Amanda Hon earns trip to State


Switzerland County junior Amanda Hon will compete in the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s cross country state finals this Saturday, October 29th.

There were 148 runners in Saturday’s semistate, and Amanda Hon finished 12th overall.

“This accomplishment has been a goal of Amanda’s since last year,” coach Mark Boggs said. “She accomplished this feat by showing pure guts and determination.”

Coach Boggs said that at the 1,000-meter point in the race, Amanda Hon was in 39th place. At the mile mark, she had moved up to 24th place; and a half-mile later, she was in 16th place. By the end of the race, she had passed four more runners to qualify for the state race.

Thanking God for her opportunity, Amanda Hon trains herself for meets by running miles, lifting weights, and running “with her whole heart”. She gives God all the credit for helping her.

“He has been my main help along the way,” Amanda Hon says. “But I also want to thank my coaches, my teammates, parents and family, peers, teachers, Larry Tolbert, and the school administration. They have all helped me a lot.”

Amanda Hon says that middle school cross country coach Larry Gault and her dad, Danny Hon, pushed her into running in order to get in shape for basketball.

“I really didn’t want to do it,” she says.

Now, running cross country is part of who she is and what she does, and — running since the eighth grade — it is something that has allowed her to set some goals for herself.

Her biggest goal was to advance to the state cross country meet — a goal that she can now check off of her list of things to do.

Her next goal is to run the 2.5-mile course in less than 15 minutes. Her last chance to achieve that goal this year comes this Saturday at the state meet. The state finals will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Amanda Hon has already had an outstanding individual season.

She earned the Most Valuable Runner award in the Ohio River Valley Conference by being the individual winner of the conference meet — running a time of 15:15 in the process.

At the sectional held at Hanover College, she finished fourth overall in a time of 15:52; and at the regional meet at Pekin Eastern, she finished ninth overall in a time of 16:02.

All cross country courses are the same distance, but factors such as the hills on a course and weather conditions can affect a runner’s time.

At last Saturday’s semistate at Bedford North Lawrence High School, she earned her trip to the state finals with a 12th place finish in a time of 15:36.

The top 15 individual runners in each state race advance to the next level of competition.

Last year, she placed 34th in the Bloomington semistate race.

Amanda Hon’s season is one for the record books, as she is only the second Lady Pacer in school history to qualify for the state cross country meet.

In 2003, Patience Meyer qualified for the state meet as a senior.

As a junior, Amanda Hon says that it’s “indescribable and very exciting” to think that she has the chance to be the first Switzerland County runner to qualify for the state cross country meet twice.

The meet begins this Saturday at 1 p.m.

— Amanda Faber