A quartet of Hillsboro runners ran its best relay race of the season Friday, and was rewarded with an unexpected trip to the state track meet.
Brittany Schale, Karyn Leihy, Kennedy Klein, and Abby Sechrist entered Friday’s regional meet with the fifth-fastest time among 4x800-meter relay teams competing in Beloit, with just the top four moving on to state.
Their time of 10 minutes, 24.39 seconds was more than 20 seconds faster than their previous best, edging Southeast of Saline for the final state spot, coach Dennis Boldt said.
“We knew going in that we were ranked fifth,” Boldt said. “We have not put together our best times in the same race yet this year — simply stated, they did that Friday.”
It will be the first state meet for the runners, and for alternates Callie Linnens and Chloe Pankratz.
They will join state veterans Emily Sechrist, Grant Knoll, and Marah Franz, who all earned repeat trips to the meet. Sechrist qualified in three distances events, placing first in the 1,600 and 3,200 and third in the 800. Knoll placed second in the 1,600 and 3,200, and Franz finished second in pole vault.
“We are very proud of the performances of all our athletes,” Boldt said. “We prepared for poor weather, working out in rainy conditions throughout the week making sure that our athletes knew what to expect.”
Friday competitions include Franz in pole vault, and Sechrist and Knoll in the 3,200. The remaining events will be contested Saturday. The meet is at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.