The three local state qualifiers for the Class 3A state race Saturday at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence (from left): Hillsboro?s Emily Sechrist passes Savannah Wright of Douglass and races to a second-place finish; Marion?s Jordan Hett heads for a fourth-place finish in 17:10; Hillsboro?s Josh Richert pushes hard toward the finish as he races to 10th place.
Three area cross-country runners qualified as individuals for the Class 3A state meet Saturday by running well in the regional race at Lake Afton.
Emily Sechrist, freshman from Hillsboro, turned in the best individual performance by placing second in the girls? 4-kilometer race with a time of 15 minutes, 24 seconds?a mere two seconds behind the winner, Sarah Wright of Douglass.
For the boys, Jordan Hett of Marion placed fourth, covering the 5-k course in 17:10. Also qualifying was Josh Richert of Hillsboro, finishing 10th in 17:45.
Cory Donnely of Sacred Heart won the race in 16:32.
?Emily and Josh both ran especially well to earn their spots in the state meet,? said Hillsboro coach Stuart Holmes.
?Emily continues her outstanding success with another great time?just one second off her school record,? he added. ?In some ways, it was her best race, as she is learning to run what we call ?comfortably hard? for the first two miles and still be able to race the last part of the course. She finished the last half mile very well.?
Holmes affirmed Richert?s late-season surge.
?Josh continued his excellent string of races the last few weeks, showing good patience in the first half of the race and having the ability to finish strong and move up into the top 10.?
Marion coach Rebecca Hofer praised Hett for another strong performance.
?Jordan ran a great race, placing fourth, and will be preparing for state this week,? she said.
Patrick McCarty of Marion, who placed 11th in 18:05, and Jacob Cope of Marion, who finished right behind McCarty in 18:06, just missed making the cut.
Hofer was pleased with her team?s fifth-place finish.
?Even though we did not place as a team, we did beat Hutch Trinity, who beat us at league, (as well as) Halstead and Sterling,? she said.
Wichita Independent won the team title with 55 points; Marion totaled 136 points.
Running with Hett in the field of 85 runners were teammates Timothy Knolla (46th, 19:50), Clark Kroupa (73rd, 21:10), Quinton Hett (75th, 21:23) and Jarred Hague (78th, 22:05).
The Hillsboro boys, meanwhile, placed seventh as a team with 144 points.
Joining Richert in the race were Bret Mueller (18th, 18:30), Avery Franz (33rd, 19:13), Dylan Hill (40th, 19:30), Jordan Bezdek (52nd, 20:01), J.D. Schmidt (53rd, 20:02) and Daniel Gray (53rd, 20:03).
?With last week?s results, the guys would have been right there for third place, but we have a lot of guys that are young and were in that situation at regionals for the first time,? Holmes said.
The Hillsboro girls, meanwhile, placed sixth among 11 teams.
Also competing for HHS in the field of 66 runners were Karen Leihy (22nd, 17:17), Samantha Ens (42nd, 18:55), Erin Wiebe (52nd, 19:48) and Amy Bartel (60th, 20:52).
?Overall, the girls ran well with Samantha and Erin running their best times of the season,? Holmes said. ?Karyn gave a great effort as well, but missed a week of regular training with a muscle strain and wasn?t able to stay with the pace of the top 10 runners.?
Coming?This year the location for the Class 3A state race Saturday moves from the familiar hills of Wamego to Rim Rock Farm north of Lawrence. Emily Sechrist will run at 11 a.m. and Jordan Hett and Josh Richert at 12:30 p.m.