Halle Helfrich culminated a stellar freshman crosscountry campaign with a second place finish in the 4A State meet held Saturday at Wamego. Her time of 15:53 was second only to another freshman phenom, Girard’s Callie Logue (15:22). The pair bested defending state champion, senior Katren Rienbolt of Ft. Scott, who was 3rd in 15:58.
“Halle started in about 20th,” PHS head coach Kathy Hitz reported. “By the time she got to the switchbacks, she had moved into 8th. She just kept moving up from there.”
Senior Adele Loomis also represented the Frogs of Distance well, finishing 28th in the field of 100+ runners with a time of 16:44. “Adele moved great through the pack,” Coach Hitz observed. “”She probably began in about 50th place and just kept passing people all the way through. She ran even faster on the state course than she had at regionals the week before.” Loomis placed just out of the medals.
Those in the know are aware that Wamego provides a stern test for runners, especially for those who have not run on it before. Filled with hills and S-turns, the course is not set up for runners to achieve fast times. “Both girls may have been rookies at the state meet,” Hitz mentioned, “but they both ran like they had been there before.”
“Both girls ran very well,” Hitz concluded. “They really had their best races when it counted the most.”