By CHARLES SPURLOCK
Shawnee Heights senior star Jackson Esquibel captured the Class 5A boys individual cross country championship Saturday to pace a large contingent of local competitors in the 6A, 5A and 3A state meets which were held on a cold, overcast day at Rim Rock Farm, just north of Lawrence.
Esquibel, a three-time 5A state medalist, won his first state title on Saturday to go with the 3,200 meters championship he won in track in May.
Esquibel was one of three local runners to post top-three finishes, with Washburn Rural junior Payton Fink earning a runnerup finish in the 6A girls race to four-time state champ Anjali Hocker Singh of Olathe North while Seaman sophomore Ryin Miller posted a third-place finish in the 5A girls race.
Here's a race-by-race look at Saturday's state races:
CLASS 6A BOYS
Micah Blomker of Shawnee Mission North won the individual title in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 18.2 seconds.
Gardner-Edgerton won the team title with 76 points, followed by Olathe East in second place with 93 points. Shawnee Mission North rounded out the top three with 102 points.
Washburn Rural had two runners competing in the race, with Brooks Kehoe finishing 83rd in a time of 17:36.24 seconds and Connor Olsen placing 86th place in 17:43.11.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
The 5A girls race saw the defending champion, Katelyn Rupe of Salina Central, win her second title with a winning time of 17 minutes, 36.11 seconds.
Rupe's teammate, freshman Kaylie Shultz, finished second in 17:58.88 while Seaman's Ryin Miller improved on her fifth-place finish as a freshman by placing third in a time 18:36.73.
The top three team finishers were state champion St. James Academy with 68 points; Great Bend with 78 points and St. Thomas Aquinas third with 103 points.
Ryin Miller led the Seaman girls teams to a sixth-place team finish.
Viking freshman Brynn Spencer finished 32nd in 20:18.07 while Stella Applehanz was 38th (20:35.64), senior Savannah Sampson 56th (21:16.93) and senior Elinore Stallbaumer 78th (22:11.89). The remaining two Seaman runners were freshmen, with Hannah Wempe 79th (22:15.38) and Alex Richardson 81st (22:18.89).
Payton Rice of Topeka West, competing as an individual, finished 51st in 21:05.43.
CLASS 3A BOYS
Clay Shively of Wichita Trinity, one of the state's premier distance runners, won the 3A boys title in 15 minutes, 47.95 seconds.
Shively's teammate, Samuel Ferguson, finished right behind him in 15:48.06 while Holcomb’s Brody Deniston rounded out the top three in 15:51.35.
Wichita Trinity won the boys team title with 49 points while Southeast-Saline finished second with 73 points and Holcomb came in third with 98 points.
Hayden senior Aiden Amis finished 29th with a time of 17:16.84 while Silver Lake’s Aemon Coffman was 62nd (18:25.04).
CLASS 6A GIRLS
Olathe North senior Anjali Hocker-Singh completed her four-year reign as the 6A state champion, winning in a time of 17 minutes, 30.18 seconds.
Washburn Rural junior Payton Fink earned her third straight 6A state medal with a runnerup finish after finishing fifth as a sophomore.
Fink, one of three medalists for Washburn Rural, posted a five-kilometer time of 18:12.79 seconds to lead the Junior Blues to a fourth-place team finish.
The top three teams were Olathe West with 45 points, Olathe North with 68 points and Shawnee Mission East with 103 points while Rural narrowly missed a team trophy by finishing fourth with 113 points.
Washburn Rural junior Rylee Ismert finished 16th in 19:23.22 seconds while sophomore Emily Graf was 19th in 19:29.32.
Brooklyn Nolte finished 41st for the Junior Blues (20:23.71) while Kenzie Maddox was 62nd (21:16.53), Kate Muir 83rd (22:11.49) and Lacey Middleton 101st (23:56.31).
CLASS 5A BOYS
The 5A boys race produced an area state champion in Shawnee Heights' Jackson Esquibel, who completed a sweep of city, United Kansas Conference, regional and state titles.
Esquibel finished his title-winning race in 15 minutes, 34.47 seconds to post a five-second win over Dustin Stephenson of Bishop Carroll (15:39.90). Daniel Enriquez of Kapaun Mt. Carmel was third in a time of 15:48.53.
Blue Valley Southwest claimed the boys team title with 52 points, followed by Spring Hill with 65 points and Bishop Carroll with 91.
The Seaman boys finished in ninth place with 253 points.
Seaman was led by sophomore Brody Anderson’s 33rd-place finish in 16:54.85 while Jack Walker was 55th (17:27.06), Corbin Murrow finished 74th (17:57.86), Alex Newell was 75th (17:58.48), Joe Yorkey finished 80th (18:07.75), Logan Townsend 86th (18:15.58) and Anthony Del Zio 97th (18:43.02).
Adrian Lehman of Topeka West finished 47th with a time of 17 minutes, 14.86 seconds.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
The final race of the day was the 3A girls race, with Emily Hein of Wichita Trinity making it a sweep of the individual titles for the school by winning in a time of 18 minutes, 37.87 seconds.
Southeast-Saline won the team championship with 52 points, followed by Wichita Trinity with 113 and Norton third with 116 points.
Hayden girls finished in 11th place with 207 points while Silver Lake was 12th with 249 points.
The Hayden girls were led by Elliot Wrench, who finished in 30th place (21:17.30). Wrench was followed by Sofia Harper in 32nd place (21:19.16), Elaina Wolff 69th (23:05.52), Ryann Newkirk 79th (24:11.03), Kellyn Specht 85th (25:06.46) and Bella Coyle 95th (30:41.52).
Tessa Gerber finished 49th in a time of 21 minutes, 46.47 seconds to lead Silver Lake. Alessandra Gerber finished 54th (21:59.34), Kylie Podlena was 73rd (23:23.07), Breanna Ackerly 76th (23:49.64), Ashtynn Forgy 90th (26:41.93), Carly Blubaugh 91st (27:20.82) and Raely Sterling 94th (30:32.11).