ONTARIO — Freshman Annie Haas ran one of the best races of her brief high school career last Thursday afternoon.
The Hillsboro ninth grader conquered the hilly, 5,000-meter course at Brookwood High School and the rest of the Scenic Bluffs Conference to win the girls’ individual conference title.
Haas completed the 5,000-meter race in 22:14 and held off Brookwood freshman Allyson Nelson on her home course to become the first individual champion in Hillsboro coach Ben Leis’ seven-year career that began in 2009.
“Annie ran great,” said Leis. “ I don’t want to say I expected her to win, but I knew it was definitely a possibility. Annie had lost to Ally [Nelson] earlier this year so it was definitely impressive to beat her on her home course.”
While Haas earned the individual victory, it was Nelson and her Brookwood teammates that captured the girls’ team title with 25 points. The Falcons had three of the top four runners and four of the first eight.
Hillsboro finished second as a team with 50 points, ahead of Cashton (66) and Necedah (96).
Senior Adriana Reese finished 12th at 25:12. Senior Shauna Parish (14th), freshman Sam Hora (15th), junior Destiny Shore (16th), senior Michaela Bach (17th) and senior Macey Brown (20th) rounded out the Tigers’ varsity lineup
Brookwood senior Dylan Smith (18:40) won the boys’ individual conference title by 28 seconds over teammate Jared Johnson (19:08) as the Falcons cruised to the team sweep with just 15 points. Brookwood had five of the top six finishers.
Led by sophomore Zach O’Hair, who finished seventh at 20:37, the Hillsboro boys finished second as a team with 45 points, ahead of Bangor (71).
Junior Skyler Fisher (21:44) and senior Avery Rueckheim (21:47) finished ninth and 10th respectively to join O’Hair in earning all-conference honors.
Senior Mitch Beckwith placed 13th (22:25), while freshman Drew Bisarek (22:41) was 16th. Junior Dylan Thew finished 23rd and junior Ben Mayberry was 24th.
“On the guys side I was very happy to finish second,” said Leis. “We lost to Bangor by over 30 points at the Brookwood Invite a month ago. We didn’t have Mitch Beckwith that day, but to beat them at conference was still nice. And to have three guys in the top 10 was unexpected.”
The Tigers will travel to Westby on Saturday for the WIAA Division 3 Westby Sectional.