Emily Sechrist said it was an amazing feeling crossing the finish line so far ahead of the other competitors at the 2A state cross-country meet Saturday at Wamego Country Club.
She finished with a time of 15 minutes, 39 seconds: five seconds ahead of the second place runner, last year’s 2A runner-up.
“I’m so stoked. I did all that hard work and God let me do my best and wanted me to win so I did,” she said after her race Saturday.
Coach Stuart Holmes said Sechrist ran her best time at the Wamego course despite the soft, muddy conditions of the course.
“Emily capped off a sensational year with a terrific race,” Holmes said. “She has worked so hard to maximize the God given talent she’s been given and has earned the success she enjoyed this season. Her physical training and mental preparation were outstanding again this year.”
This season, Sechrist won eight out of her nine races, defeated only at Rim Rock by two runners who won state in their classifications, Holmes said.
“It was great how the other Hillsboro students and fans recognized Emily’s work ethic and success with a standing ovation when she arrived at the state volleyball tournament Saturday to cheer on the Hillsboro team,” Holmes said. “She represents so many of the outstanding character traits of quality student athletes.”
Teammate Karyn Leihy said she wants to take her state experience and improve on it by placing at state next season. Leihy finished 48th out of 97 runners with at time of 18:17.
“I’m glad to end my season on a high note,” she said. “I think next year will be even better. This was a hard course, so it really challenged people, but it was a great day to run and I felt like we all did really well.”
Avery Franz finished the boys’ race with a time of 20:10.
“Avery and Karyn both ran hard and should feel good about being able to finish the season at the state level,” Holmes said.