Runners battle rain, big schools

Battling big-school competition and a wet and sometimes muddy course, the Hillsboro High cross-country team made its debut Saturday morning at the J.K. Gold Classic on the Raft Golf Course near Augusta.

?Overall, the kids ran well,? said coach Stuart Holmes. ?The times were a little slow due to the rain and the muddy conditions in a few spots.?

For the boys? team, Nicholas Mueller led the way by covering the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 15 seconds, good for 26th place.

Crossing the finish line after him were Nathan Vogel (43rd, 19:06), Brandon McMillen (44th, 19:07, Robbie McClelland (46th, 19:14), David Ratzloff (59th, 20:12), Cody Blackketter (63rd, 20:24) and Matthew Klenda (67th, 20:45).

Hillsboro?s team score was 217, which placed it ninth among 10 schools. Mulvane won team honors with 38 points. Thomas O?Connell of Andover was the individual winner in 16:24.

For the Trojan girls, Heidi Schroeder was the fastest finisher, running the 4-kilometer course in 18:18 and placing 30th.

Following her were Brenna Blackketter (41st, 19:00), Clara Ens (43rd, 19:03), Samantha Ens (44th, 19:10), Jessica Elliott (50th, 19:36) and Taylor Nikkel (51st (19:53).

As a team, Hillsboro placed eighth in a field of eight schools with 195 points. McPherson won the team title with 60 points, and Valerie Bland of Arkansas City was the individual winner in 16:16.

?At this point in the season, it is important to focus on training, which we have been doing, so that our best conditioning can result in the best possible races a month to a month and a half from now,? Holmes said.

?We were about the only smaller school at the meet, and knew the competition would be very, very good with all the big schools,? he added.

?But we like competing on Saturday morning for these first three meets so we can focus on training primarily instead of training and adapting to the heat. The most important meets at the end of the season are unlikely to be hot.?

Running in the boys? junior varsity race for HHS were Jonathan King (22nd, 20:03), Bret Mueller (31st, 20:43) and Nicholas Ediger (65th, 23:47).

Coming?The Trojans? next competition will be 10 a.m. Saturday, when they travel to Wamego, the site of the state meet at the end of the season.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Three Trojans feted for CKL volleyball
Three members of the state-qualifying Hillsboro volleyball team received all-league recognition in...
Read More