The Weekend Rewind: State Championship Throwdowns

* Izaiah Steury claimed his first IHSAA State Cross Country Championship on Saturday

Photo Credit: Jacob Musselman/Indiana MileSplit

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Izaiah Steury had been a closer all season long. 

So when the Angola (IN) High School junior needed his last 1,000 meters to be his best on Saturday at the IHSAA State Cross Country Championships at Lavern Gibson in Terre Haute, he certainly showed his best form, nudging past Highland's Lucas Guerra and Carmel's Kole Mathison to win his first state championship. 

An incredible boys championship final saw all three athletes, who had 25 wins combined across all competitions this fall, battle neck-and-neck through 4K before Steury put down one final blow, gapping both competitors en route to a winning time of 15:23.7. 

But it was Steury's last stretch that ultimately earned him the victory. The Angola athlete, who earned a 191 speed rating, held on strong over that important span, producing a final K time of 3:09. He was the only boys runner to average under 5 minutes per mile on the course. 

Steury claimed his 10th win of the season and also improved by 26-seconds from the same championship a season ago. Guerra, meanwhile, was just as impressive as he earned his second-straight runner-up performance after securing a second-place performance in 2019. He finished in 15:34.40.

Mathison, who was in the hunt until the final sprint and hadn't lost all season, was third overall in 15:36.40.

On the other end, Columbus North's boys executed to near precision, winning the team championship with 63 points, outscoring second-place Carmel (112) and third-place Brebeuf Jesuit (126) by 49 points. 

What was especially impressive, though, was the Bulldogs' 23-second spread. Columbus North had every scorer inside the top 26 places, with junior Reese Kilbarger-stumpff leading the way in fourth with a time of 15:44.20. 

Photo Credit: Jacob Musselman/Indiana MileSplit

IHSAA Girls Championship: 

Karina James didn't necessarily fly under the radar in Indiana this fall. 

Prior to Saturday's state championship girls race, the Lowell junior had won nine straight races. 

But it also wouldn't be fair to say she was the favorite, either, as she did not have a sub-18 minute performance on her resume. 

But James probably didn't care about that, either.

Case in point: The junior ran her fastest 5K time of the year and earned her first state championship, scoring a winning time of 18:00.10. 

James, who improved four seconds year-over-year on the course, held off Fort Wayne Carroll's Zoe Duffus, who finished second overall in 18:02.20. 

Meanwhile, third-place Annie Christie (18:18.90) paced the winning effort from the Carmel girls, who dispatched the defending champion Bulldogs and earned their first state championship since 2016 with 52 points. 

Using a tight pack that produced a 53-second spread, Carmel averaged 18:51 on LaVern Gibson and finished each athlete in the top 33. 

View: Indiana State Championship Meet Page - Photos - Results

Individual IHSAA Boys Championship Results:

1	Izaiah Steury	11	Angola High School	15:23.70	0
2	Lucas Guerra	12	Highland High School	15:34.40	0
3	Kole Mathison	10	Carmel High School	15:36.40	1
4	Reese Kilbarger-stumpff	11	Columbus North High School	15:44.20	2
5	Mariano Retzloff	11	Penn High School	15:45.40	3
6	Karsten Schlegel	11	Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran High School	15:49.40	4
7	Travis Hickner	12	Noblesville High School	15:49.90	5
8	Jesus Garcia	12	Zionsville Community High School	15:50.40	6
9	Nolan Satterfield	11	Hamilton Southeastern High School	15:53.90	7
10	Trevor Nolan	12	Brownsburg High School	15:55.70	0

Team IHSAA Boys Championship Results:

1	Columbus North High School	63	2+11+15+16+19 (31+36)	0:23 1-5 Split | 16:01 Avg
2	Carmel High School	112	1+14+18+29+50 (56+101)	1:02 1-5 Split | 16:10 Avg
3	Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School	126	10+17+20+39+40 (89+154)	0:34 1-5 Split | 16:16 Avg

Individual IHSAA Girls Championship Results

1	Karina James	11	Lowell High School	18:00.10	0
2	Zoe Duffus	12	Fort Wayne Carroll High School	18:02.20	1
3	Annie Christie	12	Carmel High School	18:18.90	2
4	Ellen Baker	12	North Central High School (Indianapolis)	18:20.80	3
5	Sophia Kennedy	10	Park Tudor High School	18:22.10	0
6	Addy Wiley	11	Huntington North High School	18:25.90	0
7	Mackenzie Barnett	12	Columbus North High School	18:26.70	4
8	Lexi Allen	12	Culver Academies	18:28.00	5
9	Nicki Southerland	9	Delta High School	18:30.20	0
10	Kendall Martin	11	Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School	18:34.00	0

Team IHSAA Girls Championship Results

1	Carmel High School	52	2+8+10+13+19 (24+93)	0:53 1-5 Split | 18:51 Avg
2	Fort Wayne Carroll High School	77	1+7+14+21+34 (36+126)	1:35 1-5 Split | 18:57 Avg
3	Columbus North High School	168	4+18+41+51+54 (105)	1:32 1-5 Split | 19:28 Avg

Erik Enriquez's big move at the Kansas State Championships: 

No win over the regular season was more important to Erik Enriquez than Saturday's effort at the Kansas Class 5A state championships. 

"It feels amazing," the Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior said. "I've been dreaming about it all season." 

But Enriquez didn't play his cards right away. A measured race led to a moment where Enriquez had a decision to make. 

"The key was past 3K," he said. "You turn back into the wind. I was this close to letting off, and I knew that's when I broke those guys when I made that push. So that's when I took it."

Enriquez eventually gapped Bishop Carroll Catholic's Carson McEachern and St. Thomas Aquinas' Tommy Hazen, which led to his victory in 15:43.90. 

It was the fastest 5K performance across all Kansas state races on Saturday. 

Four-Peat For Taylor Briggs:

To win one state championship is a moment reserved for history. To win four? 

Absolutely legendary. 

But that's exactly what Chapman's Taylor Briggs did on Saturday in the Kansas Class 4A state championship race, winning her fourth straight title in 18:19.00 on the Wamego Country Club course. 

And it wasn't even close. 

Briggs was nearly two minutes ahead of second-place Sydney Owens of Eudora. 

And it concluded a career that included 27 overall wins for Briggs and a career best 5K performance of 18:07.10 earlier this season. Briggs won all seven of her meets in 2020. 

View: Class 5A-6A Results - Class 3A-4A Results - Class 1A-2A Results

* Nathan Green won his third straight title in Idaho this weekend

Idaho Falls Puts Together Major State Victory

The boys of Idaho Falls haven't had a lot of chances in 2020 to show just why they could have been one of the best Northwest teams -- if not the best team -- this fall. 

With heavy restrictions due to COVID and less travel, the Tigers were reserved to produce the best season on Idaho soil that they could. 

But at least on Saturday, the team's talent did finally shine through, with an incredibly dominant Idaho Class 5A state championship victory sending the Tigers a title with just 23 points on the docket. 

Behind a 16:00 average and two big performances from seniors Mitchell Athay and Zac Bright, who finished second and third, respectively, the squad compiled a 174.6 speed rating average for 5K -- and that was a truly top 10 performance over the fall. 

Meanwhile, Borah's Nathan Green grabbed the state championship he's been working for all season long, winning the overall 5A race at Eagle Island State Park in 15:26.53.

That win gave Green his third straight title in Idaho and sets up Green's chances in two weeks at the XC Town USA Meet of Champions in Indiana. 

Green will be traveling to the Midwestern state with hopes of winning his biggest meet of the season. 

* MileSplit spoke with Boise Senior coach Aaron Olswanger ahead of the state championships

Girls Championship:

Few surprises took place in the girls state title race. 

MileSplit50 No. 2 ranked Boise Senior ran all over the competition en route to a nearly perfect score of 18 points on an 18:28 average. 

The Braves' two freshman, Sammy Smith and Allie Bruce, went first and third, respectively, while senior Rosina Machu notched a runner-up performance. 

Smith was the only female under 18 minutes on the day at Eagle Island, scoring a time of 17:45.34.

Eagle's Lizzie Dildine was fourth overall. 

View: Idaho State Championship Meet Page - Results

Prior Lake's boys, Edina's girls win unofficial state championship race:

When Minnesota's governing high school sports association canceled its state championship series earlier this year, it effectively ended the season at Sectionals. 

But that wasn't going to stop most Minnesota cross country athletes from getting just a few more races in. 

On Friday, the Minnesota TCRC Cross Country Showcase was effectively the state's unofficial state championship. 

And teams ultimately got one last chance to show just why they were the top programs this fall. An electric boys race saw Prior Lake earn top billing in the large school race. 

The Lakers scored 89 points, beating Stillwater (109), Wayzata (143) and Rosemount (153). Meanwhile, Edina dispatched Minnetonka once again in the girls race, scoring 79 points to the Skipper's 119. Saint Paul Highland Park was third with 129 points. 

The girls race was without top ranked athletes Abbey Nechanicky of Wayzata, Maya Mor of Minnetonka and Ali Weimer of STMA. 

Stillwater's Analee Weaver, however, still put together a strong performance, earning a 157 speed rating with a winning time of 17:04.38. Saint Paul Highland's Molly Moening was second in 17:49.00, while Farmington's Anna Fenske was third in 17:52.00. 

Crazy enough as it sounds, the title-race was a swan song for Fenske, who had been competing at the state championships since 2015. Her resume included finishes of ninth, first, second, third, third and Friday's third-place finish. 

* Madison Central's Ciara O'Shea

Photo Credit: Misty Gish/Kentucky MileSplit

The Kentucky State Championships

The Class AAA boys race produced a rather incredible finish. 

A sprint to the line, and just one second, separated first from second. 

Ultimately, Madisonville-North Hopkins' Jackson Watts claimed his first state victory in a time of 15:41.83, while Madison Central's Brady Masters was second overall in 15:42.23.

Louisville St. Xavier, meanwhile, claimed the team championship with 93 points over Conner (116) and Louisville Trinity (143).

In the Class AAA girls race, Madison Central's Ciara O'Shea (above) claimed her second straight title in resounding fashion, winning on the Bourbon County Park course in a dominant time of 18:15.37. 

More Information: Meet Page - Results

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The West Virginia State Championships: 

Larry Josh Edwards is two-for-two. 

The University (WV) sophomore claimed his second straight state title on Saturday on the Cabell Midland XC Course, finishing with a winning time of 15:25.48 and earning a speed rating of 192.

In doing so, he helped the Hawks to their second straight title in Class AAA. 

That performance represented a 25-second improvement from the season prior and was 50-seconds faster than second-place Rocco DeVincent (16:15.12), Josh Edwards' teammate at University. 

Class 2A Boys winner: Logan Zuchelli, Fairmont (15:57.57).

Class 1A Boys winner: Carter Lipscomb, Doddridge County (15:57.00). 

Meanwhile, a slight upset took place in the Class 3A girls race ...between teammates.

Morgantown sophomore Irene Riggs slipped under 18 minutes to win the girls championship in 17:59.82, while junior teammate Lea Hatcher was second overall in 18:28.88. The duo also guided Morgantown to an easy title run with 35 points. 

Class 2A Girls winner: Lydia Falkenstein, Fairmont Senior (19:21.65).

Class 1A Girls winner: Ella Hesson, Williamstown (20:19.67).

Top Performances Of The Weekend: 

  • Sophie Atkinson, Katy Cinco Ranch (TX): The MileSplit50 No. 6 athlete scored a UIL District 6A-19 win in 16:40.90, earning the fastest 5K of the week. It was her second sub-17 performance of the season. 
  • Brynn Brown, Denton Guyer (TX): The No. 1 athlete in the country posted her fourth straight sub-17 performance, winning the UIL District 6A-5 race in 16:46.58.
  • Caroline Wells, Winter Springs (FL): Wells laid down a Florida No. 2 and the first sub-17 of her career at the FHSAA District 3A-6 Championships in 16:50.78. 
  • Foster Wilfong, Boerne Champion (TX): The Texan ran the fastest 5K of the weekend in 14:52.00 at the UIL District 5A-26 race. 
  • Abby Vanderkooi, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (MI): Vanderkooi was superb at the MHSAA LP Region 21-3 race, winning in a time of 17:04.17. 
  • Evan Caswell, Coppell (TX): Another race, anothe win for Caswell. The Coppell senior broke 15 to win the UIL District 6A-6 race in 14:58.05. 
  • Rheinhardt Harrison, Nease (FL): We've heard this name before. The Florida phenom ran his first sub-15 in XC, putting down a winning time of 14:55.00 at the FHSAA District 4A-2 Championships. 
  • Analee Weaver, Stillwater (MN): Competing at the TCRC Cross Country Showcase in Atwater -- possibly an unofficial state championships in Minnesota -- the BYU bound athlete picked up another win in a time of 17:04.38. Edina, meanwhile, dispatched Minnetonka, which was sitting out a few of its key members. 
  • Talha Syed, Salem (MI): The senior, who's been dropping time considerably, put down a career-bes 15:26.10 at the MHSAA LP Region 06-1 Championship. 
  • Nathan Walker, Fremont (MI): The Michigan athlete scored a time of 14:56.46 at the MHSAA LP Region 10-2 race. 
  • Kamari Miller, Marietta (GA): Georgia's top runner picked up another win, winning the Region 3-7A Championships in 15:06.46.
  • Jenna Hutchins, Science Hill (TN): Her 17:06.70 at the Region 1 Large School Championships was the sixth-fastest time of the week. But her speed rating -- 171 -- was the best of the season nationwide. 
  • Dayton Carlson, Casteel (AZ): He won the Chandler City Meet in 15:07.00.
  • Anastacia Gonzales, Boerne Champion (TX): The 800m starlet ran 17:20.00 at the UIL District 5A-26 race. 
  • Brooke Rauber, Tully (NY): The No. 4 ranked athlete posted a winning time of 17:31.00 at the Tully COVID Invite on Halloween. 
  • Aidan Cox, Coe Brown Academy (NH): The sophomore won the NHIAA State Divisional Championship in a season- and career-best time of 15:15.40. 
  • Mia Cochran, Moon Area (PA): Managing to get cleared to race just before the WPIAL Championships, Cochran won in 17:46.00. 
  • Joshua Truchon, West Allis Hale (WI): All those big performances in weeks prior paid off as Truchon claimed a WIAA Division I state championship in a time of 15:18.30.
  • Kora Malecek, Onalaska (WI): The Illinois commit won her first state championship on Saturday in a time of 17:52.80. 

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The Weekend Rewind