HARVEY COUNTY EAST PARK — The Hesston High School boys’ cross country team claimed the team title of the Berean Academy Invitational Thursday at Harvey County East Park.
The Swathers downed Remington 52-87 for the team title. Augusta was third at 89, followed by Mulvane at 102, West Elk at 123, Hillsboro at 146 and Inman at 160. Berean Academy was eighth at 168, followed by Goessel at 184.
In the girls’ race, Wichita Trinity Academy topped host Berean Academy 35-63 for the team title. Mulvane was third at 77, followed by Remington at 104, Augusta at 105 and Goessel at 115.
In the girls’ race Berean’s Erin Topham won in 19:50.87, followed by Claire Lieb of Trinity Academy in second in 19:55.06. Berean’s Brooke Wiebe was third in 20:48.56.
Other top area finishers include Sienna Schmidt of Remington in fifth in 21:19.30, Abby Weber of Hesston in ninth in 22:01.72 and Hannah Ferguson of Hesston in 10th in 22:13.12.
Lieb was able to push Topham most of the race. Topham was able to pull away in the last 50 meters of the race.
“The weather was very nice,” Topham said. “Claire Lieb was pushing me the whole race, keeping me on pace. It was a pretty good day. I was able to push at the end. I think that was one of my best times.”
Topham finished fourth at Class 2A state last year. She will be preparing for upcoming league and regional meets.
“Our times were really good,” Berean coach Lewis Wiebe said. “You never know in cross country. Some courses seem shorter than others, but the course here was really fast today. Trinity is good and they gave us a good meet. Now we have to bridge the gap between our three, four, five and six runners. They are working hard and doing a good job.”
Collin Oswalt of Hutchinson Central Christian won the boys’ race in 16:47.74, followed by Brice Helton of Augusta in 17:57.75 and Nicholas Martisko of Inman in third in 18:04.66.
The top area finisher was Hesston’s Johnny Yang, who placed fourth in 18:10.30, followed by Trey Topham of Berean Academy in fifth in 18:14.71. Remington runners Asher Brown and Brayden Old finished sixth and seventh in 18:16.17 and 18:28.88 respectively. James Peters of Hesston was eighth in 18:30.18.
“The team did great,” Hesston coach Nealee Johnson said. “I couldn’t be happier. We had six of our top seven guys under 20 minutes. That has been a goal for us. We’re progressing in the right direction and feel like we’re just starting to hitting our stride. We need to keep trying to hit our goals.”
“This was a great finish for us,” Remington coach Tim Hesseltine said. “We’ve been working really hard in practice. As soon as these guys get off the bus. They are ready to compete. Almost all the kids on varsity PR’d today. This is one of the fastest courses we run on. Last week, it was about 95 degrees and windy. Today was a perfect day to run. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. I think we can get better. This was a good challenge for us.”
Hesston competes Tuesday at the Ellsworth Invitational. Berean Academy competes Thursday at the Sterling Invitational. Remington competes Tuesday at the Eureka Invitational. Goessel and Burrton both compete Thursday at the Burrton Invitational at Harvey County West Park.