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Joy HrushkaCross country

Kaiserslautern

Last week: Hrushka, a junior, ran a breakthrough race on her home course Saturday, leading a 1-2-3 K-town sweep and beating her sister Anna, a senior, for the first time.

Joy Hrushka covered the 5,000-meter course in 21 minutes, 7 seconds, outsprinting freshman Colleen Smith by a second and sister Anna by two seconds. All three finished in front of European 1,500- and 3,000-meter runner-up Lorraine Tucker of Ramstein in leading the Red Raiders to a 31-41 victory over the defending Big Schools champs.

Kaiserslautern coach Marty Kollar, who said that the sisters usually run side by side until the sprint finish, cited Joy Hrushka’s “inner harmony” as her greatest strength.

“She is at peace with herself and her skills,” he said, noting that both sisters had “internal clocks” guiding them during races.

The clocks might be running a little faster Saturday, when the Red Raiders travel to Patch, where Smith and the Hrushkas will find defending Division II champion Patch awaiting them.

“She was hitting all her sets, low, high and sideways,” Oliver said. “Even better, though, was her defense. I really need her to pick up everything when she’s in the back row on this rebuilt team, and she did exactly that this weekend.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

Jeremy BradyCross country

Heidelberg

Last week: Brady, a senior, opened his final season for the Lions by defeating 2004 European bronze medalist Sam Dickinson of Frankfurt International School and breaking Dickinson’s home-course record of 16 minutes, 58 seconds Saturday. Brady ran the 5,000-meter course in 16:33.

Brady, 11th in Europe as a junior, “appears to have hit his stride after a hard summer of training camps,” his mother Sharon, who's also his coach, said in an e-mail. “As captain for the second straight year, Jeremy works hard daily to excel ...”

Coach Brady added that her runner wasn’t intimidated by his fast opening time. “Jeremy felt comfortable running his pace and hopes to improve on his times during the season,” she continued. “He is looking to challenge some of the best runners in both cross country and track.”

Brady will get his chance Saturday, when defending European champion Ramstein, led by defending individual champ Danny Edwards, joins Heidelberg and FIS for an early showdown at Black Forest Academy.

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