By RICK PETERSON
It wasn't exactly ideal conditions for Thursday's United Kanas Conference cross country meet at the Shawnee North Community Center, with competitors having to deal with not only a tough course but a stiff wind.
But that was no problem for Shawnee Heights senior boys star Jackson Esquibel, who won his first UKC title by 42 seconds after finishing second in the conference meet as a junior.
Esquibel clocked a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 40.0 seconds while Seaman sophomore Brody Anderson finished second in 16:22.0.
"It's a little challenging, especially with the wind today,'' Esquibel said. "That was a little difficult, but I told myself to enjoy it, smile through the pain and push on the parts that are the most difficult.
"Going into regionals and running this course next week I really wanted to get the small details down so next week I can just feel comfortable out here.''
Esquibel has already won twice this season on the Shawnee North course, also taking a win in the Seaman Invitational.
"I feel like when you run a course two times or more in a season, that first race is really just giving you a sense of how it's going to feel going into the second time,'' Esquibel said. "And now that we're in championship season I really felt like I knew the parts of the course I needed to push myself on and ended up running a good time today that I'm pretty happy about, but only more to come.''
De Soto put three runners in the top 10 and six runners in the top 15 en route to winning the team championship by 43-74 margin over Seaman.
In addition to Anderson's runnerup finish, Seaman got a seventh-place finish from sophomore Jack Walker (17:08.5), a 21st-place finish from senior Joseph Yorkey (18:03.7), a 23rd-place finish from senior Anhony Del Zio (18:06.7) and a 24th-place finish from junior Corbin Murrow (18:07.6) to round out the Vikings' top five.
Topeka West finished third in the UKC, with junior Adrian Lehman leading the Chargers with an eighth-place individual finish (17:11.7) and senior Elijah Phelps taking 10th place (17:13.6).
Shawnee Heights junior Evan Carter narrowly missed a top-10 finish, placing 12th (17:23.7).
UNITED KANSAS CONFERENCE BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
At Shawnee North Community Center
De Soto 42, Seaman 74, Topeka West 106, Shawnee Heights 113, Basehor-Linwood, 118, Lansing 149, Leavenworth 165, Piper 166.
1. Jackson Esquibel, Shawnee Heights, 15:40.0; 2. Brody Anderson, Seaman, 16:22.0; 3. Luke Swarts, De Soto, 16:36.4; 4. Vance Krudwig, De Soto, 16:37.7; 5. Shawn Sullivan, Leavenworth, 16:57.4; 6. Grayson Lamb, Piper, 16:59.8; 7. Jack Walker, Seaman, 17:08.5; 8. Adrian Lehman, Topeka West, 17:11.7; 9. Lyndon Budimlija, De Soto, 17:13.4; 10. Elijah Phelps, Topeka West, 17:13.6.
Other Seaman -- 21. Joseph Yorkey, 18:03.7; 23. Anthony Del Zio, 18:06.7; 24. Corbin Murrow, 18:07.6; 25. Alex Newell, 18:09.0; 30. Drake Spurlock, 18:19.1.
Other Topeka West -- 19. Tony Lloyd, 18:01.2; 32. Mark Wilkie, 18:24.1; 45. Jayden Sigle, 18:56.7; 48. Maxwell Cook, 19:04.5; 50. Ezra Phelps, 19:12.9.
Other Shawnee Heights -- 12. Evan Carter, 17:23.7; 33. Max Esquibel, 18:25.9; 35. Isaac Song, 18:33.8; 41. Landon Staniec, 18:53.5; 47. Andrew Schulte, 19:01.4; 59. Carter Vincent, 19:30.5; .