Second-ranked Berean wins boys
Two meets into the season, one question had to be eating away at Hillsboro High School boys’ cross country coach Stuart Holmes.
Sure, they’ve gone up against teams from 4-6A, but those teams are going to be missing in action when the season matters the most and foul weather already wiped out one Hillsboro meet.
Just how good are the Trojans?
Having a team worthy of contending for a state title is nothing new for Holmes, and Sept. 23 proved Hillsboro can hold its own against some of the state’s best at the Southeast of Saline meet.
The boys finished just 10 points behind 2A second ranked Berean Academy Warriors.
Despite the fact Hillsboro finished as runner-up to the Warriors, 85-75, the Trojans managed to wipe out both 2A and 3A’s top-ranked teams, Sterling, and Southeast of Saline.
The Trojans did more than wallop the two, the Black Bears and SES were a respective third and fourth with 111 and 113 points.
“We had talked about the opportunity to compete against some of the top ranked teams in the state, and wow, did our kids compete,” an ecstatic Holmes said. “Finishing ahead of the top-ranked teams in 3A as well as 2A made the day special.”
Not only was the day special in the standings, but five new personal records were eclipsed.
Highlighting the meet for the boys’ team was Nic Mueller’s seventh-place, 5k time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds for a medal.
Nathan Vogel rounded out the top-10, running at 18:17 for both a personal record and 10th place.
Robbie McClelland also set a personal best, clinching 17th in 18:39, 14 seconds ahead of Brandon McMillen, who turned in another personal record time for 22nd.
David Ratzloff (19:20), and Jonathan King finished 34th and 35th, with King’s time of 19:23 setting a new personal best.
Matthew Klenda barely missed the top 50, taking 52nd in 19:57.
“The team has been training well and it was neat to see their hard work pay off with some success,” Holmes said. “Nicholas ran an outstanding race.
“The next five guys either set their personal records, or just missed it.
“The guys ran well, but it was good to hear one of them point out in our post-race meeting that we need to continue to stay focused on improving definitely and there is a lot of the season to look forward to.”
The Lady Trojans didn’t have enough runners to score as a team, but that didn’t stop Samantha Ens from outdoing herself with a personal record.
Ens finished 52nd out of 82, running the 4k race in 18:49 to close out the girls’ finishers.
Heidi Schroeder and Jessica Elliot fought a heated battle all the way through the race.
Schroeder finished first, beating out Elliot by three seconds for 35th (18:17) as Elliot was 36th.
Breanna Blackketter secured a finish in the top-50, taking 48th in 18:45.
“The girls showed good progress as well with Heidi and Jessica both posting good times for a fairly windy day and Samantha even set a personal record,” Holmes said. “On a good day, we could have several girls that could challenge our school record of 18:06, so we look forward to the next few meets for the girls, also.”
On tap for the Trojans are two pivotal two meets that may determine how well they stack up not only in the conference, but in the state.
Hillsboro travels Thursday to Harvey County East’s park, hosted by Berean.
A week later, the Trojans travel to Sterling.
Girls Results (4k)
Heidi Schroeder – 18:17, 35th.
Jessica Elliot – 18:20, 36th.
Breanna Blackketter – 18:45, 48th.
Samantha Ens – 18:49, 52nd.
BOys results (5k)
Nic Mueller – 17:57, seventh.
Nathan Vogel – 18:17, 10th.
Robbie McClelland – 18:39, 17th.
Brandon McMillen – 18:53, 22nd.
David Ratzloff – 19:20, 34th.
Jonathan King – 19:23, 35th.
Matthew Klenda – 19:57, 52nd.