in the United Kansas Conference meet. Carter will be counted on to be a strong leader for the T-Birds as a senior.
JACKSON ESQUIBEL, Shawnee Heights -- Esquibel capped an oustanding high school cross country career with his first Class 5A state title and third state medal. A four-time state XC qualifier, Esquibel finished 22nd, 11th and eighth at state before winning the title this fall in a time of 15:34. His state title finished off a sweep of city, United Kansas Conference, regional and state championships. A state champion in track, Esquibel had a school-record best time of 15:16.
MAX GUTIERREZ, Washburn Rural -- A senior, Gutierrez posted a fifth-place finish in the city meet for the city team champions and played 13th in the Centennial League meet and 24th in Class 6A regional competition. Gutierrez clocked a personal-best time of 16:39 in the 2023 campaign.
HIGGINS HAWKS, Washburn Rural -- Hawks, a sophomore, finished eighth in the city meet as the Junior Blues won the team championship and also placed 22nd in the Centennial
League meet and 47th in the Wichita East regional. Hawks clocked a personal-best time of 16:43.
BROOKS KEHOE, Washburn Rural -- A sophomore, Kehoe posted a fourth-place finish in the city meet to help lead the Junior Blues to the team title and also finished fourth in the Centennial League and 16th in Class 6A regional competition to earn an individual berth in the state meet. Kehoe clocked a personal-bst time of 16:10.
ADRIAN LEHMAN, Topeka West -- In his first season of cross country and distance running, Lehman, a junior, finished ninth in the city meet, 10th in the United Kansas Conference for
second-team all-league recognition and 14th at regionals to qualify for the Class 5A state meet. Lehman had a best time of 16:44 for the season.
CONNER OLSEN, Washburn Rural -- A junior, Olsen posted a sixth-place finish in the city meet for the team-champion Junior Blues and placed 15th in the Centennial League meet.
Olsen earned a 14th-place finish at regionals to earn an individual berth for the Class 6A state meet. Olsen posted a personal-best time of 16:41.
ELIJAH PHELPS, Topeka West -- Phelps was Topeka West's most improved runner as a senior and was consistently one of the Chargers' top two runners. Phelps had a best time of 16:45 at the city meet, where he finished 10th. Phelps was also 10th at the United Kansas Conference meet in 17:13 to earn second-team all-league honors in the UKC.
JACK WALKER, Seaman -- A sophomore, Walker improved on an outstanding freshman season by emerging as a top competitor for the Vikings. In addition to earning All-Shawnee
County first-team honors, he also received all-regional and All-United Kansas Conference first-team recognition. Walker's fastest time of 16:42 came in the city meet, making him the
fourth-fastest sophomore in Seaman history and the 21st fastest individual.
ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Name, school Class
Aiden Amis, Hayden Sr.
Brody Anderson, Seaman So.
Evan Carter, Shawnee Heights Jr.
Jackson Esquibel, Shawnee Heights Sr.
Max Gutierrez, Washburn Rural Sr.
Higgins Hawks, Washburn Rural So.
Brooks Kehoe, Washburn Rural So.
Adrian Lehman, Topeka West Jr.
Conner Olsen, Washburn Rural Jr
Elijah Phelps, Topeka West Sr.
Jack Walker, Seaman So
Hayden: Zach Moore, sr. Silver Lake: Aemon Coffman, jr. Washburn Rural: Hayden Keller, sr.; Bodie King, jr.; Brody Tenbrink, jr.
Co-coaches of the year -- John Oshel, Shawnee Heights, and Luke Wiens, Seaman.