Manhattan’s Harkin wins back-to-back titles

Charles Chaney
Manhattan's Daniel Harkin crosses the finish line to win the 2020 Class 6A boys cross country title at 4-Creek Resort in Augusta on Saturday, Oct. 31. It's Harkin's second straight title.

AUGUSTA Manhattan’s Daniel Harkin made it a point to get out to a lead and never look back in Saturday morning’s Class 6A state cross country meet.

He did it and held on for his second straight state championship and did it this time by almost 19 seconds.

“I had a good gap,” Harkin said. “So, I was comfortable that I would win.

By the time he came through the home stretch, it was only him, shutting down any thought of any pressure of being the defending champion.

“I don’t think there was any pressure on me,” Harkin said. “I already won last year, so this was pretty care free.”

Don’t let the humble attitude fool you, Harkin wants to win. He’s blown by opponents this season with wins at the regional last week and the Centennial League the previous week and the Emporia Invitational in the middle of September. The defending champ showed why he was the favorite to win it.

“He might not say it but he hates to lose,” Manhattan head coach Susan Melgares said.

That’s why the gap was so big, he didn’t want any doubt.

“I actually ran my worst time,” Harkin said. “I got 16th-17th place my freshman year with the time I won today. I was thinking I was going so fast because I was so far out in front and then saw my time.”

The senior who finished runner-up in 2018 and won it all last season made quick work of the field by the first turn, already in front.

Harkin’s win helped Manhattan finish second overall, only eight points behind Lawrence Free State.

“I love being able to get out here and run with them and to finish there is great,” Harkin said.

Free State captured the program’s first boys state championship, scoring 49 points to edge Manhattan by eight for the title. The Firebirds were led by Ethan Sharp, who finished fourth.

Defending champion Washburn Rural finished 11th as a team, led by a 31st from Arrik White.

In Class 5A boys, Emporia’s Treyson True finished sixth after posting a runner-up finish a year ago. Topeka West’s Lenny Njoroge placed 11th in 16:31.68.


At Augusta


Team scores

Free State 49, Manhattan 57, Gardner-Edgerton 101, Olathe South 104, Blue Valley North 155, Blue Valley West 173, Shawnee Mission South 176, Wichita East 187, Derby 219, Dodge city 240, Washburn Rural 242, Junction City 319

Individual scores

1. Daniel Harkin, Manhattan, 16:17.18; 2. Quenton Wailion, Gardner-Edgerton, 16:35.96; 3. Logan Read, Olathe North, 16:38.00; 4. Ethan Sharp, Free State, 16:39.49; 5. Shane Mullen, SM Northwest, 16:40.18; 6. Riley Vandaveer, Olathe South, 16:40.18; 7. Benjamin Shyrock, Free State, 16:44.73; 8. Andrew Mason, BV Northwest, 16:48.44; 9. Graham Miller, BC West, 16:49.03; 10. Chris Stone, Free State, 16:49.19.

The Manhattan boys pose with their Class 6A runner-up trophy at 4-Creek Resort in Augusta, Kansas on Saturday, Oct. 31. It's the highest finish for Manhattan since 2017 when they also finished second.