It took a Class 3A newcomer to prevent Hillsboro sophomore Emily Sechrist from winning a second straight state cross-country championship Saturday at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence.
Jordan Puvogel of Hiawatha, who finished ninth last season in Class 4A, claimed this year’s 3A title by finishing the 4-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 30 seconds.
Sechrist, meanwhile, crossed in 15:35 to claim the silver medal—despite improving her winning time last season on the same course by 28 seconds.
“Emily gave a tremendous effort and ran great,” coach Stuart Holmes said. “She finishes her sophomore cross-country season as the league and regional champion, as well as the state runner-up.
“Her dedication and commitment to her running has been outstanding again this year.”
Meanwhile, Josh Richert, the Trojan boys’ only qualifier, won his second state medal by finishing 16th in the boys’ 5-kilometer race. The senior crossed the finish line in 17:31, an improvement of 27 seconds and one place from 2011.
Cory Donley of Sacred Heart won the race in 16:03.
“Josh ran very well,” Holmes said. “Josh finishes his senior cross-country season as a two-time state medalist as well as the league runner-up. We’ll miss Josh’s determination and excellent racing this year.”
The runners raced on a chilly day this time around.
“With temperatures in the upper 30s for Emily’s race and in the low 40s for Josh’s race, both turned in an outstanding performance and gave everything they had,” Holmes said.
“In spite of the temperatures, they both improved their time on the same course from a month ago when conditions were ideal.”