LAWRENCE — It was a frustrating day for the Newton High School boys’ cross country team, which finished 12th out of 12 teams Saturday at the Class 5A state cross country championships at Rim Rock Farm.
St. Thomas Aquinas won the meet for the sixth straight year, finishing with 59 points. Maize South was second at 99 and Andover was third at 129. Newton finished with 267 points.
Ryan Kinnane of Andover won the race in 15:48.4. Treyson True of Emporia was second at 16:08.7. Aiden Higgerson of Aquinas was third at 16:11.8.
“We had two very good meets back-to-back in league and regional,” Newton coach Richard Mick said. “We felt like we had to back off a little bit in regionals more than I would have liked. Maybe that affected us today. That was nowhere close to our best race of the year, which was disappointing. This race is kind of a different beast. You want to put yourself in a position to do well early. But if you go out too fast, you can get into trouble. We thought we had the experience here. It’s nice if you can save some energy for the second half of the race.”
Newton was led by Italian foreign exchange student Widly Nocenti, who took 47th out of 102 runners in 17:26.2. Luke Schmidt was 54th in 17:30.5. Erik Jantz was 72nd in 17:49.0. Eli Blaufuss was 74th in 17:55.6. Grant Treaster was 82nd in 18:05.4. Benjamin Gering was 97th in 18:39.5. Caleb Koontz was 98th in 18:42.0.
Newton loses four seniors off its top seven.
“There’s a good group of juniors, sophomores and freshmen all the way down to seventh grade,” Mick said. “The girls need to get their numbers up. They have some good runners. This is our seventh year in a row (for the boys at state), so they have something to be proud of. (Class) 5A has gotten tougher. You have Maize, Maize South, the Catholic schools, Andover.”