After defeating the majority of fleet-footed regional cross-country competition at Lake Afton in Goddard, Colin Williams and Emily Hague strided forward to represent the Warriors at the 3A state meet at Rim Rock in Lawrence.
Williams, a sophomore, placed ninth in the boys’ race at 18 minutes flat, and Hague, a junior, placed 10th in the girls’ race at 21:32. Both received medals.
Coach Rebecca Hofer said both runners have had stellar seasons.
“Today ended in a lot of happiness and tears,” Hofer said Saturday, “the happiness of being state-bound and the sadness of last races.”
The stiff competition, mental pressure and the challenging course compounded to make the race one of the toughest if not the toughest of the year, she said.
“On the bus after the race I heard Tyler Arocha say: ‘That was the hardest race I have ever done,’” Hofer said. “However, what made me proud was that all of our runners finished exhausted, which is proof to me as a coach that they gave it their all. I also witnessed the runners kick it in at the end and sprint to the finish.”
For the girls, senior McKenzee Remmers finished the last race of her high school cross-country career in 19th at 22:20. Sophomore Meggan Frese was 22nd at 22:48.
For the boys, Ethan Darnall was 33rd at 20:05, Arocha was 43rd at 20:40, Jarrett Johnson was 47th at 20:50, Magnus Maarslet was 52nd at 22:09 and Hofer said Joeb Corona surprised her by finishing in 66th place at 22:13 achieving a personal best by .55 seconds.
“I got to coach a great group of kids,” she said. “They all ran hard.”
The state races are Saturday with Williams’s race at 10:45 a.m. followed by Hague’s race at 1 p.m.