Trojans hope to build on cross-country success
This will be a formative year for Hillsboro cross-country and its new coach, but its runners are off to a great start.
At their first meet last Thursday, four returning letter winners running for the girls finished top six in their age group in the 5,000 meter run.
Brielle Loewen hopes early success will spur the team’s growth.
“This is my first year coaching the team,” she said. “So I am hoping we can have a good start to the season and build from there.”
Hillsboro’s upperclassmen raced to solid finishes Thursday at the Smoky Valley Invitational in Lindsborg.
Senior Emersyn Funk placed second in her age group and third overall in the 5,000 meter with a time of 21 minutes 51 seconds.
Sophomore Trudy Hein was fourth in her age group and 13th overall with a time of 27 minutes 19 seconds; junior Moriah Jost placed fifth in her age group and 7th overall at 23 minutes 36 seconds.Sophomore Ainsley Duell, was sixth in her age group and seventh overall at 23 minutes 36 seconds.
Upperclassmen for the boys placed in the top 25 overall in the 5,000 meter.
Senior Nathan Lopez placed 16th in his age group and 25 overall with 24 minutes 35 seconds. Deon Weeks, a junior, was 11th in his age group and 25th overall with 24 minutes 35 seconds.
Funk and Lopez return this year with state competition experience. Loewen expects the two, especially Funk, to set the pace for the team
“She should lead the girl’s team well,” Loewen said.
Team members have trained hard in the off season, and their coach said that would help them compete.
Loewen may be new to the team, but she has a winning record as a runner.
A former Tabor assistant coach and alumna, she holds Tabor’s school record in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meter runs.
Loewen won two individual conference championships running for Tabor cross-country and qualified for nationals three times.
In 2016, she and former teammate Hannah Holmes finished the Boston Marathon. Loewen finished in 3 hours 27 minutes.
The Trojans’ next meet will be 9 a.m. Saturday in Wamego.