By JIM MISUNAS
The No. 1 ranked 1A St. John Tigers have swept all but one boys cross country team title this fall.
The Tigers compete at Wichita’s Cessna Activities for Saturday’s 1A regjonals. The top teams qualify for 1A state at Wamego Oct. 27.
The Great Bend boys and Ellinwood girls also have solid chances to qualify their teams for their respective state championships.
1A ST. JOHN — Beloit St. John’s won the state battle over St. John last year after the Tigers won the 2016 state title.
The Central Prairie League cross country champions feature seventh-place medalist A.J. Miller (17:47.6); 12th-place Mason Osborne (18:05.2); 16th-place Wrangler Walker (18:13.5); 33rd-place Hunter Hanson (18:49.8); and 46th-place Trey Fisher (19:24.2) from last year’s state runner-up.
Central Prairie League champion Miller (17:50.8) was followed by runner-up Osborne (18;14.4) and fourth-place Walker (18:29.0).
“We’re confident about our top three runners,” said St. John coach Joel Delp. “All our other guys are capable of being that fourth runner and they’ve done that all year. It goes back-and-forth because the guys are competitive runners. It’s nice to see that depth.”
Stafford’s state qualifiers last year were Cayden Brozek, 48th (19:28.1); Jovani Valadez, 73rd (21:24.3); Marshall Woolf, 78th (21:50.9); Toby Woolf, 82nd (22:34.3); and Rogelio Loya, 85th (23:43.6).
Other state qualifiers last year were St. John’s Atarah Walker, 35th (23:57.1) and Otis-Bison’s Sheridan Ewy, 68th (27:08.0); Ashtyn Butler, 76th (28:14.0) and Amanda Sizemore, 87th (34:10.3).
5A GREAT BEND — The Panthers lost 5A state runner-up Kerby Depenbusch, but return five runners from a fifth-place state finisher — 46th-place Sage Cauley (17:02.7); 49th-place Joshua Tomlin (17:05.0); 51st-place Ryan Nicholson (17:07.4); 62nd-place Collin Hammond (17:23.5); and 69th-place Alex Smith (17;28.4). Cauley (17:01.1) was WAC runner-up and Collin Hammond (17:06.3) placed fourth.
Panthers McKenna Esfeld (16:19.0) was WAC runner-up and Emilia Diaz (16:19.6) was third WAC medalist at Lake Barton last week.
2A ELLINWOOD — 2A girls state runner-up Ellinwood scored 121 points last year. Running at the state course last year were 8th-place Ashtin Klepper (20:48.0); 11th-place Erin Hammeke (21:00.0); 25th-place Sarah Hammeke (22:04.3); 31st-place Courtney Cook (22:37.9) and 83rd-place Alicia Mitchell (26;11.3). Erin Hammeke (20:45.3) was CPL medalist and Klepper (21:287.9) finished runner-up and Sarah Hammeke (22:28.1) fifth.
Central Plains’ Hannah Redetzke (22:14.8) placed 26th and placed third (21:51.1) at the CPL meet. Macksville’s Itzel Garcia (23:22.3) finished 45th last year. Mustang runner Abigail Ibarra (22:39.7) placed sixth at the CPL meet.
Ellinwood’s Peter Joslin (18:14.1) was 17th 2A medalist and Jonathan Whisnant (18;29.3) finished 25th. Whisnant (18:17.4) placed third in the CPL and Joslin (19:11.2) placed eighth.
3A LARNED, HOISINGTON — Larned’s Braydon Lothman (17:12.88) was the Central Kansas League runner-up and Hoisington’s Dayne Yott (17:18.92) placed fourth. Larned’s Cierra Nord placed as the fourth CKL medalist.
5A NEWTON (Centennial Park)—10 a.m.—Andover, Great Bend, Hays, McPherson, Newton, Salina Central, Salina South, Valley Center, WichitaHeights
3A GYPSUM—10:30 a.m.—Beloit, Clay Center, Colby, Concordia, Council Grove, Goodland, SE Saline, Hays-TMP, Hoisington, Smoky Valley, Lyons, Minneapolis, Norton, Phillipsburg, Russell, Scott City
3A WICHITA (Lake Afton)—10:55 a.m.—Chaparral, Belle Plaine, Cheney, Cimarron, Douglass, Eureka, Halstead, Haven, Hesston, Holcomb, Hugoton, Kingman, SW Heights, Larned, Wichita Collegiate
2A MEADE (Golf Course)—11 a.m.—Elkhart, Ellinwood, Ellis, Garden Plain, Stanton Co. Lakin, Wichita County, Meade, Ness City, Oakley, Pratt Skyline, Sterling, Sublette, Syracuse, WaKeeney Trego
1A TRIBUNE (Prairie Ridge GC)—11:30 a.m.—Ashland, Brewster, Bucklin, Deerfield, Dighton, Fowler, Grainfield Wheatland, Greensburg Kiowa Co. Healy, Hill City, Ingalls, Jetmore Hodgeman Co. LaCrosse, Logan, Macksville, Minneola, Montezuma South Gray, Otis-Bison, Palco, Quinter, Satanta, Sharon Springs-Wallace Co. Spearville, St. Francis, Stockton, Tribune Greeley Co. Victoria
1A WICHITA (Cessna Activities)—11:15 a.m.—Argonia, Burden Central, Burrton, Caldwell, Central Plains, Coldwater South Central, Cottonwood Falls Chase Co. Cunningham, Elbing Berean, Hartford, Hutchinson Central Christian, Fairfield, Lebo, Little River, Centre, McPherson Elyria, Marmaton Valley, Olpe, Pretty Prairie, St. John, St. Paul, Stafford, Udall, Waverly, Wichita Classical, Wilson