Austin Bogina had seldom been tested during the 2010 cross country season, but the Northeast High School senior met two runners who gave him all the race he ever wanted at the state championship Saturday.

Austin Bogina had seldom been tested during the 2010 cross country season, but the Northeast High School senior met two runners who gave him all the race he ever wanted at the state championship Saturday.

Ellsworth senior Josh Rankin raced out to a quick early lead until Bogina caught Rankin at 600 meters on the roughly rolling Wamego Country Club’s first big hill, then Bogina and Hillsboro senior Joel Allen battled for the lead until the last 800 meters, when Bogina overtook Allen for good on the last hill down and won the Class 3A state championship in 16 minutes and 31 seconds.

Allen was second in 16:33 and Rankin third in 17:13 while last year’s Class 3A champion, Collin Trickle of Minneapolis, was 13th in 17:47. Bogina finished second at last year’s state meet.

Bogina’s victory brings Northeast its first state championship since Kelley Hopkins won the long jump in 1981, said coach Piper Richardson.

“We got onto the course a little after 7 a.m., but I had to wait to warm up because it was still dark,” Bogina said. “It was pretty cool when we ran at 9 a.m., about 48 degrees, and I was panicking when Rankin went out because I’d never seen him anywhere.

“He kicked it into another gear but hit the wall on the first hill. Allen and I led back and forth after that, I don’t know how many times. He would pass me for five seconds, then I would pass him. He took off again on the last uphill. I knew we were coming up on a downhill, and I waited for it and it worked. We were going all out in the last 150 meters, and I beat him by two seconds.”

After the race, Bogina and Allen congratulated one another on a competitive race where both runners gave it their best effort.

“When we crossed that finish line, we both had spent it,” Bogina said. “We left it all out there.”

Richardson said she was worried when Rankin took the early lead “because I thought, oh, no, Austin, you can’t lose contact this early!” she said.

“Austin and Joel Allen were running side by side the rest of the race. Austin took the lead with a half-mile left and maintained it. Allen was chasing him and just didn’t have enough to catch him at the end.

“Austin ran extremely well on a tough course — few corners but long inclines and rolling hills. All his hard work paid off today because in most of his races, he ran pretty much by himself. The Ellsworth kid was also very good.”

Bogina captured all three prestigious championships his senior year: league, regional and state. He could not have scripted a better ending to his high school cross country career.

Girard senior Michaela Bauer ended her high school cross country career with a fifth place finish in the Class 4A girls race, running a 15:53.

El Dorado senior Molly Milbourn entered Wamego as the prohibitive pre-race favorite and she met high expectations with a 15:02 championship time; Milbourn completed an undefeated cross country season by outrunning her closest competitor, Colby junior Emilea Finley, by 30 seconds.

“The state meet is always hard competition,” Bauer said. “People are going to show up that you don’t expect. Going in, almost everyone knew Molly Milbourn would probably win and it was just a matter of who got second.”

Bauer said the Wamego course and its rolling hills gave her challenges beyond tough competition.

“If I picked the race apart now, there are things I might have done differently,” Bauer said. “But being in the top five is an honor. It was a good senior year, so I can’t complain. The season worked out well.”

Bauer’s season highlights include winning the CNC League championship — where she ran a Baxter Springs course record of 15:02 — and winning regionals.

Girard sophomore Hadyn Herlocker finished 29th with a time of 16:51. Baxter Springs sophomore Paige White won a medal with a 14th-place time of 16:13. Chanute finished 12th as a team in the Class 4A girls team competition.

In the Class 4A boys race, Chanute junior Trevor Summers, Labette County sophomore Drew Baum and Baxter Springs senior Jacob Spence placed as the last three medalists — 18th, 19th and 20th. Summers ran a 17:28, Baum 17:29 and Spence 17:30; Iola junior Roman Yocham finished 22nd with a 17:39 time. Labette County finished ninth in Class 4A boys team competition.

St. Mary’s Colgan sophomore Rachel Farmer finished 50th in the Class 2A girls race with a time of 18:14 and Farmer’s teammate, fellow sophomore Alex Wachter, placed 59th with a time of 18:42. Pittsburg junior Hannah Carrier finished 51st with a time of 17:37 in the Class 5A girls race at Lawrence.