Another strong showing in middle-distance races highlighted Hillsboro’s day at the Hesston Invitational, which was delayed by weather one day to Friday.
Distance ace Emily Sechrist scored 28 of her team’s 44 points as the Trojans finished eighth among nine teams, while the boys scored 30 of their 74 points in the meet’s three longest races and finished fourth overall.
Josh Richert claimed gold in both the 800 (2 minutes, 11.7 seconds) and 1,600 (4:52), while Grant Knoll was third in the 3,200 (10:54.12) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:57.98).
“Josh had an incredible day,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “We talked before his 1,600 and he seemed really calm and focused for the day. He knows he has an incredible challenge before him each time he steps on the track because of the quality of runners we have in the distance races this year.
“Grant had a personal-best day in his 3,200 as he kept pace with one of our league’s best runners, Drew Hagemen (Hesston). He maintained a great first seven laps, drafting off the two lead runners and allowed them to pull him around the track.”
Also setting a personal-best mark was Tyler Proffitt, who won the pole vault at 14 feet, 1 inch.
“He is simply gaining more skill and confidence as he competes,” Boldt said of the senior.
Meanwhile, Avery Franz brought home four medals by placing among the top three in his individual events—triple jump (41-91⁄2, long jump 19-9 and the 400 (55.42)—and anchoring the second-place 4×400 team.
“Avery is coming along in all of his events,” Boldt said. “You have to have patience when you are developing the technical aspects of your jumps, as well as trying to gain speed and strength as well for his 400 meters.”
Sechrist, meanwhile, claimed gold in the 1,600 (5:34.85) and the 3,200 (12:12.40), but for the first time this season was the runner-up in the 800 (2:36.66).
“Emily is a pacesetter, she could not drop behind the other runners due to her quick pace in the 1,600 so she expended a lot of energy in her first race today,” Boldt said. “This shows just how quickly she can recover and how strong she is as she placed second in the 800, and led start to finish in the 3,200.”
Hillsboro’s next-best finishes were two fourths: Taylor Vogt in shot put (31-6) and Ashley Bartel in pole vault (8-6).
Coming—The Trojans are scheduled to complete the regular season Thursday when they travel to Sterling for the Central Kansas League meet.
The regional meet will be May 17 at Marion.