Two meets into the season, Trojan cross-country coach Stuart Holmes should have a good idea who his next standout could be.
It’s Joel Allen.
The senior newcomer Allen placed fifth last week, competing against runners from Class 5A and 6A schools in Augusta.
On Saturday at Wamego — the site Allen could very well re-visit next month for the Class 3A state meet — he literally sped past everybody.
Allen’s winning time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds out of 107 finishers nearly beat Pretty Prairie runner-up Isaac Williams by a minute at 17:52.
“Joel’s win in the 3-2-1A division was impressive as he ran another excellent race,” Holmes said. “He also posted a very good time on such a challenging course for this early in the season. He won the race in large part this summer by doing the kind of mileage that it takes to get really fit.”
With only Bret Mueller and Josh Richert running for the varsity, and a trio of runners in both the boys and girls junior varsity divisions, Hillsboro was unable to obtain any team scores.
Mueller earned a medal with a time of 19:03 for 15th as did Richert, who took 34th in 19:46.
For the Lady Trojans junior varsity, Samantha Ens’ medal- winning time of 19:40 was good for 17th out of 124 finishers on the 4-kilometer course.
Sickness kept junior Breanna Blackketter on the sidelines last week, but on Saturday, she bounced back to finish 52nd in 21:16.
Freshman Erin Wiebe was not too far behind Blackketter, crossing the line in 55th in 21:28.
Spearheading the boys junior varsity race was freshman Avery Frantz. Out of 168 runners, Frantz took 25th in 20:41.
“For Avery to run this well in only his second meet as a freshman is great,” Holmes said. “Bret (Mueller) and Josh (Richert) also showed that they will be factors in the varsity races this year by both medaling in the large field of 125 runners.
BOYS VARSITY RESULTS
1. Allen, 16:48. 15. Mueller, 19:03. 34. Richert, 19:46.
JUNIOR VARSITY BOYS
25. Franz, 20:41. 36. Etheridge, 21:21. 68. Gray, 22:09.
17. Enns, 19:40. 52. Blacketter, 21:16. 55. Wiebe, 21:28.