Hillsboro qualifies two for state meet

Free Press File Photo<p>Abby Driggers qualified for state by placing 14th in 23:43 at regionals.

Free Press File Photo<p>Jonathan Hinerman qualified for state with a sixth-place finish at regionals.

Hillsboro cross-country runners Jonathan Hiner?man and Abby Driggers qualified for the Class 2A state meet this weekend with strong performances at the regional race Saturday at the Belle?ville Country Club.

Hinerman, a junior, placed sixth in a field of 69 finishers, completing the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 11 seconds to set a new personal record. Adrian Fishny of Valley Heights won the race in 17:32.

Driggers, in her freshman season, placed 14th among 45 finishers in 23:43, lowering her school record for the new 5-k distance for girls by 36 seconds. Kya Johnson of Bennington crossed first in 19:11.

?Both Jonathan and Abby turned in especially determined efforts, which led to outstanding races,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?They both should feel good about how hard they have worked to earn the opportunity to compete at state in Wamego on Saturday.?

For Hinerman, qualifying for state helped ease the disappointment of last season, when illness limited his training toward the end of the season.

?Since then, he has trained more in the winter, had a good track season, and took his summer training up a notch leading up to the season,? Holmes said.

Holmes said Driggers? middle-school experience was a key factor for her success in her first year of high school competition. She ran in junior varsity races at most meets this fall.

?In most of the meets this year, she has improved her time, which is a credit to her consistency in training as well as being mentally ready to race each week,? Holmes said.

At regionals, the top 10 finishers qualify for state as well as the next five individuals from teams that don?t qualify. While Driggers placed 14th overall, she was the fifth individual from a school that didn?t qualify as a team.

Also running in the boys? race for Hillsboro were Tucker Moss (48th, 21:15), Tristan Donaldson (51st, 21:27) and Samuel Damon (65th, 24:01).

Coming?Saturday?s state races for Class 1A, 2A and 4A will be at the Wamego Coun?try Club. Abby Drig?gers and the 2A girls will run the first race of the day at 10 a.m. while Jona?than Hinerman will run with the 2A boys at 12:15 p.m.

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