Marion runners feel the chill at HOA league meet

Marion’s four cross-country runners competed at the Heart of America league meet at Hutchinson Trinity Tuesday.

“This was our first meet in cold weather,” coach Dmitry Bucklin said. “On top of that, it was windy, which we should be used to. However, mixing those two made for a tough race.”

In the boys’ 5-k race, Colin Williams earned the ninth-place medal, crossing the finish line in 18 minutes, 56.1 seconds.

“(Colin) had a very strong start and was in seventh place for half the race,” Bucklin said. “At about one-and-a-half miles in, he started getting a severe side ache and dropped to 13th. But about a half mile in, he kicked it back up and had a very strong finish, passing a few other runners.”

Colton Boudreaux finished 68th (24:29.9).

“(Colton) did very well staying with a pack for half the race,” Bucklin said. “I liked seeing the effort he put in into focusing on the runners in front and working hard to pick them off through the race.”

Meanwhile, in the girls’ race, Elisa Ortiz finished 47th (28:50.7).

“I think (Elisa) had a bit of a slow start,” Bucklin said. “She realized that and about half-way through kicked in and passed some runners and kept that pace through the finish.”

Bethany Grimmett finished within about 6 seconds of her season personal best with a time of 30:45.4, which was good for 51st place.

“Bethany was just a few seconds off from beating her season PR,” Bucklin said. “She had great form and running technique through a majority of the race.”

Coming—Marion will now turn its attention to the Class 2A regional meet hosted by Meade Saturday. The girls will run at 11 a.m. The boys’ race is scheduled for 11:40 a.m.

Teams in the field in addition to the Warriors and the host school are Canton-Galva, Berean Academy, Elkhart, Goessel, Kiowa County, Hillsboro, Inman, Stanton County, Macksville, Pratt-Skyline, Sublette and Udall.

To qualify for state, a runner must be a member of one of the top three teams, finish among the top 10, or be one of the top five individual finishers not part of a qualifying team, which could extend beyond the top 10.