HHS boys place 3rd, girls 4th at Sterling

The Hillsboro boys placed third and the girls, competing as a varsity team for the first time in several weeks, placed fourth at the Sterling Invitational cross-country meet on Thursday.

Nicholas Mueller led the Trojan boys by placing seventh among 80 finishers in a time of 18 minutes even. Nathan Vogel placed 11th (18:16) and Brandon McMillen 20th (18:42).

Robbie McClelland followed in 25th (19:00), David Ratzloff was 34th (19:12) and Jonathan King was 38th (19:23).

The top five Trojan finishers accounted for 88 team points, placing HHS behind Hutchinson Trinity (77) and Pratt (79) and ahead of Sterling (107). Eleven schools competed as teams.

?The boys ran better than we did at Lyons, and therefore we were closer to Hutch Trinity this week,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?I know the guys will be looking forward to competing with them as well as a number of excellent teams at regionals the week after league.?

Heidi Schroeder, meanwhile, led the girls team effort, placing 18th among 69 finishers in 18:31. Brenna Blackketter (20th, 18:35) was close behind, followed by Samantha Ens (35th, 19:19), Jessica Elliott (36th, 19:20) and Clara Ens (45th, 19:46).

The five combined for 119 points, placing them behind Pratt (47), Haven (96) and Ellsworth (98) and ahead of Ellinwood (123) in a field of 10 teams.

?It was certainly a highlight to have the girls compete as a team so well,? Holmes said. ?Heidi deserves a lot of the credit as she was still our top runner despite hurting her wrist in P.E. class.

?Brenna earned her first varsity medal and continues to have an outstanding freshman season,? he added.

Meanwhile, Cody Blackketter won the junior varsity boys? race in 20:01. Michael Christian (seventh, 21:22) and Scott Brandt (34th, 28:06) followed in a field of 35 runners.

In a race for freshman boys, Bret Mueller placed second (20:07) among 23 runners, Max Heddin was ninth (21:53) and Zach Carey 16th (23:19.

Berean?The Trojans enjoyed their best results so far this season Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Berean Invitational. The Trojan boys took second place as a team with each runner establishing a personal-best time.

Mulvane, the defending Class 4A state champions, won the team title in a seven-school field with a combined time of 81 minutes, 53.2 seconds. Hillsboro followed in 88:14.9 and Berean was third at 89:14.6. Goessel finished seventh in 96:06.9.

In the meet?s unique format, separate races are held for each of a team?s five runners according to their rank on the team. Runners from Mulvane won each of the five races.

In the race for No. 1 runners, Hillsboro?s Nicholas Mueller placed second in 16:57 to David Roberts (15:34.3).

In the No. 2 race, Nathan Vogel placed third in 17:24 to Nikki Troolen-Smith (16:08.3) and Berean?s Arlan Newby (17:13.9).

In the No. 3 race, Robbie McClelland was third in 17:43 behind Wyatt James (16:14) and Andover Central?s Davis Seamster (17:40).

In the No. 4 race, David Ratzloff was third in 18:14 to Josh Hansen (16:57) and Berean?s Michael Claassen (18:06).

In the No. 5 race, Brandon McMillen was second in 17:56 behind Nick Lockwood (17:09).

Each of the five Trojan runners reduced their personal-best time by 40 seconds or more.

?It seemed that everyone was focused on running well on such a nice day,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?When everyone runs well, the guys obviously can compete with some of the top teams.?

For the HHS girls, Heidi Schroeder set a new school record in the 4-kilometer distance with a time of 18:03, which placed her 16th among 59 runners in the field.

The previous record was 18:06, held by teammate Jessica Elliott, who ran an 18:54 at this meet to place 30th.

?Heidi ran a determined race and has worked hard all summer to overcome a foot injury last spring,? Holmes said. ?She should feel good about her dedication and perseverance.?

Also running in the varsity girls? race was Clara Ens, who placed 37th in 19:09.

In the girls? junior-varsity race, HHS swept the top three places in a field of 26. Taylor Nikkel won in 19:18, followed by Brenna Blackketter in 19:19 and Samantha Ens in 19:28.

?That kind of success should help their confidence as they move into varsity races for the rest of the season,? Holmes said.

In the boys? JV race, Matthew Klenda finished second among 61 runners in 18:12.

He was followed by Jonathan King (fourth, 18:33), Bret Mueller (sixth, 19:01), Cody Blackketter (seventh, 19:04), Michael Christian (17th, 20:09), Max Heddin (37th, 21:37) and Zach Carey (45th, 22:55).

Coming?The Trojans will race Thursday in the MCAA league meet, which will be hosted by Wichita Collegiate at the Cessna Activities Center. The varsity girls will race at 4 p.m. and the boys at 4:30 p.m. Junior-varsity races follow.

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