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
?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
?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
?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
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
?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
?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
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF