LAWRENCE — The Halstead Dragons were sixth and the Hesston Swathers were 10th Saturday in the Class 3A boys state cross country championships at Rim Rock Farm.
Southeast of Saline won the team title with 35 points, followed by Silver Lake in second at 44 and Norton in third at 117. Halstead scored 142 points, a point out of fifth and seven points out of fourth. Hesston scored 230 points.
Dylan Sprecker of Southeast of Saline won the race in 16:31.5. Kyler Kaniper of Silver Lake was second at 16:39.9. Connor Hall of Norton was third in 16:40.1.
“We were a little disappointed that we were only seven points from fourth place, but I feel like these guys were an overachieving group,” Halstead coach Curtis Vermillion said. “They set their goals high early in the season to make it back to Rim Rock. Most of them ran a PR. Our top five guys ran their best they’ve ever run. We knew it would be a two-team or three-team race between Southeast and Silver Lake. We were hoping to get into the top three. These guys have nothing to be ashamed of. They should keep their heads up. They’ve been a great group to work with.”
The top area finisher was Gage Carr of Halstead in 35th in 17:54.4. Isaac Radke was 38th in 18:00.5. Thomas Porch was 40th in 18:02.5. Hayden Davis was 47th in 18:08.9. Anthony Floro was 56th in 18:29.6. Blake Bush was 82nd in 19:16.8. Dawson Driskill was 95th in 19:36.1.
“We had a 35-second split between our one and five,” Vermillion said. “We packed well. We just didn’t have that guy who would be a top three finisher. It’s a team sport. These guys were the epitome of what a team is.”
Halstead loses four seniors off its top seven.
“We’re going to have some kids who will have to step up,” Vermillion said. “We brought a couple freshmen off our top 10. They didn’t get to run, but that kind of experience will light their fire. We had some juniors who took a leadership role and we will be relying on them to maybe bring us back next year.”
For Hesston, Johnny Yang was 45th in 18:04.5. Micah Dahlsten was 63rd in 18:45.8. Beckham Jantzi was 67th in 18:47.9. Jeb Carlson was 70th in 18:50.1. Joey Kueker was 83rd in 19:17.5. Carter Funk was 85th in 19:26.2. Will Bartel was 98th in 19:59.1.
Hesston loses two seniors off its top seven.