It was an exciting day for Hillsboro cross-country runner Emily Sechrist as she broke her own school record by 16 seconds.
“I was hoping to break the record sometime this year,” Sechrist said. “I didn’t expect to do it in Peabody because it’s not a quick course. When I finished, I looked at my watch and thought, ‘I must have set it late,’ but my dad also timed it and when he told me my watch was correct I was very excited.”
Sechrist placed first out of 46 runners at the Peabody meet Thursday with a time of 15 minutes and 26 hundredths of a second.
“I’m super pumped about how much I broke it,” she said.
“Normally records are lowered just a few seconds at a time but she served notice that she is ready to run really fast this year,” coach Stuart Holmes said. “15 flat is an outstanding time!”
Her teammate, Karyn Leighy also placed high, coming in fifth with a time of 17.28.09.
“Karyn also put together an excellent race for the highest varsity finish of her career,” Holmes said. “Peabody is a flat course compared to Wamego, but she had such a big time improvement that it shows her conditioning and confidence are headed in the right direction.
“Overall, it was an outstanding day as our runners turned in a number of excellent performances,” Holmes said.
Men’s varsity runners Avery Franz and J.D. Schmidt also did well placing 14 and 27th out of 43 runners. Franz medaled.
Teammate Jonathan Hinerman also medaled by placing 11th with a time of 21.25 in the boys 5K junior varsity division. Mary Leihy and Morganne Hamm rounded out the high school medal winners by placing 12th and 13th.
“Morganne and Mary have been dealing with injuries so it took some perseverance to finish well as they have not been able to train like they would like,” Holmes said. “I was especially happy for Morganne as it was her first cross-country medal.”
According to Holmes, Schmidt was still recovering from an illness and expected to improve. Lydia Kliewer was unable to attend the meet due to sickness.
“Another positive for the day was Abby Driggers in her first seventh grade race,” Holmes said. “Abby demonstrated real determination after getting knocked down at the start, she got back up and ran very well to medal and place seventh.”