Hillsboro cross-country teams compete at Zane Trace Invitational
Hillsboro varsity boys runners Ryan Howland and Cooper Swope race at Zane Trace. (Submitted photos)
On Saturday, Sept. 9, Hillsboro cross-country teams traveled to Zane Trace High School to compete in the Zane Trace Invitational.
The middle school girls started the action with a race that featured almost 100 runners, Fielding just two athletes, Hillsboro's Parker Wilkin and Emarey Schurman both finished in the top third of all participants.
Wilkin led her team by running the challenging course in 15:52, good for 18th place. Schurman finished in 35th place with a time of 17:00.
The middle school boys were the next to step to the starting line. Eighth grader Alex Read attacked the course from the sound of the gun. Read sprinted to the front of the race and ran the entire race with some of the best runners in the area. When he finally crossed the finish line at 12:45, Read was in fourth place.
Mason Rinal was the next Indian to cross the finish line. Running ahead of a large group of competitors, Rinal held the group off to finish in 14th place with a time of 13:14. A short time later, Luke Letts completed his run at 14:28 (38th place).
The final two Indians to compete were Tyler Bender and Robert Hanson. Bender finished in 68th place (16:12), and Hanson finished in 82nd place (18:38). When the race was finally over, Hillsboro took home seventh place.
The boys coach, Ben Young, was proud of his team's performance. "On one of the toughest courses of the year so far, we placed seventh out of the qualifying teams,” he said.
The high school ladies team took on the course next. Once again missing a significant amount of its runners due to injury and vacation, the ladies competed against several much larger schools and finished fifth overall.
"This was one of the reasons Coach Letts and I wanted to come here," said Coach Rob Snavely. “The course is challenging, and the competition is some of the best we will see all year.”
Leading the Lady Indians was sophomore Taylor Thoroman. Running in the lead pack, Thoroman ran her best race of the young season and finished in ninth place with a time of 22:12.
"I thought Taylor ran the hills well. She doesn't look like she's going real fast, but she covers ground on hills very well," said Snavely.
Seniors Ramsey Haines and Brooklyn Lucarello were the next two Lady Indians to finish the course. Haines finished with a time of 23:37 (29th place), and Lucarello earned 45th place with a run of 24:41. Just behind Lucarello was junior Abbey Letts at 25:19, good for 50th place.
Olivia Covault followed shortly behind Letts and finished in 61st place, recording a time of 26:13. Hillsboro's final runner was Sofia Mezo-Mil. Mezo-Mil finished in 135th place and completed the race in 36:42.
"As far as I can tell, the only schools that beat us today were Division I schools, and we beat a few of those today also,” Snavely said. “We had a nice day today as a team."
The finale saw a massive field of men take to the course. Once again, the Indians were running without their full team. With almost 200 men lined up, Rason Brunck sprinted out to the lead pack when the gun sounded. Running against older athletes, the young freshman stayed near the front and then outsprinted several competitors to the finish line to finish with a time of 18:31, good for 16th place.
Coach Ed Letts singled out Brunck's performance afterward.
"We didn't have enough guys to field a scoring team," said Letts. "But individually, Rason ran a solid race for someone coming off a weeklong illness. He's just going to keep getting better."
One minute behind Brunck was teammate Ryan Howland. Howland also won a sprint to the finish line and came in 38th place (19:37).
Cooper Swope and Jayden Wells rounded out the scoring for the Indians. Swope finished 108th with a time of 22:17, while Wells finished in 189th place and crossed the finish line with a time of 28:39.
Hillsboro's next competition will be on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Cedarville Friendship Invitational with the high school men racing first at 10:10 a.m.