The Hillsboro girls ran as a qualifying varsity team for the first time this season, finishing fifth at the Berean Academy Invitational Thursday at Harvey County East Park.
Led by freshmen Emily Sechrist and Karen Leihy, who placed third and eighth among the 48 runners, Hillsboro finished with 85 points to trail Berean (36), Andover (63), Augusta (77) and Remington (83). Sechrist finished the 4-kilometer course in 16 minutes and Leihy crossed the finish line in 17:14 on a warm and windy day. Elise Larson of Andover won the race in 15:55.
Also competing for Hillsboro were Samantha Ens (34th, 20:36), Erin Wiebe (37th, 21:01) and Amy Bartel (43rd, 21:27).
Meanwhile, Bret Mueller ran his best race of the season and placed fourth among 59 runners for the Trojan boys. Mueller finished the 5-k course in 17:05. He was followed by Josh Richert (11th, 17:37), Dylan Hill (19th, 18:19) and Daniel Grey (30th, 19:21).
Daniel Claassen of Berean won the race in 16:10.
Coach Stuart Holmes assigned five of his runners to the junior varsity race, where Avery Frantz placed fifth in 19:00. He was followed by Jordan Bezdek (9th, 19:27), J.D. Schmidt (10th, 19:27), Tyler Funk (29th, 21:40) and Jon Carey (51st, 23:52).
?Allowing the younger varsity guys the opportunity to run a JV race a time or two during the year can help them reach their full potential,? Holmes said.
Coming?Hillsboro will compete Thursday at Sterling. Races begin at 4 p.m.