Addie Hoeme and Sian Helfrich earn state cross country medals.
The Pratt High Girls Cross Country team competed at state in Wamego on Saturday, Nov. 2 where they met many of their goals.
“Girls competed great,” Head Coach Kathy Hitz said. “The level of competition definitely took a jump this year.”
Sophomore Addie Hoeme placed 9th running a time of 20:07.
“Addie got herself into the top 15 from the beginning and kept battling to the finish.”
Junior Sian Helfrich placed 27th.
“Last year that time placed her 15th, when this year she got 27th,” Hitz said.
Sophomore Casey James improved by almost 2 minutes and 20 places from last year’s state competition.
Senior Shawndra Bare had a similar time from last year’s state race.
“Bare was Miss Consistency, with her time and place being similar from last year and was our #5 point scorer,” Hitz said.
Freshman MaKenna Burkholder ran her second best time all season and finished as Pratt’s #4 point scorer.
“MaKenna Burkholder had a great first state meet. She ran her 2nd best time (23:18) all year on a very challenging course and was our #4 point scorer,” Hitz said. “She just kept getting stronger as the race went.”
Emma Gilpin finished with a time of 23:46.
“Emma Gilpin had to battle through some stomach distress but she never gave up,” Hitz said.
Jenna Haas finished in 24:01 in an improved time from regionals.
The team finished 7th out of 12 teams, which was where they placed last year.
Addie Hoeme met both her individual and team goals.
“For state results I would love to place in the top 10 individually and also hopefully have two medals,” Hoeme said before the race. “I would like our team place in the top 7 this year.”
Hoeme felt she has worked hard this season, along with her teammates.
“The way that I have placed each race shows how much work I have put in even if I didn’t come out on top,” Hoeme said, “that has just pushed me to work harder. As a team we have put in a lot of miles and practices, the whole team gave their best, and our placing showed that.”
Hoeme was happy to finish the season strong.
“I have been happy with my effort of each race and the outcome,” Hoeme said.
Hitz explained the relationship of the team.
“This girls team has grown a lot as a team, especially in the last three weeks,” Hitz said. “I believe they caught the vision of how much each of them matters to the team as a whole. They learned how every position matters in a race and they are willing to do battle for each other. They truly enjoy one another’s company.”
Hitz will miss the group of 8 seniors from both the girls and boys teams.
“These seniors are a special group. It is hard saying goodbye to them,” Hitz said. “Of the 8 of them, 7 of them have been together since their freshmen year.”
The seniors have been great leaders for their teammates.
“Their love for the sport and their teammates is what I will remember the most. They are proud to be XC runners and their team means everything to them,” Hitz said.
Hitz looks forward to next season’s training and competition.
“Next season I hope to continue to build on the girls success and keep improving,” Hitz said. “For both teams I want to see them grow as runners challenging themselves to take their training up another level. (I) want them to continue to take pride in the sport and their team.”