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St. John runners take fourth place at state
spt cp St. John
The St. John boys cross country team poses on Saturday at the Wamego Country Club. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

WAMEGO — After a 20-year drought at state, the St. John Tigers made quite a first impression at the Class 2A state cross country meet. The Tigers finished fourth with 130 points, just 12 team points from the third-place trophy at Wamego Country Club.
Triston Long led the Tigers with a hard-earned 14th-place finish (18:01.06). The long-striding Long performed solidly on the hilly Wamego Country Club course.
“I’m really happy with my time. It was an awesome experience for me, having my guys run along with me,” Long said. “I ran as hard as I could for my team. I knew I had to perform my best for my team. Our team has worked awfully hard.”
Long said with all of his teammates returning, the Tigers will be primed for a return trip to state.
“We know what competing at state is like now. So hopefully, we’ll come back even stronger next season,” Long said.
St. John’s Quincy Smith earned a distinction when he ran without a shoe after a mid-race mishap. Smith finished 38th (18:36.68).
“Triston Long ran a really good race,” said St. John coach Josh Delp. “Quincy Smith ran a great race for running with one shot most of the race. We were pleased as a team. This is a group that works hard every single day.”
Smith and Wrangler Walker had a mishap with another runner that caused them to fall off stride. Smith lost a shoe and Walker lost his racing momentum.
St. John’s other runners were Mason Osborne, 44th (18:43.57); Remington Walker, 45th (18:44.47); Luke Mercer, 65th (19:16.13);Wrangler Walker, 74th (19:41.67); and Cashe McVey 85th (19:55.3). The Tigers won the Central Prairie League championship.
“We took a step forward this year. This is our best cross country team we’ve had,” said St. John coach Josh Delp. “The boys were very excited to make it to state and had high expectations. We were a little disappointed with finishing fourth. But we’ve got a young team with everybody back. We’ve got some good eighth-grade runners coming up.”
Avery Pike led Ellinwood with a 25th place (18:16.33). Ellinwood placed seventh with 175 team points. Ellinwood’s other runners were Jacob Kasselman, 32nd (19:29.22); Peter Joslin, 47th (18:47.59); Jayce Christiansen, 68th (19:18.63); and Destin Baker, 87th (19:58.03).
Shawnee Maranatha captured the Class 2A state title (60), followed by Leoti-Wichita County (72) and Stanton County (118). Olpe’s Kyler True defended his Class 2A state title (16:28.03), 21 seconds ahead of South Gray’s Lucas Skinner (16:50.48) with Kiowa County’s Frank Cuevas placing third (16:58.88).

Otis-Bison’s Thomas Harmon finished as 18th medalist (18:32.8) to lead the Cougars. Other runners competing were Tristen Dean, 66th (21:09.13); Dylan Jecha, 67th (21:14.5); and Spencer Ewy, 83rd (23:36.75).