Runner of the Year: Drew Cook, Tonganoxie
In his final prep season, Cook won a Kaw Valley League title in a time of 16:48. The Chieftains’ senior followed it up by placing third at his regional and 10th at the Class 4A state meet. Cook was also a medalist at the Rim Rock Classic.
Coach of the Year: John Tollefson, Tonganoxie
It was a banner year for Tonganoxie’s boys cross country program, which placed second in the Kaw Valley League, second at its regional and fifth at the Class 4A state meet. It was the first time the Chieftains qualified for state since 2011.
Jacob Bailey, Baldwin — Bailey finished runner-up at three meets this season, including the Frontier League meet in a time of 17:03. The Bulldogs’ sophomore placed 20th at the Class 4A state meet after taking fifth place at his regional.
Avant Edwards, Free State — Edwards led the Firebirds in seven meets this season, including two runner-up finishes during the regular season. The FSHS junior, who ran a season-best time of 16:46, placed 10th in the Sunflower League and was 26th at the Class 6A state meet.
Jared Hicks, Free State — The Firebirds’ junior helped his team to seventh place at the Class 6A state meet after he finished 30th in 17:19. Hicks took 16th in the Sunflower League and finished 14th at his regional.
Noah Katzenmeier, Eudora — Katzenmeier led the Cardinals with a 20th-place finish in the Frontier League meet, helping his team to fifth place in the league standings. The EHS junior was 36th at his regional.
Carter Kietzmann, Tonganoxie — The Chieftains’ senior was consistent throughout the season, earning a medal at the Rim Rock Classic (15th place) before taking third in the Kaw Valley League, ninth at his regional and 24th at the Class 4A state meet.
Carson Jumping Eagle, Lawrence — The only state qualifier on his team, Jumping Eagle took 61st place in his first Class 6A state meet after consistently dropping time throughout the year. The LHS junior took 13th at his regional in 17:20 and 27th in the Sunflower League.
Josh Mitts, Perry-Lecompton — Mitts continued to drop time throughout the season, placing 24th at his regional in 18:52. The Kaws’ sophomore took sixth in the Big Seven League and he finished inside of the top 20 at two more regular season meets.
Henry Nelson, Bishop Seabury — Nelson, a freshman, qualified for the Class 2A state meet after taking fourth place at his regional in 17:51. The Seahawks’ only state qualifier placed 10th at state and medaled in each meet throughout the season, including three wins.
Landon Sloan, Free State — Only a sophomore, Sloan saved his best running for the end of the season, pacing the Firebirds with a seventh-place finish at regionals in 16:43 to help his team qualify for state. Sloan was 21st in the Sunflower League and 31st at 6A state.
Max Tuckfield, Baldwin — Helping the Bulldogs to third place in the Frontier League team standings, Tuckfield took seventh at league in 17:22. The BHS senior placed 11th at his regional and 23rd at the Class 4A state meet.
Will Benkelman, Free State; Canaan Daniels, Perry-Lecompton; Jack Edmonds, Bishop Seabury; Aidan Goertz, Free State; Chandler Hamman, Tonganoxie; Calvin Morgan, Tonganoxie; Garrett Prescott, Lawrence.