The most dazzling of all was Shaq Thiessen’s leap of 23 feet, 5 inches in the long jump, breaking the longest-lasting record at HHS. On his first jump of the day, the Trojan senior eclipsed the mark of 23-21⁄2 set nearly 57 years ago by Jerry Harder.
“They say records are made to be broken, but this one held on for awhile,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “He should be proud of this accomplishment and also look toward bettering the mark in our upcoming meets.”
Thiessen also won the high jump by clearing 6-2.
Not far behind Thiessen’s resume was the three-race sweep of Emily Sechrist. The sophomore won the 3,200 by nearly 43 seconds in 11 minutes, 54.66 seconds, the 1,600 by 10.5 seconds in 5:38.84 and then managed to take the 800 by 0.16 seconds in 2:31.74.
“Although I wouldn’t say it is her premier event, her best effort came in the 800 as she showed determination to take the win by a small margin,” Boldt said. “This was after running both the 3,200 and 1,600 meters. Emily is a great example of how hard work pays off.”
Avery Franz and Tyler Proffitt also claimed gold for the Trojans. Franz won the triple jump by 3 inches at 41-3, while Proffitt dominated the pole vault by clearing 13 feet even.
“Avery and Proffitt had a great day in the jumps,” Boldt said.
Trojans contributing silver and bronze were Franz, with a second-place finish in the 400 (53.50) and a third in long jump (20-1/4), Josh Richert, who placed second in the 1,600 (4:44.35) and 800 (2:09:19), and Grant Knoll, who finished third in the 3,200 (10:55.77).
“Two guys quietly piling up points on the track are Josh and Grant, who are consistently taking places between them in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter races,” Boldt said. “There are times when you are concerned with times, but on a day like we had today, I told the kids we are racing to win. Don’t worry about the times, get out and compete. Today we raced to win.”
The boys’ 4×400 team of Micah Mashburn, Proffitt, Thiessen and Franz placed third in 3:43.33.
For the girls, Ashley Bartel managed the only other top-three finish for the Trojans, taking second in pole vault by clearing 8 feet.
As a team, the boys placed third among 14 schools with 87 points, trailing Berean (114) and Hesston (100). The girls placed fifth among 12 schools with 50 points. They trailed Hesston (122), Berean (117), Haven (112) and Smoky Valley (50).
“I felt we had an exceptional day at this year’s James Thomas Invitational,” Boldt said. “I know the athletes worked exceptionally hard through the challenging conditions and had some great marks.
“As a team we finished very well,” he added. “The kids made sacrifices and fought through some pain in order to not only score team points, but get better marks for our upcoming regional entries.”
Coming—Hillsboro is scheduled to compete Thursday at the Hesston Invitational. Field events will begin at 4 p.m.