Bontrager leads area runners at Fairfield races

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 9/14/21

Over 140 girls ran the two laps around Bonnifield Lake in the first of the two varsity races held at the Waterworks Park in Fairfield on Thursday. 

Hillcrest senior Leah Bontrager led all …

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Bontrager leads area runners at Fairfield races

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Over 140 girls ran the two laps around Bonnifield Lake in the first of the two varsity races held at the Waterworks Park in Fairfield on Thursday. 

Hillcrest senior Leah Bontrager led all area runners, finishing 38th with a time of 23:48. 

“The course is mostly a wooded area, like a trail,” said Julia Boller, also a Raven senior.

“It’s nice, but also no one can cheer you on. So that’s kind of the hard part. There’s no one to cheer you on, and that really motivates you during other races that are more open.”

Boller finished Thursday’s race with a time of 31:10. Katelyn Waters finished 80th for Highland with a time of 26 minutes flat and Lone Tree’s Vivian Zaruba was 97th with a finish of 27:07. Delaney Shaw was 99th for Hillcrest with a time of 27:13 and her teammate Morgan Nafziger finished in 30:19.

The Ravens saw big improvements from their times at the season-opening Early Bird at Hillcrest Academy. 

“Each of (our) top three finishers took over two minutes off their time from the previous week,” Hillcrest coach Marty Gingerich said.

The Clear Creek-Amana girls finished first out of 12 teams, led by sisters Haidyn and Kira Barker, who finished first and third. Haidyn won the race with a time of 20:47. 

In the boys varsity race, Hillcrest senior Collin Miller took nearly a minute off of his time from a week earlier, finishing eighty-fourth with a time of 20:39. Micah Gerber also finished in the top half of the field at 95th with a time of 20:57. Jesse Blossom improved by over two and a half minutes with a time of 23:40. Quang Huynh took nearly four minutes off of his previous best with a time of 26:37 and Garrett Hurst finished in 32:35. 

The Huskies were led by Jackson Schneider, who had a time of 23:43, which was over a minute faster than his time at Sigourney on Tuesday. 

“The course today had a lot less hills, so it was easier running,” said Schneider. He focused on his running form during the race, working to run efficiently without wasting any energy. 

“I was happy with my time,” he said. “It was my best of the season so far.” Brendan Schnoebelen had a time of 26:37 for the Huskies and Andrew Lana finished in 26:59. 

Taylor Alberhasky again led Lone Tree with a time of 22:48. Jadin Grieser finished in 23:34 and Joey Birtcher in 26:03. 

“All of my runners, middle school and high school had better times than they did on Tuesday,” Lone Tree coach Tiffany Regan said. “But they did not place as well due to the large number of teams and bigger school districts that were at the meet.”

Washington’s Lance Sobaski was first out of the 196 runners that finished Thursday’s race. Sobaski finished with a time of 16:34. Danville/New London finished first out of 13 teams, led by third-place Ty Carr and his finish of 16:46. 

Highland’s Carlos Valenzuela led the area boys on Tuesday in Sigourney with 12th place finish out of 43 runners. He finished the tough, hilly course in 22:47. Katelyn Waters finished eighth out of 17 with a time of 28:08. 

Highland, Hillcrest, and Lone Tree were running again on Tuesday, September 14 at Knoll Ridge Country Club in a meet hosted by English Valleys. 

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