Hillsboro boys battle weather, other runners to place second at Ellsworth

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Battling wind, heat and hills, Hillsboro cross-country runners managed some of their best times of the season at the Ellsworth Invitational last Tuesday.

“They should feel good about the effort they gave,” coach Stuart Holmes said. “Today’s conditions required a lot of mental toughness, and our kids were prepared.”

The Trojan boys were led to a second-place finish in a nine-team field with medalist performances by upperclassmen Cody McMillen and Sean Leihy.

McMillen placed fourth in the 5-kilometer race in a time of 18 minutes, 33 seconds. Leihy followed him across the finish line in 18:55.

Also competing for Hillsboro boys Nicholas Mueller (17th, 20:23), Johnny Christian (18th, 20:35), Nathan Vogel (21st, 20:58), Brandon McMillen (26th, 21:24) and Matthew Klenda (39th, 23:10).

The Trojans totaled 65 team points, trailing Abilene with 41. Hesston was third with 72.

“This meet and the Wamego meet have both been good finishes for the varsity boys overall, with Johnny and Nathan running especially well at Ellsworth,” Holmes said. “They sure seem to be improving just in time for the big races at the end of the season.”

For the Trojan girls, Jessica Elliott earned a medal with an eighth-place finish among 43 runners. She covered the 4-K course in 19:12.

Also competing for the Trojans, who were one runner short of competing as a team, were Elissa Richert (21st, 20:44), Hannah Marsh (22:09) and Heidi Schroeder (24:19).

Coming-Hillsboro will head to Ellinwood Thursday to compete in the Mid-Central Activities Association league meet. Races begin at 4:30 p.m.

HHS JV at Ellsworth

Boys: 4. J. Michael Hiebert 20:25; 5. David Loewen 20:33; 6. David Ratzloff 22:00; 9. Zach Magnuson 22:08; 12. Cody Blackketter 22:27; 26. Alex Jost 24:31; 28. Lance Kliewer 24:59; 30. Nick Carlson 25:22; 31. Tyrel Blecha 25:33; 37. Josh Garrett 26:30; 39. Sam Bookless 27:10; 43. Peter Bartel 29:50.

Girls: 2. Brittany McGinnis 20:52.

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