The Hillsboro High School cross country team enjoyed a progressive meet, competing Thursday at the Berean Academy meet held at Harvey County East’s Park.
Within the past two weeks, the top-two teams in both 2-3A have fallen victim to the Hillsboro boys’ team.
On Thursday, only the defending 4A state champion Mulvane Wildcats were better than Hillsboro as both teams saw a total of 18 personal records set.
“For the guys, it was an outstanding day,” Trojan coach Stuart Holmes said. “It seemed that everyone was focused on running well on such a nice day, and incredibly, all the guys set new PRs at the meet.
Nic Mueller can definitely compete with the best of them as his second-place time of 16:57 in the first man race was 40 seconds faster than his former best of 17:37.
Nathan Vogel came in third in the second-man race, eclipsing 17:30 with a personal record time of 17:24 — 52 seconds better than his old mark of 18:17.
Robbie McClelland nearly sped up by a minute, coming in third in the three-man at 17:43 — a slim 4/100 of a second off his PR.
David Ratzloff did better than take a minute off his time in fourth-man, finishing third in 18:14.
Rounding out the five-man team was Brandon McMillen, who just missed taking a minute off his former mark of 18:53.
The highlights didn’t end there with four boys finishing in the junior varsity’s top seven.
Leading the way for Hillsboro, Matthew Klenda sped up 56 seconds to finish runner-up to Mulvane’s Jake James by a slim 5/100 of a second.
Running right on Klenda’s heels was Jonathan King, who came in fourth (18:33), beating his old time by 50 seconds.
Bret Mueller barely missed beating his old mark of 19:39 by 40 seconds, taking sixth in 19:01.
Three seconds and one place behind Bret was Cody Blackketter, who was 25 seconds better than his previous record.
The biggest improvement came from 17th-place finisher Michael Christian, knocking 2:01 off with a 20:09 time.
Max Heddin took off 1:17 for 37th out of 61 (21:37), and Zach Carey ran 22:55 for 45th — 47 seconds faster than his former PR.
“So many guys had great days that it’s hard to single any out as highlights,” said Holmes. “It was great to see Matthew run well again as well as other seniors, David, Robbie, Brandon, Cody, and Nicholas.
For two years, Elliot’s time of 18:06 has been the school’s best.
Schroeder has come within 100th of a second before, but has never been able to beat it.
That changed Thursday with Schroeder setting both a personal and school record, beating Elliot’s time by 3/100 of a second for 16th place.
“Heidi ran a determined race and has worked hard all summer to overcome a foot injury last spring,” Holmes said. “She should feel good about her dedication and perseverance.”
Elliot came in 30th in 18:54 while Ens was 37th in 19:09.
Due to only the senior trio running for the varsity, Hillsboro was unable to get a score.
But that should change, especially considering all three of the girls’ junior varsity runners filled out the top three out of 26.
In a heated battle for the first, Taylor Nikkel edged Breanna Blackketter by a mere 1/100 of a second in 19:18 with Nikkel setting a record time by 35 seconds.
Samantha Ens finished in 19:28.