Sechrist, Ruder battle before state

Hillsboro High School cross-country runner Emily Sechrist lowered her own school-record time from 15 minutes, 23 seconds to 15:16.73 with a second-place finish Thursday at the Sterling Invitational.

Heather Ruder of Hays-Thomas More Prep won the race with a time of 15:11.91. Sechrist bested Ruder at state last year and defeated the junior runner in track in the 3,200-meter run. The two runners also met Sept. 8 at Wamego, a race Sechrist won. The two runners will not face each other again unless they meet at state Oct. 27 at Rim Rock, where Sechrist has performed very well, with TMP and Hillsboro being in different regionals.

“(Emily) didn’t make any strategic errors but just lost to another outstanding runner who had a great meet,” coach Stuart Holmes said.

Karyn Leihy also medaled with a 15th-place finish, 17:06.53, in the varsity girls’ race.

Josh Richert placed sixth in the boys’ race with a time of 17:36.24. Avery Franz won his first varsity medal with a 22nd-place finish and a time of 18:56.24.

Jordan Bezdek placed 32nd with a time of 19:27.56. Daniel Gray placed 60th with a time of 21:53.68.

Four other Hillsboro runners set personal bests at Sterling. Erin Wiebe ran a time of 19:34.82 in the junior varsity girls’ race. Morganne Hamm also set a new personal record in the JV race, 22:26.07.

Matt Reeh set a new personal record in the boys JV race, 38:12.

Mary Leihy ran a time of 21:09.79 in the freshmen girls’ race for a new personal best.

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