Trojan boys fifth in Blue Division at Rim Rock Farm meet

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Battling a challenging course and teams from four states, the Hillsboro boys’ cross-country squad finished a respectable fifth in the Blue Division of the highly competitive Rim Rock Farm Classic Saturday near Lawrence.

“The competition was outstanding,” said coach Stuart Holmes, noting that the event, run in three divisions on the home course of Kansas University, drew almost 1,500 runners from 70 schools in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.

“It was quite a spectacle,” he said. “Our varsity boys did well placing fifth out of the 20 full teams in our division. I believe the four teams ahead of our guys were larger schools. I know DeSoto and Girard are (Class) 4A schools here in Kansas.”

Excelsior Springs (Mo.) won the title with 111 points; Hillsboro scored 176.

Senior Daniel Bookless led the Trojan effort, finishing 10th among 140 runners with a personal-best time of 17 minutes, 59 seconds.

He was followed by Sean Leihy (31st, 18:39), Cody McMillen (35th, 18:52), Nate Holmes (46th, 19:09), Isaac Leihy (77th, 19:48), Robert Jost (88th, 19:59) and Ric Johnson (93rd, 20:06).

The Trojan girls, meanwhile, competed in the Blue Division junior-varsity race.

“Our girls ran in the JV race because all the varsity girls’ races were 4Ks, which is what the large schools in Kansas run. We wanted to stick to the 2-mile distance that our girls run at league, regional and state,” Holmes said.

As a team, Hillsboro placed 11th among predominantly Class 5A and 6A schools.

The top finisher for Hillsboro was senior Carrie Schroeder, who placed fifth overall in 14 minutes. She was followed by Jacque Fisher (42nd, 14:57), Greta Kliewer (62nd, 15:22), Elissa Richert (73rd, 15:38), Courtney Fast (105th, 17:06) and Megan McCarty (126th, 19:00).

“Megan improved her season’s best (time) by over a minute and a half, Greta improved by over a minute while Jacque ran in the 14s for the first time ever.”

Schroeder and Richert also set season-best marks for the girls.

Junior varsity-Hillsboro boys also competed in the 5-kilometer junior varsity and 2-mile “C team” races.

In the JV race, Thad Holmes placed 17th in 19:22. He was followed by Brandon McMillen (20:37), Johnny Christian (111th, 21:28), Zach Magnuson (127th, 21:54), J. Michael Hiebert (131st, 21:57), Matthew Klenda (136th, 22:12) and Jon Janzen (142nd, 22:21).

In the “C team” race, Clint Schneider placed 44th among 110 runners in 13:14, followed by Alex Jost (56th, 13:34), Victor Rogers (58th, 13:39), Tyrel Blecha (65th, 13:51), Lance Kliewer (66th, 13:57) and David Ratzloff (81st, 14:38).

Coming-The Trojans were schedule to run at Southeast of Saline on Tuesday, then will take a break until Sept. 29, when they will compete at the Berean Invitational at Harvey County East Lake.

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