Mueller makes state; MHS to send three

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Marion?s Camille Christensen <p>bears down near the end of a seventh-place run at Southeast of Saline?s 3A cross country regional. She will be one of three Warriors representing Marion at Wamego.<p>Ryan Jones and Louis Holt both qualified to run at state, as did Hillsboro?s Nicholas Mueller.

Having a sub-par day in an above-par regional field left the Hillsboro boys? cross-country team the odd men out for next week?s state meet.

The Trojans finished fourth as a team Saturday at Southeast of Saline?one place short of qualifying for the Class 3A race this weekend in Wamego. The regional field included four of the top six teams in the most recent Class 3A coaches rankings.

Southeast of Saline, ranked No. 1, upheld its reputation by taking the team title with 70 points. Hutchinson Trinity, ranked No. 3, placed second at regionals with 85, and Ellsworth, ranked sixth, was right behind with 88.

The Trojans, ranked No. 4 in the coaches poll, finished fourth at Southeast with 98 points.

Nicholas Mueller qualified as Hillsboro?s lone entry at state by placing ninth overall with a 5-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 30 seconds.

?Unfortunately for our guys, we had somewhat of an off day and did not run as well as we have in most meets over the past month,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?The guys have worked so hard and had such a successful season?it?s just too bad it ended a week early.?

Nathan Vogel just missed qualifying as an individual, placing 13th among 92 runners in 18:39. He was followed by teammates Brandon McMillen (23rd, 19:03, Robbie McClelland (26th, 19:13), David Ratzloff (27th, 19:17), Jonathan King (33rd, 19:31) and Matthew Klenda (50th, 20:34).

Trask Engel of Southeast won the race in 17:33.

The Hillsboro girls, meanwhile, placed seventh among 11 teams.

Heidi Schroeder paced the Trojans, finishing 26th among 74 runners by covering the 4-kilometer course in 18:08. She was followed closely by freshman Brenna Blackketter (28th, 18:11).

Also competing for HHS were Samantha Ens (36th, 18:34), Clara Ens (48th, 19:20) and Jessica Elliott (53rd, 19:33).

As a team, Hillsboro accumulated 173 points. Belle Plaine won the meet with 32 points and Amanda Callaway was the overall winner in 15:32.

?A number of the girls had excellent times for a windy day,? Holmes said. ?Heidi and Brenna were within eight seconds of the school record and Samantha set a new personal record by 15 seconds.?

The meet was the last one for seniors Schroeder, Clara Ens, Elliott, McClelland, McMillen, Ratzloff, Klenda and Cody Blackketter.

?Our seniors have done an outstanding job and will be missed,? Holmes said. ?Their hard work and self-discipline to run in the summer have been great examples for our younger runners.?

Marion results?The Marion cross-country team will be represented at the Wamego state meet by two boys and one girl.

Ryan Jones led the way for the Warrior boys by placing fourth overall in 18:17 while Louis Holt crossed in seventh place in 18:28.

?Ryan and Louis stayed consistent this week and it paid off,? coach Bethany Carlson said. ?They both earned spots to state for the second season in a row.?

Camille Christensen will represent the MHS girls by placing seventh in 16:59.

?Camille has had quite the season with having an injury and then being sick,? Carlson said. ?She is just now where she was at the beginning of the season. Camille improved her time from the previous meet by 45 seconds. When it?s crunch time, Camille knows how to be a competitor and get the job done.?

Also running at Southeast for the Warrior boys were Andrew Shipman (31st, 19:27), Michael Kirkpatrick (43rd, 20:12), Brandon Meierhoff (68th, 21:32), Phillip Gu (73rd, 22:01) and Max Wegner (86th, 23:11).

As a team, Marion placed fifth with 151 points.

Joining Christensen on the girls? team were Jaclyn DeForest (18th, 17:31), Amanda Richmond (40th, 18:38), Danae Edwards (49th, 19:25), Jessie Taylor (58th, 20:12) and Anna Laurin (59th, 20:43).

?Overall, we felt like the girls? team was the healthiest they?ve been all season and it showed with the team placing fourth,? Carlson said.

?We were able to beat teams this season that we haven?t beat all season.?

As a team, Marion scored 155 points, which was 85 points behind the last of the three qualifying teams.

State meet?The Class 3A girls are set for a 9 a.m. start at Saturday?s state race in Wamego. The Class 3A boys will race at 10 a.m.

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