by Don Ratzlaff
and Janae Rempel
The Free Press
Hillsboro?s two qualifiers competed in the Class 2A state cross-country races at Wamego Saturday, but both finished out of the medals.
Junior Jonathan Hiner?man came closest, finishing the 5-kilometer in 18:24 seconds, which placed him 29th out of 100 runners. The top 20 finishers received medals.
In the girls? 2A race, freshman Abby Driggers became the first Hillsboro girl to run the 5-k distance at state. Prior to this season, girls ran a 4-k course.
Driggers covered the challenging hills of the Wamego Country Club in 24:01, which paced her 63rd among 100 runners.
?Abby and Jonathan both ran determined races and ran well in their first state appearance,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?With the rain the day before, the course was soft and slower, but they both still had some of their better times of the year?which is good on such a hilly, soft course.
?They both should feel good about being able to finish their season at the state meet and will hopefully use this year as motivation to increase their dedication and training even more next season.?
Marion?Two Warriors represented the Marion cross country team at the Class 3A state championships Saturday at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence.
In the girls? 5-k race, junior Emily Hague earned a medal by crossing the finish line in 15th place among a field of 106 finishers with a time of 21 minutes, 14 seconds. She averaged 6:49.6 per mile.
?The first time I?saw (Emily) after the start, she was around 25th place,??coach Rebecca Hofer said. ?Then, each time after that, she had advanced one or two positions. The last couple hundred meters she continued to pass competitors and finished neck-and-neck with the 14th-place runner, who barely stepped across the finish line two-tenths of a second before her.
?(Emily) is a hard worker and a strong runner, and I?expect to see her back on that podium next season.?
This was the first year for the girls to run the 5-k distance.
In the boys? 5-k race, sophomore Colin Williams placed 57th among a field of 106 finishers with a time of 18:50.6. He averaged a time of 6:03.5 per mile.
?This was (Colin?s) first year running cross country,??Hofer said. ?He did awesome. Colin always worked hard and pushed himself. I believe next year he will be standing on the podium with a medal in hand.?
Centre?CJ Thompson represented the Cougars at the Class 1A state championships at Wamego Saturday. Thompson finished 59th among a field of 92 runners with a time of 20 minutes, 35.69 seconds.
Goessel?Both Goessel cross country teams represented the Bluebirds at the Class 1A state championships Saturday in Wamego.
Julia Nightengale was Goessel?s top finisher. She crossed the finish line in the girls? 5-k race in a personal-best 23 minutes, 14.97 seconds, good for 22nd place among a field of 77.
Jen Meysing placed 35th (24:21.32), Lauren Rymill 36th (24:24.46), Saskia Clostermeyer 47th (personal-best 25:17.69), Edel Miller 62nd (27:44.75), Maddy Meier 64th (29:18.89) and Sarah Wagner 72nd (31:11.03).
As a team, the girls finished sixth of 12.
?Several of these girls have competed at this course already, and that helped significantly in our preparation and knowing the course,??coach Brian Lightner said. ?The race started out very fast, and most of the girls did well sticking with other runners and pushing themselves to the limit. I was really proud of how they all tried their best to maintain their pace throughout the entire course.?
Meanwhile, Freddy Scheffe paved the way in the boys? 5-k race, placing 36th among a field of 92 finishers with a time of 19:30.22.
Devon LeRoy was 47th (19:56.96), Zach Wiens 50th (20:03.35), Nate Impson 86th (23:58.36) and Leighton Wagner 91st (25:12.53).
As a team, the boys finished 10th of 12.
?At the beginning of the season, we didn?t even have enough boys for a team, so to qualify and represent our school at this level is a high achievement for this group,??Lightner said.