Sun Valley Community School senior Johnny Hagenbuch clocked the fastest time of the day among 111 3A/2A/1A boys competing in Wednesday’s state-qualifying 4th District cross country meet at Gooding Golf Course.
On a windy day, Hagenbuch and Cutthroat senior Sydney Palmer-Leger qualified based on their finishes Wednesday for the Idaho High School Activities Association’s State 1A cross country meet set for Saturday, Nov. 2 at Portneuf Wellness Center in Pocatello.
Coach Rick Kapala said about his two state-bound runners, “Both ran strong races and are looking to build for top races at states. Syd’s time was her personal record.”
On Wednesday, Hagenbuch repeated as the 1A district champion on the 3.1-mile course with a time of 16:24.
It was 37 seconds ahead of Valley junior Garrett Christensen (17:01). The next-best boys’ time of the day was turned in by Gooding’s 3A winner Owen Rogers, 16:52.
Last year at the Gooding district meet, Hagenbuch (17:34) was 36 seconds ahead of district runner-up Christensen (17:10). In his other district runs for SVCS, Hagenbuch was second as a sophomore and fifth as a freshman.
Palmer-Leger booked her state ticket with a third-place finish in the 36-runner 1A girls’ footrace over 3.1 miles at 20:10. The repeat 1A district winner was Raft River junior Kaybree Christensen (19:12) over Raft River junior Karlee Christensen (19:26).
Hagenbuch will be making his fourth visit to state cross country. First-time state qualifier Palmer-Leger and Hagenbuch spend winters racing for the Sun Valley Ski Education cross-country ski team.
Last year in Lewiston, Hagenbuch clocked a personal-best 15:40 in placing a close second to Liberty Charter junior Caleb Hamblin (15:34). Hagenbuch was 14th at state in Pocatello in 2016 and fourth in 2017 at Eagle Island State Park near Boise.