ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro boys’ cross country team was the runner-up Thursday at the 21-school Bluestem Invitational meet near Leon.
The Trojans’ score of 91 points was second only to 60 points by Clearwater, a Class 4A school. In third place was Circle with 107 points.
Leading the Trojans contingent was senior Kody Borg, who placed 11th overall with a time of 18 minutes, 9 seconds over a more challenging 5-kilometer course.
Also scoring for the varsity were Sean Leihy (16th, 18:35), Karl Magnuson (19th in 18:42), Cody McMillen (22nd in 18:57) and Daniel Bookless (33rd in 19:11). Robert Jost placed 64th in the varsity race.
Nate Holmes, one of the team’s top runners, did not compete because of an injury.
“With 21 schools at the meet, the guys should feel good about a solid second-place finish,” coach Stuart Holmes said. “Some of the races had almost 100 runners, so our runners competed well.”
Holmes said Borg and McMillen ran close to the times they ran a week earlier at Hesston, which was a flatter course.
The Hillsboro girls’ team, meanwhile, competed in the junior varsity race, finishing second.
“The rest of the season our girls will run varsity as most meets don;t allow you to run people in the JV race unless you have a full varsity team,” Holmes said.
Leading the Trojan effort was Hannah Marsh, who placed fourth with a time of 14:52 over the 2-mile course. Following her were Elissa Richert (ninth, 15:14), Jacque Fisher (12th, 15:27), Greta Kliewer (19th, 15:59), Megan Peachey (41st, 18:32) and Megan McCarty (46th, 21:02).
“The girls have shown good progress so far and I’m sure they will continue to focus on working to improve their times,” Holmes said.
Competing in the boys’ junior varsity race for Hillsboro were Jon Janzen (40th, 22:12), Zach Magnuson (58th, 23:04), Clint Schneider (65th, 23:39), Gavin Serene (66th, 23:41), Alex Jost (67th, 23:51), Tyrel Blecha (76th, 24:44), Zach Luthi (80th, 25:25) and Lance Kliewer (81st, 25:57).
Area teams-Justin Garrard, Centre’s only runner in the boys’ varsity race, placed fourth overall in 17:13 while Andrew Topham of Peabody-Burns was sixth in 17:53. Both earned medals for a top-20 finish.
Also competing for the Warriors in the varsity race were Jacob Wolf (20:22), Derek Benson (20:43), Nicholas Whitney (21:43), Christian Bengsston (22:04) and Zach Dameron (25:10).
Peabody-Burns placed 11th as a team with 262 points, Marion boys were 12th with 286 points and Canton-Galva was 13th with 333 points among the 14 schools that fielded full teams.
Running for Marion were Luke Bowers (19:09), Daniel Goentzel (19:16), Justin Heidebrecht (21:12), Ben Leppke (21:29), Keith Jones (21:52), Jordan Timm (21:55), Logan Richmond (22:48) and Matt Kirkpatrick (22:48).
Running for the Canton-Galva varsity were Brandon Shannon (37th, 19:13), Travis Myers (74th, 21:15), Billy Pickett (89th, 22:18), Randy Schafer (90th, 22:25), Jesse Bryant (95th, 23:05), Brandon Scott (96th, 23:20).
“Travis Myers is really improving and should be a big contributor in the future,” coach Mark Martens said.
For the girls’ varsity race, Tiana McGee of Peabody-Burns was the top area finisher by placing 10th in a time of 13:32. Teammate Kate Topham earned a medal also by placing 15th in 13:44.
Also running for the PBHS varsity were Alyssa Carter (14:49), Ashley Elliott (15:02), Samantha Pickens (18:07) and Anna Zappone (24:49).
As a team, the Warriors placed sixth among 10 teams with 143 points, Marion was eighth with 161 points and Centre 10th with 234 points.
Canton-Galva did not have enough runners to compete as a team, but finishing for the Eagles were Caitlin Nelson (22nd, 14:00), Alyssa Koehn (50th, 15:17) and Sherri Volkman (58th, 16:24).
Running for Marion were Danielle Cope (14:08), Alissa Vogel (14:32), Katie Hett (15:03), Anika Wegner (15:06), Laura Holt (15:24), Sabine Teichert (15:35), Chelsea Arnhold (16:27), Sasha Mikheyeva (16:29), Briana Vogel (16:29), Elisa Gayle (17:35) and Emily Svoboda (17:38).
Results for the Centre girls and the Goessel girls and boys were not available at press time.
Coming-Hillsboro was scheduled to race at the Southeast of Saline on Tuesday. Results will appear in this week’s Free Press Extra on Thursday
The Trojans’ next race will be a week from Thursday, Sept. 30, when they run in the Berean Invitational at Harvey County East Lake.
Meanwhile, Marion, Canton-Galva, Centre, Goessel and Peabody-Burns were scheduled to compete at the Marion Invitational at Marion County Lake this Thursday., Sept. 23.