Hillsboro?s Emily Sechrist finished first for the fourth time in five races this season with a 23-second victory Thursday at the Berean Invitational at Harvey County East Park.
The Trojan junior, battling warm temperatures and a strong south wind, covered the 4-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 11 seconds to outdistance runner-up Carly Flake of Andover.
?The windy and warm conditions accounted for many athletes turning in slower times, but we had talked as a team the day before about the weather forecast and the need to focus on place much more than time,? coach Stuart Holmes said. ?I was pleased with how our athletes were all mentally prepared and competed really hard.?
Karyn Leihy earned a medal in the girls? race with a 13th-place finish in 18:14.
Holmes praised Leihy?s effort to keep pace with several key competitors she will face at regionals, some of whom had defeated her by 30 seconds a week earlier at Southeast of Saline.
?It was a good sign that she is improving faster than many others, which will help her be even more competitive in the final races of the season,? Holmes said.
Avery Franz placed 45th among 62 runners in the 5-k boys? race in 21:25 and J.D. Schmidt was 54th in 22:48. Freshman Jonathan Hiner?man won the junior varsity race in 19:57.
Lydia Kliewer placed 10th among 22 JV girls in 22:41.
Coming?The Trojans will run Thursday at Ster?ling. Races begin at 4:30 p.m