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Panther girls, Esfeld seek 5A state medals
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Panthers, runners head to state 


AUGUSTA — Great Bend’s girls and Kaiden Esfeld will chase 5A state cross country medals Saturday at Augusta’s 4 Mile Creek Resort. 

The Panther girls won the school’s 11th cross country regional title last week at the Lake Barton Course.

Fourth-place regional medalist Emilia Diaz (20:17.8) led the Panthers’ charge across the finish line. Top 10 medalists included fifth-place Addy Nicholson (20:18.11), sixth place Eliana Beckham (20:18.84), seventh-place Diane Alvarez (20:19.39), and eighth-place Marissa Boone (20:19.56). 

The Great Bend girls ran in a tight pack and improved their regional times ranging from 19 seconds to 89 seconds from the same course earlier in the year.

Mill Valley, St. Thomas Aquinas and Lenexa St. James headline the girls division. The top three teams earn state trophies.

“There’s five schools up there, and we’re fortunate Great Bend is one of them,” said Great Bend coach Lyles Lashley. “We’ve run through our game plan, which is similar to last week. We want to attack the course at the right times. There’s a few spots that you can take advantage and push the pace. It’s nice course, wide open and nicely spaced so you’ve got room to run and pass people.”

Lashley has confidence in the best team he’s coached at Great Bend.

“I’m confident because the girls have put the hard work in,” he said. “They’ve done a great job. They just need to run and go out and have fun again.” 

Esfeld (16:29.13) cruised to 5A regional medalist honors with a evenly-paced effort. Esfeld placed 18th at 5A state last year.

Wichita Carroll’s Carson McEachern, last year’s 5A state runner-up, and St. Thomas Aquinas runners Logan Seger (4th) and Ashton Haggerson (7th) headline Esfeld’s competition in 5A.

“Kaiden understands how to run a smart race,” Lashley said. “He’s learned exactly how to pace himself and give himself a chance to compete. Last year, he went out too fast, but he’s learned a lot in the past year.”

Hoisington’s boys will compete at the 3A state meet at Wamego Country Club.

Area 2A and 1A state qualifiers will run at Victoria’s Sand Plum Course. Macksville’s girls and St. John’s boys qualified their teams for the 1A state meet.


5A AUGUSTA, 10 a.m. — GREAT BEND GIRLS—4—Emilia Diaz, 20:17.8; 5—Addy Nicholson, 20:18.11; 6—Eliana Beckham, 20:18.84; 7—Diane Alvarez, 20:19.39; 8—Marissa Boone, 20:19.56; 14—Reese King, 20:56.01; 15—Emma Loomis, 21:01.4.

5A AUGUSTA, 11:20 — GREAT BEND BOYS—1—Kaiden Esfeld, 16:29.13.

3A WAMEGO, 10:40 — HOISINGTON BOYS—7—Ian Doss, 18:13.66; 8—Karter Wolf, 18:14.37; 12—Kamden Tarlton, 18:21.1; 15—Elijah Lewis, 18:42.89; 19—Gabriel Hipp, 18:58.77; 49—Alex Mater, 20:48.95; 66—Chris Norvell, 21:44.16.

2A VICTORIA, 11:20 — ELLINWOOD BOYS—BOYS—6—Asher Miller, 18:05.93.

1A VICTORIA, 10:40 — ST. JOHN BOYS—13—Nick Huston, 19:30.3; 16—Preston Dunn, 19:42.81; 18—Quade Smith, 19:51.16; 48—Elijah Delp, 22:06.66; 66—Karim Herrera, 24:04.39;  69—Josh Chapman, 25:38.53 

1A VICTORIA, 10:40 — CENTRAL PLAINS BOYS—8—Peyton Ryan, 19:10.6.

1A VICTORIA, noon — MACKSVILLE GIRLS—10—Abigail Ibarra, 24:17.69; 11—Joselin Garcia, 24:20.43; 22—Sheridyn Black, 26:15.8; 35—Kimberly Arreola, 28:03.85; 46—Melanie Vargas, 30:35.67.

1A VICTORIA, noon — OTIS-BISON GIRLS—GIRLS—8—Destiny Mitchell, 22:40.5.