Strong performances were the story of the day Thursday as the Hillsboro cross-country team competed at the Berean Invitational at Harvey County East Lake.
“Overall, it was our best meet of the season for our team as almost everyone who ran either set a new personal record or medaled,” coach Stuart Holmes said.
Emily Sechrist claimed the gold medal in the girls’ varsity race with a come-from-behind victory. She completed the 4-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 30 seconds—a 30-second improvement from a year ago.
“Emily really showed her competitive spirit,” Holmes said. “She led from the start, but then was passed around 2 miles, and was 15 yards behind going into the final stage of the race.
“Oftentimes, when a leader is passed like that and falls behind some distance, they mentally concede to the other runners. But Emily kept pushing the pace and, with a determined, outstanding finish, won the race in the home stretch.”
Also running for Hillsboro was Karen Leihy, who medaled at 13th place in 17:17.
“The grit Karen showed was a real highlight, as she ran another strong race but was tripped up by a tree root and fell,” Holmes said. “But she got up to finish with 13th place and her best time of the season.”
For the Trojan boys, Josh Richert set the pace by placing seventh. He covered the 5-kilometer course in 17:06. Richert was followed by Avery Franz (18:36), Jordan Bezdek (18:56) and Daniel Gray (21:01).
Ren Bean of Mulvane won the race in 15:18. Five of his teammates also finished among the top nine runners.
Two Trojans ran in the girls’ junior-varsity race. Erin Wiebe placed eighth in 20:37 and Morganne Hamm was 19th among 25 runners in 23:26.
In the middle-school division, Michael Higby won the seventh-grade 1-mile race in 6:18 and Jonathan Hinerman won the eighth-grade 2-mile race in 13:31.
Coming—Hillsboro will race Thursday at Sterling. Races begin at 4:30 p.m.