Trojans runners Jonathan Hinerman and Abby Driggers both ran swift enough among regional competition at Belleville to qualify for the 2A state cross-country meet.
Hinerman, a junior, finished in the top 10 of the boys’ race at sixth place with a time of 18 minutes, 11 seconds, while Driggers, a freshman, came in 14th at 23:43.
“Jonathan and Abby should both feel good about how hard they have worked to earn the opportunity to compete at state,” coach Stuart Holmes said.
This will be both runners’ first time to run in the state meet. Holmes said illness effectively ended any chances Hinerman had of going to state last year. However, since then, Holmes said Hinerman trained in the winter, had a good track season, and took summer training up a notch.
“His preparation is starting to pay off,” Holmes said. “He ran strong the entire race and set a new personal record at regionals.”
For Driggers, the key to success was experience gained while running both years in middle school, Holmes said. She trained more during the summer than she had past years, and he said Driggers has made tremendous progress during the season.
“She has improved her time in most meets this year, which is a credit to her consistency in training as well as being mentally ready to race each week,” Holmes said. “Her time at regionals illustrates that improvement. She cut an additional 36 seconds off her personal record.”
The top 10 placers qualified for state, as well as the next five individuals from teams who didn’t qualify.
Driggers was the fifth individual from a school whose team didn’t qualify.
“Also running new personal records at regionals were Tucker Moss, who lowered his PR by over a minute and Tristan Donaldson, who lowered his PR by over 30 seconds,” Holmes said. “Those guys also gave a determined effort and should feel good about the way that they finished the season.”
Samuel Damon also placed 65th at 24:01.
Hinerman and Driggers run Saturday at Wamego.