Marion?s Hett, Hillsboro?s Sechrist lead area teams at Peabody

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Jordan Hett and Kaelyn Thierolf led the Marion effort Thursday at Peabody. Hett won the boys? varsity race while Thierolf placed third in the girls? race.

All five cross-country teams in the Free Press distribution area participated in the Peabody-Burns meet Thursday, with several runners ranking high in the varsity and junior varsity races.

?We had wonderful conditions for a cross-country meet this year,? Peabody-Burns coach Kim Topham said. ?The weather cooperated and we were able to run the course as intended.?

Marion?s Jordan Hett won the boys? varsity race by a 17-second margin, crossing the 5-kilometer finish line in 17 minutes, 6 seconds. Teammate Patrick McCarty placed third in 17:39.

Several seconds behind were Hillsboro?s top two runners, Bret Mueller, who placed fifth in 17:57, and Josh Richert, who crossed in sixth at 18:20.

As a team, Marion placed third among seven teams with 84 points and Hillsboro was fourth with 85. Hesston won the title with 47 points.

Also running for Marion were Jacob Cope (13th, 18:44), Clark Kroupa (35th, 20:54), Quin?ton Hett (40th, 21:35) and Jarred Hague (43rd, 23:17) in a field of 46 runners.

Avery Franz (22nd, 19:32), Jordan Bezdek (26th, 20:06), Daniel Gray (29th, 20:18) and JD Schmidt (31st, 20:22) also competed for Hillsboro.

Goessel placed sixth as a team, led by Heath Goertzen, who finished 23rd in 19:36. He was followed by Nathan Czar?now?sky (25th, 19:53), Ben Wiens (36th, 20:54), Grant Flaming (38th, 21:15), Jake Herrel (39th, 21:23) and Dan Smucker (41st, 21:50).

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Zachary Preheim, Peabody-Burn?s lone entry, placed 30th in 20:20, which was two minutes faster than a year ago.

Meanwhile, Hillsboro?s Dylan Hill won the junior varsity race in 19:07. Also finishing in the top four were Eli Janzen (2nd, 19:37) and Jus?tin Hiller (4th, 19:58) of Canton-Galva.

?Eli ran a good race,? said Canton-Galva coach Lyle Silsby. ?Not quite as fast as last week at Hesston, but this course is a little tougher, so we were pleased with his performance.

?It is good to see him continue to improve and be able to run pain free.?

Also among the 46 runners were Tyler Funk of Hillsboro (12th, 21:26); Jon Weber (17th, 21:54) of Canton-Galva; Aaron Woelk (30th, 23:13), Dane Kruger (39th, 24:54) and Garret Woelk (42nd, 26:00) of Goessel; and Nicholas Davies (45th, 28:42) of Marion.

Seven of nine Bluebird runners ran personal-best times.

?Peabody presented a very cool afternoon,? Goessel coach Derrick Birdsell said.

?Tempera?tures were about 20 degrees below average, but in the sweet spot for running.?

Girls? races

Hillsboro freshman Emily Sechrist broke her own school record in her second race of the season on the way to placing second among 23 finishers in the girls? 4-k varsity race.

Sechrist?s time of 15:46 lowered last week?s mark by 37 seconds, and drew her to within 10 seconds of the race winner, Mikala Heddin of Hesston.

It also was one of the top times in Class 3A so far this season.

Freshman teammate Karyn Leihy, who broke the school record two weeks ago, placed sixth at Peabody in a personal best 17:03. Her previous best was 17:25.

Meanwhile, Kaelyn Thierolf of Marion claimed fourth place in 16:23. Also running for Marion was Elizabeth Goentzel (18th, 20:11).

Competing in the field of 25 runners in the junior varsity race were Samantha Ens (7th, 19:29), Erin Wiebe (13th, 20:24) and Amy Bartel (14th, 20:24) from Hillsboro; MacKenzi Young (10th, 20:06) of Peabody-Burns, and Helena Clausing (18th, 21:48) and Katie Diehl (25th, 32:29) of Can?ton-Galva.

Cooler weather and a relatively flat course contributed to lower times, said Hillsboro coach Stuart Holmes.

?Almost all of our runners had their best times of the season, but more importantly, our inexperienced runners are learning how to run with that sense of urgency, pushing the pace a little beyond where they are comfortable without going too fast,? he said.

?That?s one of the keys to really improving and reaching their potential.?

Coming?Hillsboro and Goessel were scheduled to complete Tuesday at Southeast of Saline. Goessel will join Marion, Canton-Galva and Peabody-Burns at Marion?s home meet Thursday.

Those races are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Marion County Lake.

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