In the running for a four-peat

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Humble and unassuming, Jacey Boese takes her considerable success in

track well in stride.



A long, smooth, graceful stride, that is. The kind that once again has

made the Hillsboro High School senior one of the top 400-meter runners

among Class 3A girls.



Now, in her final year of high school competition, Boese stands on the

threshhold of securing a unique place in HHS track and field history.



Not only has she qualified for the state championships for four

straight years as a member of the Trojans? 4×400 relay team?a notable

feat in itself?she can take home her fourth gold medal in that event

this Saturday if she and her teammates win.



Four years. Four trips to state. Four gold medals.



?When you consider the competition,? says Dennis Boldt, her coach, ?it

is phenomenal that an athlete competes for first place four

consecutive years, regardless of the sport.?



For Boese, it?s an exciting possibility, but not as important as you

might think.



?I think it would be an honor to have four medals in that event,? she

says. ?But if it doesn?t happen, it doesn?t happen. God has a reason

for everything. And if that?s not what he wants to happen, that?s OK.



?It?s an honor to get to state in the first place.?



Even from her grade school days, Boese knew she was blessed with

speed.



?When I was younger, like in P.E. class, I?d beat the boys,? she says.

?Then they all grew up and ran faster than me.?



Boese was still among the fastest girls out for the HHS track team,

even as a freshman. And it earned her a place on the varsity relay

teams.



?There wasn?t anybody out for track, really,? she says. ?So they just

ran it off and the top four people were the ones who were going to

run.?



She made the list and has been there ever since.



Throughout her high school career, she has run in multiple relays, not

just the 4×400.



In fact, running the 400, a physically demanding event because of its

combination of speed and distance, isn?t the race she prefers?even

with all the success she had at it.



?I don?t enjoy running it,? Boese says. ?Everybody says they like

watching me run. I don?t quite see it, but they say there?s something

about my stride. They think I?m a 400 runner.?



And they?re right.



She won her first 4×400 state gold medal her freshman with Ruth

Harder, Barbara Machova and Carmen Hein.



In the process, the team set a school record that stood until last

Friday?s regional time of 4:03.7.



?It was exciting,? Boese remembers about that first win. ?None of us

had ever won a gold medal at the state track meet. It was amazing that

we won. We weren?t expecting to.?



Her sophomore year, Boese teamed with Hein, Julie Hett and Angela

Kroeker. With Hein?s graduation last spring, Shannon Kroeker was added

to this year?s team.



Boese has moved from the second runner in the relay during her first

three years to the anchor leg this year. She?s still adjusting to the

change.



?I?m getting used to it,? she said. ?I really liked running second and

was comfortable with that. You don?t have the pressure of starting and

you don?t have the pressure of ending because there?s always somebody

else who has a chance to get your team ahead.?



This weekend, Boese also will run in the Trojans? 4×100 relay with

Jenna Jost, Angela Kroeker and Hett.



She and Hett also qualified in the open 400 meters, but Boese?s focus

will be on the relays. She?s always preferred relays to individual

races.



?I feel like there?s not as much pressure when you?re part of a team,

when you?re having to do it for somebody else and not just yourself,?

she said. ?The relays are much more important because of the team, and

working together for one goal.?



In addition to track, Boese played basketball for four years at HHS,

volleyball for three years and tennis for one year. But track has been

her first love.



?I like being outside,? she said. ?And you mix together a lot more.

You can talk with the boys and the girls, and the different classes.

You?re not so divided up like you are in other sports. That makes it a

lot of fun.



?Track is organized, but it doesn?t seem that organized,? she added.

?It doesn?t seem like there?s as much pressure on you.?



Boese plans to find her stride at Bethel College next year. She?ll run

track?including the 400?for at least one more year.



?The coach wants me to,? she says about the distance she both loves

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