Hanna, a junior, took first place in the boys’ 5K race. It’s a feat he hopes to continue throughout every meet this year.
After running two steps behind Mulvane’s Ren Bean for the first two miles, Hanna made his move on the third mile of the course, which ended on the CHS track. Hanna crossed the finish line with Bean around the 200-meter mark. Hanna was clocked at 16:27.6, while Bean was timed at 16.49.38.
The pair had a quick start, as Bean crossed the mile mark in 5:08.
“That first mile was pretty fast. I let him do the work and I just kept pace. Then, once we stopped going into the wind, I decided that was a good place to pull ahead,” Hanna said. “On that third mile, I had to run a lot faster to break distance.”
Hanna said it feels good to start the season with a gold-medal performance. A two-time state qualifier in both cross country and track, having finished third at last year’s Class 5A state meet, Hanna has set his sights on winning the state title. The trouble is, he doesn’t know yet whether he will gun for the championship in Class 4A or 5A.
Winfield is one of the schools on the bubble between the two classifications, which will be made final Sept. 20. The Vikings competed in Class 4A during Hanna’s freshman campaign and in Class 5A his sophomore season.
In the girls’ 5K, Andover sophomore Elise Larson stormed to a first-place finish. Like Hanna, she ran the first stretch of the race in second place, but moved into the lead at the mile mark.
“That was exactly my strategy,” Larson said. “A lot of times, it’s easy to take too much out early on, which ultimately can hurt you later in the race.”