The defending girls champion returns in 1A, but an infusion of talent has her pushed down in the rankings.
Top 5 Individuals
1. Naomi Reeh – Bird City
Reeh has really come out of nowhere this year to be the favorite to unseat defending champion Rachel Renken of Lakeside. She was second at her regional meet to Madison Moser of Tribune by 16 seconds, but I believe she was saving it. She beat Moser head-to-head at the Wheatland Invitational earlier this season by 50 seconds. She also holds a victory over Renken at Hill City where she got her by 20 seconds.
2. Madison Moser – Tribune
Moser has wins over big over Reeh last week and Ellinwood’s Jenna Snell at Ness City earlier this season. She has flown under the radar being way out west, but knocking of Reeh last week proved she has arrived.
3. Karly VanCampen – Clifton Clyde
VanCampen moves down from 2A to 1A after a fourth place finish in 2A last season. Her time would have been good enough for a first or second place finish in 1A last year as she had virtually the same time as Renken. Class 1A competition has stepped up though with runners who have really risen through the ranks.
4. Rachel Renken – Lakeside
I very rarely bet against the defending champion, but Renken has not consistently beat top flight competitors this season. I like her experience at Wamego as the defending champion to help her nip the next runner on this list.
5. Kerra Cissne – Lincoln
Cissne beat Renken at the regional meet and at Rock Hills by 45 seconds, but Renken got her back at Lakeside and Lincoln. Bet that these two girls will be right next to each other for the first two miles for sure and then I like Renken’s state champion pedigree to show through.
Top 3 Teams
Tribune nipped Burrton by one point last season thanks to a strong pack. This year it should be much easier for Tribune with Moser front running. Burrton and Tribune are much the same, but Burrton, unlike last year, does not have a front runner to offset Moser>
2. Burrton – 17:45 (Gap time of 17:33 to 17:55)
Burrton has an amazing pack. Its one through four runners have a gap time of 22 seconds which is a strength, but with no front runner it will not be able to compete with Tribune this year.
Kerra Cissne will be up front and then the two through four runners will be about a minute back fairly close to each other to procure a third place finish.
Top 5 Boys Individuals
1. Colton McNinch
There is nobody even close to McNinch. His teammate Calvin was the only 1A runner that stood a chance, but due to issues this summer he has fallen way back in the pack. McNinch will run most of the race at Wamego alone.
2. Isaac Wilson – Tribune
He was a minute and a half behind McNinch at the regional meet, but he was also sick. I think he gets within 45 seconds at state, but still never really will push the champ.
3. Peyton Wade – Haviland
He finished second at the regional meet, but the kid is impressive. He worked hard in the offseason to get here and his racing strategy is perfect for Wamego as he is a great pace runner.
4. Jordan Dahlke – Quivira Heights
He has scuffled a bit lately and was second at the regional meet, but he has gone sub-17 and beaten Wade head-to-head. It is his senior season and one final shot on Wamego’s course.
5. James Farris – Lincoln
He was a regional champion and won by 50 seconds in a relatively weak regional. He has run well against top flight 1A competition though this year.
Top 3 Teams
1. Ness City
It have competed with the big boys this year and held its own. At Rim Rock it beat teams like Derby, Baldwin and Maize head-to-head. Tribune gave Ness City a scare at the regional meet as it only lost by two points. Kyle Calvin will be the x-factor though. He needs to run well to keep Ness City at the top.
No matter how much McNinch wins by it will likely only be worth one point at state as Tribunes top runner Isaac Wilson will be second. The two teams matched up very well at the regional meet as Ness City’s one and two beat Tribune’s, but Tribune’s three beat Ness City’s three and four. This one could be closer than expected, but Ness City steps up at state.
3. Pretty Prairie
There is a large glut of teams after the top two, but with Issac Williams in the top seven overall and then a solid two through four, Pretty Prairie can claim this spot.