By Jimmy Gillispie
The Sunflower League boys championship couldn’t be decided by the typical five scoring runners Saturday at the Rim Rock Farm.
The battle between Olathe South, ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, and Olathe East, ranked No. 4 in 6A, came down to the sixth runner tiebreaker.
It was the depth of the top-ranked team that proved the difference on the prestigious course. The Falcons and Olathe East tied with 92 points, but the Falcons’ sixth runner placed 35th, well ahead of the Olathe West sixth runner.
The Falcons’ top runner was Matthew Tolman, and he finished 10th overall. His 5K time was 16:27.05. Less than two seconds behind him was Tyler Burns in 11th place.
Rounding out the Falcons’ five scoring runners were Rhys Allen (19), Bennett Meoli (22) and Cole Burkholder (30). Their sixth runner was Luke Ochs, who finished 35th overall.
Olathe East had a pair of top-10 runners in Carter Stewart and Luke Jenkins, who finished fourth and seventh, overall. The Hawks’ next two runners to cross the finish line were Diego Barron (24) and Will Whitehead (25), with Ethan Ochana placing 32nd overall. Brendan Wheatley was their sixth runner, and he finished 80th.
Shawnee Mission East’s Wyatt Haughton clipped Shawnee Mission North’s Micah Blomker for the individual crown. Free State’s Ben Shryock placed third overall.
The girls race was dominated by top-ranked Olathe West (48 points), with No. 2 Olathe North (88) separating itself from third-place Mill Valley (139).
All five Olathe West runners finished in the top 17 of the 5K race. Leading the charge was Kate Miller’s fifth-place finish. The rest of the scoring runners for the Owls were Charis Robinson (7), Bree Newport (8), Aubree Blackman (11) and Elizabeth Browning (17).
Olathe North was led by three top-10 finishes, including Anjali Hocker Singh winning another race this season. Her winning time was 17:50.56, which was 18 seconds ahead of Mill Valley’s Katie Schwartzkopf.
Olathe North’s Kaylee Tobaben finished third overall, with Shea Johnson placing 10th. Completing the scoring for Olathe North was Cora Katzenberger (33) and Niah Blachly (41).