Duffers gave way to harriers Thursday at Marion Country Club, as the Marion High School varsity boys took second place in the cross-country meet attended by 17 schools.
Warrior Jordan Hett battled stride for stride with Hutchinson Trinity’s Cordell Goering and Edgar Gutierrez, leading throughout much of the 5K race before the two Celtics edged ahead at the finish.
Less than four seconds separated the top three, with Goering taming the course in 17 minutes, 1.97 seconds, Gutierrez placing second in 17:03, and Hett finishing third with a time of 17:05.
“Jordan finished really hard,” Marion head coach Rebecca Hofer said. “That time is pretty good on this course – it’s a slower course with all the hills and turns.”
Patrick McCarty secured fourth place, running the course in 18:14 in what may have been the most resolute Warrior performance of the day.
“Patrick has been sick for a week,” Hofer explained. “He’s only had one practice since our last meet, and he took fourth place. He did great.”
Jacob Cope rounded out the strong showing of three Warriors in the top ten by placing ninth with a time of 18:41.
Quinton Hett placed 34th in 20:42, edging teammate Clark Kroupa, who ran 20:46 for 35th. Jared Hague finished 53rd with a time of 22:34.
Nicholas Davies placed 23rd in the junior varsity division with a time of 27:23.
Hofer praised the improvement of three of her runners.
“Nicholas improved his time by 1 minute, 19 seconds,” Hofer said. “Quinton and Jared improved their times by almost a minute from last week.”
Kaelyn Thierolf found herself battling in the lead trio of runners throughout most of the varsity girls’ 4K race. Thierolf placed third with a time of 15:37.
“Kaelyn ran a great race,” Hofer said. “She ran hard the entire way.”
Garrett Alleven scorched the competition to win the seventh-grade boys’ 1600-meters, finishing in 6:12, 35 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
Abby Kuster finished fifth in the eight-grade girls’ 3200-meters, with a time of 16:58.
Hofer was appreciative of the support shown for her runners by the MHS football and volleyball teams, who did a lot of running themselves, dashing from place to place along the course to shout encouragement.
“They really like having the football and volleyball teams show up,” Hofer said. “It’s here at home and they have all of their friends show up to watch.”
The cross-country team will travel Thursday to Halstead for its next competition.