HUTCHINSON — There’s no runner in the Heart of America League better than Inman’s Nicholas Martisko.
The Teuton sophomore proved it on Tuesday by winning the HOA cross country title in convincing fashion.
Martisko ran 17:59.7, 14 seconds better than runner-up Garrison Harris of Sedgwick.
“Nicholas Martisko continues to get stronger and more competitive,” Inman coach Jay Parsons said. “Going into this race, he was more than likely considered one of the possible winners and when it was all over he confirmed it by winning the race.”
Parsons said Martisko and Harris had quite a battle.
“At the mile mark, he was in a tight race with two other runners. When it came to the two-mile mark, Nicholas and Garrison Harris had started to separate themselves from the rest of the runners,” Parsons said. “After about the next quarter-mile, Nicholas pulled away and continued to increase his lead to finish approximately 14 seconds ahead of the second-place runner. After the race, I told Nicholas that he ran that race very strategically. He stayed close to the front through the first mile, got some separation in the second mile and then increased the separation the last mile. We weren’t sure what kind of finish Harris would have, but we knew the two from Bennington (Caleb Koehn and Keelan Aita) could finish fast. So the best thing to do was to get some separation from them and keep enlarging it.”
Inman was eighth as a team, with Bennington winning the title.
The other Teutons places and times were Nathan Bashore (28th in 20:00.2), Peter Buller (48th in 22:02.8), Jacob Harris (49th in 22:06.3), Sean Smallcanyon (71st in 25:06.7) and Nathan Enns (73rd in 25:36.8).
In the girls race, Inman’s Aisjha Miles was 17th in 23:49.9. Tia Cole was 40th in 27:24.9 and Anran Mars was 54th in 33:07.9 as the Teutons do not have a full team.
“Aisjha Miles continues to run strong and more competitive,” Parsons said. “Going into this race, she knew to place in the Top 15 she would have to run a very strong, quick time. She did run a very strong race, but finished outside of the Top 15 and medals. I know she was disappointed, but the main thing is that she was competitive and knows she is capable of taking on such a challenge. Tia Cole and Anran Mars were very good as well. Both of these girls have continued to get stronger and more competitive as well. I am very proud of the progress all three of these girls have made this season.”
Inman goes to Meade on Oct. 21 for the regional meet.