Lady Trojans finish eighth; boys take ninth
Hillsboro High School cross-country coach Stuart Holmes doesn’t mind the early Saturday mornings to open the season.
The cooler temperatures allow his team to focus primarily on training, instead of having to adapt to the heat as well.
In the season-opening meet on a dreary, rainy Saturday morning at the JK Gold Classic held at Augusta’s Raft Golf Course, the Trojans were playing the role of a small fish in a big sea.
Of the 10 competing schools, Hillsboro was the sole 3A team with class 4-6A schools in attendance.
The Lady Trojans finished eighth out of the teams with enough runners to obtain a team score with 195 points.
McPherson edged 6A Blue Valley West, 60-67, to win the girls’ class.
The boys finished ninth overall with 217 points, 76 points less than last place Augusta.
Class 4A’s Mulvane Wildcats won the boys’ division with 38 points.
“We were about the only smaller school at the meet and we knew the competition would be very good with all the big schools,” Holmes said.
“The most important meets at the end of the season are very unlikely to be hot.”
Holmes already knows he has a trio of senior runners that is going to carry his varsity girls’ team.
Senior Heidi Schroeder paced the girls, finishing 30th out of the 54 runners in 18 minutes, 18 seconds on the muddy, four-kilometer course.
Blacketter posted the second best time, running a near 19-flat for 41st.
Clara Ens was 43rd (19.03) and Samantha was 44th in 19:10.
Jessica Elliot was 50th with a time of 19:10, with Taylor Nikkel right behind her by 17 seconds in her first varsity meet.
It’s the future insurance and some support that he’s missing.
The freshmen duo of Breanna Blacketter and Samantha Ens might be a good place to start.
Nicholas Mueller’s 26th-place time of 18:15 led the boys’ six-man action.
Nathan Vogel edged teammate Brandon McMillen by 1/100th of a second for 43rd, and newcomer Robbie McClelland showed promising signs, taking 46th in 19:14.
David Ratzloff was 59th (20:12), Cody Blacketter 63rd (20:24), and Matthew Klenda rounded out the Trojans, coming in 67th with at time of 20:45.
In the two-man race class, Jonathan King’s 22nd-place time of 20:03 was a new personal best.
Bret Mueller was 31st out of 77 in 20:43, and Nicholas Ediger came in 65th (23:47).
“Overall, our kids ran well,” said Holmes. “The times were a little slower due to the rain and the muddy conditions in a few spots.
“At this point in the season, it is important to focus on training, which we have been doing, so that our best conditioning can result in the best possible races a month to a month and a half from now at league, regionals, and state.
“Freshmen Bret Mueller, Nicholas Ediger, Breanna Blacketter, and Samantha Ens all had good races along with sophomore Taylor Nikkel. Senior newcomer Robbie McClelland and the three girls are going to have an impact on the varsity teams in their first year which is great.”
The Trojans travel to the site of the state meet for a 10 a.m. Saturday start at Wamego.