By BRETT MARSHAL
ULYSSES — For Enrique Sanchez of Southwestern Heights, it was his first time to see the cross country course layout at the Bentwood Country Club on Tuesday during the Ulysses Invitational.
For Lady Tiger Janni Meierhoff, the course was all-so familiar and a place where she felt most comfortable.
For both of the prep standouts, though, the results were similar and they both came away with impressive victories in their respective races.
Meierhoff was not hampered by the cool and windy conditions that swept through the golf course in the late afternoon hours at the start of the race. With temperatures hovering in the mid 50s and the wind blowing between 15 and 25 miles per hour, the senior runner cruised in with a time of 16:05.58 for her second victory of the season.
"I like the cool air and it felt nice," Meierhoff said. "I didn't feel the wind so much because I think it numbs my legs."
Tuesday's meet was the third for Meierhoff and she now has two victories (Goodland Invitational) and a fifth-place finish at the Wamego Invitational where she ran against some of the top Class 4A runners in Kansas.
"I enjoyed the course that we ran today, it's something I'm familiar with and I thought the hills would be a place where it would be to my advantage," Meierhoff said.
Meierhoff, who has been on The Telegram's All-Area Fall Sports and Track & Field teams, said she has been enjoying her fall cross country season.
"I really like the workouts that coach (Georjean Perez) is having us do," Meierhoff said. "She's done a lot of research on workouts and I think it is helping a lot. She's such a great coach. We're doing a lot of 1,000-meter repeats to build up our lung capacity and then we'll take a little time off to get our legs back."
Perez said she's happy with the progress that Meierhoff continues to make this fall.
"She's enjoying running and she's a very good leader for all the other runners," Perez said of her senior standout. "She's the first one to give encouragement to everyone."
For Heights' Sancehz, success is nothing new. But his fall season has been a slow progression because of his summer job that prevented him from doing extensive workouts like some of his counterparts from other schools.
"I'd get a call from a number of the guys in the area and want me to come and run with them this summer, but I had a job and couldn't go," Sanchez said. "I love this course, it's a great one to run on, very soft with the grass."
Sanchez said he didn't know what to expect Tuesday since he had just run Saturday at the Hugoton Invitational where he placed second to the Eagles' Heber Jimenez. Ulysses' Israel Mendoza was also expected to be a challenger on Tuesday but did not compete.
"My legs felt a little heavy today and my knees felt like iron," he said. "It was tough to pick my legs up but I just got out there and tried to put it on cruise control."
Sanchez, who finished well in front of Jimenez on Tuesday, is the defending Hi-Plains League champion and was runner-up at the 2008 Class 3A state cross country championship.
"We've got a new coach (Amanda Kisner) and we're doing some different workouts this year," Sanchez said. "I think my conditioning is going good for the mid-point of the season so by state I think my times will be getting much better. This is a good confidence-builder."