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Espinoza lone Centre representative at state

Xavier Espinoza has been one of the Centre High School track team’s best chances at a state title for the last three years.

The Cougar graduate ran his count to eight for qualifying events overall Friday, with Centre competing at the Burlington regional.

Espinoza will be the only Cougar competing at Friday and Saturday’s state track meet at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.

The Cougar boys’ 16 points left them in 11th place out of 29 teams while the girls finished in a tie for 21st with 2 points.

Espinoza, a three-year qualifier in the 100-meters, posted the fastest time in both preliminaries and finals, running into a gusting headwind.

He quickly jumped out to an early lead, edging Olpe’s runner-up, Carter Cox, by 13 hundredths of a second in 11.64.

Espinoza will look to better his sixth-place finish of a year ago.

Espinoza also managed to qualify in the 400, just beating out the 55-second mark in 54.99.

He was sitting in sixth the last 100 in a heated race in third-through-fifth place, but made a push to secure a ticket to state.

Junior Jensen Riffel was close in shot put, beating his personal best by 4 inches at 44 feet, 8 inches, but was overtaken by Southern Coffey County’s Dawson Leimkuhler on his final throw of 45 feet, 5½ inches.

Alyssa Espinoza was also close in the triple jump and as part of the 4x100 relay, but came up short with a pair of sixth-place finishes.

Xavier will compete in the 400 preliminaries at 10:45 a.m. Friday with qualification sending him into Saturday’s 4:05 p.m. final.

The 100-meter prelims are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning with finals starting at 1:05 p.m.

Last modified May 22, 2019

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