ORIGINALLY WRITTEN Y DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro boys’ cross country team was clearly the class of the seven-team field, running away with the Berean Invitational championship on Thursday.
The Trojans capitalized on a traditionally fast 5-kilometer course to win the team title with a combined time of 90 minutes, 30.9 seconds.
Hesston was Hillsboro’s closest rival, finishing second in 92:41.8. Bluestem was third in 94:39.7, Peabody-Burns fourth in 94:52.1, Remington fifth in 97:39.2, Hutchinson Trinity sixth in 100:56.6 and Canton-Galva seventh in 101:58.6.
Berean’s format for boys features separate races for each of the five varsity runners according to their ranking on the team. Trojan runners won four of the five races and finished fifth in the other.
Winning for Hillsboro were Westie Magnuson among No. 2 runners in 17:42, Sean Leihy among No. 3 runners in 18:01, Cody McMillen among No. 4 runners in 18:31, and Daniel Bookless among No. 5 runners in 18:42.
Kody Borg placed fifth in a tough field of No. 1 runners with a team-best time of 17:28.
“For the varsity guys, it was a dominant performance,” said coach Stuart Holmes. “The guys really competed well. With continued improvement, the guys certainly have a shot at a league title as well as another trip to state.”
The girls’ team, meanwhile, finished seventh among eight teams with 160 points in a more traditional format of one varsity race.
Remington won the meet with 44 points. Peabody-Burns was fourth at 115 and Canton-Galva eighth at 174.
Elissa Richert led the Trojans with a time of 15:02 over the 2-mile course. Following her were Hannah Marsh (25th, 15:14), Jacque Fisher (30th, 15:48), Greta Kliewer (38th, 16:21), Megan Peachey (46th, 18:09) and Megan McCarty (49th, 20:50).
“Running especially well for the girls was Elissa Richert, who had her fast time of the season,” Holmes said.
In the boys’ junior varsity race, Hillsboro’s Nate Holmes took first in 17:59, returning to action after missing two races with an injury.
Also running for HHS were Robert Jost (7th, 19:38), Jon Janzen (21st, 21:10), Zach Magnuson (25th in 21:24), Clint Schneider (43rd, 22:32), Alex Jost (48th, 22:51), Gavin Serene (49th, 22:54), Tyrel Blecha (54th, 24:17), Lance Kliewer (57th, 24:32) and Zach Luthi (62nd, 25:23).
The Peabody-Burns boys secured fourth place with a top team performance from Andrew Topham, who placed second in the No. 1 race at 17:03.
Duane Unruh was seventh in the No. 2 race in 18:48, Derek Benson fifth among No. 3 runners in 19:00, Nicholas Whitney sixth among No. 4 runners in 19:57 and Maximilian Stralka third among No. 5 runners in 20:01.
Running junior varsity for the Warrior boys were Christian Bengsston (16th, 20:51), Ryan Wiebe (22nd, 21:13), Jesse Riggs (31st, 21:46), Jason Carroll (38th, 22:26), Isaac Good (39th, 22:27), Cole Welsh (40th, 22:29) and Ethan Riggs (51st, 23:01).
Leading the Warrior varsity girls to fourth place was Tiana McGee, who was sixth overall in 13:37. She was followed by Kate Topham (12th, 14:01), Ashley Elliott (19th, 14:38), Stephanie Vetter (51st, 17:30), Sherilyn Hill (52nd, 17:31), Samantha Pickens (54th 17:58) and Anna Zappone (60th, 25:00).
For the Canton-Galva boys, Brandon Shannon was eighth among No. 1 runners (19:15), Travis Myers 10th among No. 2 runners (19:41), Randy Schafer seventh among No. 3 runners (20:26), Billy Prickett 19th among No. 4 runners (20:58), and KaCee Kremeier seventh among No. 5 runners (21:27).
Running junior varsity for the Eagle boys were Brandon Scott (27th, 21:29), Joseph Unruh (33rd, 22:01), Ben Konda (34th, 22:07) and Jesse Bryant (37th, 22:22).
Leading the Eagle varsity girls was Caitlin Nelson, who was 19th in 14:35. She was followed by Alyssa Koehn (29th, 15:03), Sheri Volkman (48th, 16:37), Semruh Uvralmova (57th, 19:50) and Amanda Roberts (59th, 22:01).
Running junior varsity for the Eagle girls was Morgan Ashpole, who placed 16th in 23:02.
The Goessel boys did not have enough runners to compete for team honors. Evan Fast placed fourth among No. 2 runners in 18:31, Zach Plenert fourth (18:59) at No. 3, Kellen Jenkins fourth (18:52) at No. 4, and Brady Peters fourth (20:01) at No. 5.
Janessa Wedel won the junior varsity girls’ race in 14:46.
Running junior varsity for the boys were were Cameron Voth (24th, 21:23), Wesley Gibson (42nd, 22:31), Jake Schrag (44th, 22:39), Nate Ensz (35th, 26:33), Sam Lehrman (66th, 26:35) and Ryan Goertzen (67th, 26:44).
Coming-Hillsboro raced among the hills at Ellsworth on Tuesday. Results will appear in this week’s Free Press Extra. Their next competition will be the Mid-Central Activities Association league meet Oct. 14. It will be hosted by Hillsboro at Marion Reservoir’s Cottonwood Point.