By Kelsie Hoitomt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Tanner Johnson-Hetchler of Boyceville and Taylor Drinkman of Glenwood City represented their cross country teams at the State championships in Wisconsin Rapids at the Ridges Golf Course last Saturday morning (Nov. 2).
As a senior, Johnson-Hetchler finished his high school career on a high note as he placed 45th out of 151 individual runners in Division 3. He ran a 17:32.60 this year, which was a significant improvement from his 18:04.51 last year that landed him in 87th.
“Many of the runners that finished in the top 20 were returning seniors, which made for a very competitive race with the leaders running their first mile in 4:52. I was very proud of Tanner and his accomplishments this year. It was a great way to cap off his career as Boyceville’s number one runner for the last four years,” shared head coach Corey Day.
“I think I ran the best I could. The first mile and a half was a little rough, but I started to feel stronger as the race went on. I wasn’t as nervous this year because I knew what to expect as far as how tough the competition was and the layout of the course. It was a great experience being there and ending my high school career there,” said Johnson-Hetchler.
For the Hilltoppers, Drinkman ran an exceptional race as a freshman with a finish in 34th place out of 151 individual girl runners.
“Taylor basically had two goals; to place in the top 50 and have a personal record. She exceeded that,” said coach Matthew Schutz.
Drinkman ran a 16:20.60, which was indeed a personal best time as she shaved 13 seconds off her previous best time, which was on a flat course.
“The Ridges has some rolling hills and they didn’t affect Taylor at all. Her determination and mental toughness has made her the runner she is. We are very proud of her performance,” expressed Schutz.
First place in the race went to senior Delaney Sinnen of Random Lake with a time of 14:22.55. For the boys’ race it was senior Tyson Miehe from Darlington with a time of 15:57.49.