Freshman Isaac Williams won his first collegiate race in course-record time as the Hutchinson Community College men’s cross country team dominated the second annual Blue Dragon Invitational on Saturday morning at Rice Park.
Williams set the 5.53K course record with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. The freshman from Pretty Prairie led a strong Blue Dragon charge at the front of the field. The top three runners and 8 of the first 9 runners to finish were Blue Dragon runners.
HCC scored 17 team points and McPherson College had 46. Hutch and McPherson were the only teams to produce team scores. Pratt and Barclay College also had runners competing.
Under cool, cloudy and humid conditions, the top 10 runners all broke last year’s winning time. Williams’ course record will stand as the Rice Park course record. Next year when the Blue Dragon Invitational is moved to Hutchinson’s new course in northeast Hutchinson, the men’s race will be lengthened to the standard 8K distance.
Also figuring in the scoring for Hutchinson were: freshman Austin Lattau (2nd, 18:09); sophomore Julio Martinez (3rd, 18:33), freshman Zach Weber (6th, 18:56) and sophomore Nic Rogers (7th, 19:04).
Lattau posted his second Top 20 finish this season. Martinez, who is battling an injury, had his best overall finish in three races. Rogers placed two spots lower than his fourth-place showing as a freshman, but he improved his time by 57 seconds.
Other Blue Dragon performances were: Andy Schepis (7th, 19:09), Brandon Massey (8th, 19:11), Kyle Sooter (9th, 19:13); Taylor Fry (11th, 19:28), Lane Berger (12th, 19:30), Enrique Sanchez (14th, 19:56), Gavin Scheibe (18th, 20:50) and Trent Bartlett (19th, 21:03).
The Blue Dragons will compete in the Tabor College Invitational on Saturday in Hillsboro.
MEET NOTES – Two former Blue Dragons competed in Saturday’s men’s race. Kevin Strawn finished 10th overall in 19:16. Ben Henson finished 16th in 20:20.