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Cross-country team qualifies for state

The Hillsboro High School boys cross-country team qualified for the 3A state tournament in Wamego. The team competed Saturday at the regional meet in Wichita.

Senior Joel Allen won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 55 seconds. Bret Mueller finished eighth, 18:11, and Justin King finished ninth, 18:15.

“Justin, in only his second season as a cross-country runner, ran another excellent race to earn a regional medal and give the team three medalists in the top ten at regionals, which doesn’t happen very often,” coach Stuart Holmes said. “Bret Mueller joins an elite group from Hillsboro — runners who have earned a regional medal in their junior season.”

Josh Richert was the fourth runner for the Trojans and finished 34th, 20:00. Avery Franz came in 38th, 20:10. Clay Ethridge placed 51, 20:45.

“Shortly after the one-mile mark, I was beside the course and told Avery that the group he was running with were going too slow,” Holmes said. “He ran up the hill, aggressively passing a couple of guys and eventually caught up with Josh, which I think helped spur Josh to the finish.”

Even though he was Hillsboro’s sixth runner, Daniel Gray finished 57th, 21:06, one place ahead of Marion’s Clark Kroupa — an important tiebreaker for the Trojans to claim second in the tournament over the Warriors.

“Daniel Gray ran so well,” Holmes said. “The sixth runner’s place is used in the event when two or more teams tie. That was the case as Marion and us both had 80 points. I’m glad Marion qualified for state, as they ran well, but Clay’s better place earned our guys the runner-up plaque.”

Last modified Oct. 27, 2010

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