Marion’s five cross-country runners competed at Hesston’s Swather Special Thursday, where sunny skies replaced the rain fell a year ago.
More than 40 schools participated in the Class 1A-6A meet. Runners were divided by gender and ran with their grade level. Results for each race were divided into two divisions: Class 1A-2A-3A and Class 4A-5A-6A.
Senior Colin Williams led the Warriors with a sixth-place finish, medaling with a time of 19 minutes, 4.3 seconds. He trimmed more than 16 seconds from a week ago.
“(Colin) pushed himself hard and took off a bit of time from the last race,” coach Dmitry Bucklin said. “We have been talking about staying with a pack and not getting separated. I think this really helped him to keep pushing forward.”
In the freshman boys’ race, Nathan Shields finished 34th among 69 runners in 22:20.0. Colton Boudreaux was 53rd in 24:55.5.
“This did not seem to be a fast course for (Nathan and Colton) this year,” Bucklin said. “I think part of it had to do with nerves of having all the different schools, but I also know as young runners, (they) are figuring out the best way to race.”
Sophomore Bethany Grimmett trimmed more than 1:18 from her time last week by crossing the finish line in 33:26.1, good for 49th among 51 runners.
“Bethany had a good race,” Bucklin said. “She looked confident in herself. That will be something that we continue to work on.”
Junior foreign exchange student Elisa Ortiz ran her first competitive race, finishing 34th of 44 runners in 30:13.3.
“It is so much fun having (Elisa) on the team, and she did great,” Bucklin said. “It always takes one race under your belt to know how it really is and how to best utilize practice.”
Coming—Marion will compete at Herington Thursday.