St. Thomas Aquinas, Blue Valley Northwest win EKL titles

By Jimmy Gillispie

Neither Eastern Kansas League cross country meet was a close finish Thursday.

The boys teams race was dominated by St. Thomas Aquinas, which has won the past seven Class 5A state championships in Kansas. The No. 1-ranked Saints had the top three runners in the race, and scored just 37 points to win the league title.

Blue Valley Southwest, ranked No. 2 in 5A, finished runner-up with 63 points. No. 5-ranked St. James Academy placed third as a team, scoring 77 points – 54 ahead of fourth-place Blue Valley North.

St. Thomas Aquinas was led by senior Logan Seeger, who’s league-winning time was 15:54.1. The next two Saints across the finish line were junior Colby King and senior Ashton Higgerson, who placed second and third, respectively.

Senior Frank Curran (14) and junior Alex Waldie (17) rounded out the Saints’ scoring. All five Saints ran under 17:33.

Blue Valley Southwest’s top five runners were junior Micah Paschke (6), senior Drew Dombrosky (8), sophomore Thomas Caul (13), sophomore Crew Buehler (16) and senior Gabe McGee (20).

Senior Eli Moore led St. James with a fourth-place finish. Senior Terry Irvine (11), junior Andrew Hartegan (12) and junior John Jacobson (18) also finished in the top 20. Freshman Michael Bianco (32) was the final scoring Thunder runner.

Blue Valley Northwest had a pair of top-10 runners in senior Andrew Mason (5) and junior Sam Hurley (7). Blue Valley North junior Prabhav Pagadala (9) and Blue Valley sophomore Noah Summers (10) were the other two top-10 runners in the boys race.

On the girls side, BVNW ran away with the title after placing its first five runners in the top 14. The Huskies scored 40 points to win the league championship. 

The Blue Valley Northwest girls cross country team won the Eastern Kansas League. (Photo from the @BVNW_XC_TF Twitter account)

St. Thomas Aquinas placed runner-up with 67 points. St. James and Blue Valley tied at 98, but the Thunder’s sixth runner finished one spot ahead of the Blue Valley sixth runner.

BVNW had a 0:50 split between its first and fifth runners. Senior Cecilia Fisher led the Huskies with a third-place finish in 19:53.61. Following her were senior Lexi Less (6), junior Abby Allen (8), junior Laya Erickson (9) and senior Carly Gagnon (14) to complete the scoring runners.

St. Thomas Aquinas placed two runners in the top 10. They were senior Alexis Huddin (5) and Sophia Spinello (7). Junior Quinn Babcock (16), freshman Anna DiCarlo (18) and junior Lilly Blaufuss (21) were the other three scoring runners for the Saints.

Blue Valley senior Tori Wingrove won the race in a time of 19:02.02. She won by 35 seconds over Blue Valley West senior Katherine Soule, who finished as runner-up. 

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