State mettle

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
For Hillsboro High School athletes, this year?s performance at the

state track meet was gratifying, but also tinged with
disappointment.



By way of the medals stand, the Trojans? top individual
performance of

the weekend came from Ryan Jilka, who missed a gold medal by less
than

a tenth of a second in the 300 intermediate hurdles.



Tyler Conrad of Cheney nipped Jilka in a photo finish at the tape
to

win in a time of 40.56. Jilka?s 40.63, a career best, was more
than a

second off the school record set by Craig Duerksen in 1992.



?Ryan Jilka, who qualified for state last year, was determined not
to

leave the stadium without a medal this year,? said coach Dennis
Boldt.

?His second-place finish in the 300 hurdles is the highlight of
our

day.?



Jilka also qualified Friday for the finals in the 110-meter high

hurdles, finishing fourth in his heat in a time of 15.7 to fill
the

seventh and final spot in the finals.



In Saturday?s finals, Jilka placed seventh in another photo
finish?

just out of the points in a time of 15.58.



To call a second-place state finish in the girls? 4×400 relay a

disappointment only reflects the legacy Hillsboro has established
in

that event.



For the Trojans?and senior Jacey Boese?the quest for four straight

gold medals fell short when a superior Conway Springs team broke
the

tape first on Saturday in a time of 4:02.1.



Hillsboro?s team of Angela Kroeker, Shannon Kroeker, Julie Hett
and

Boese finished next in 4:06.2, about 3.5 seconds off the school
record

they set a week earlier.



?Conway had the ultimate in motivation, which was, simply, if they
win

this race, they win the girls? team title,? Boldt said.



Angela Kroeker, a defending champion in the discus, finished third
on

Friday. With a throw of 124-11 on her first attempt in the
preliminary

round, she led the field going into the finals.



But Cristy Hall of Lakin (129-2) and Gina Grutzmacher of Rock
Creek

(125-1) each found one good throw in the finals to leap-frog past
the

Trojan senior.



?She has put in more effort this year than anyone I have seen,?
Boldt

said of his thrower. ?If you would come by the track on an given
day,

you would find her and Coach (Don) Penner working late getting in

throws. She deserves all the success she has had in this event
over

the past two years.?



Her teammate and sister, Shannon Kroeker, picked up four points
for

Hillsboro by matching last year?s fourth-place performance in the
800

meters. She finished in 2:24.3.



Hett, meanwhile, picked up a point by finishing sixth in the open
400

meters in a time of 1:02. She had sneaked into the finals on
Friday

with a seventh-place qualifying time of 1:01.4.



The only other medalist performance came in the girls? 4×800
relay,

when Angela Kroeker, Cheryl Prieb, Alisa Jost and Shannon Kroeker

finished third. They were nipped at the tape by Cimarron by half a

second in the battle for second place.



Northern Heights won in a time of 9:46.91.



Hillsboro?s time of 10:01.53 lowered the school record by almost
five

seconds. It was the sixth straight meet in which this team
established

a new mark in the event.



Five other Trojan entries competed among the elite of Class 3A but

either did not make the finals or did not score in their events:



n The 4×100 team of Jenna Jost, Angela Kroeker, Hett and Boese ran
a

52.37 in the prelims, 1.26 seconds slower than the seventh
qualifier.



n Boese ran a 1:01.6 in the open 400.



n The boys? 4×800 team of Adam Jilka, Vance Frick, Peter Richert
and

Garrett Call finished 10th with a time of 8:35.93.



n Call ran a 2:10.37 in the 800 meters, finishing about eight
seconds

out of points contention.



n Shannon Kroeker cleared 5-0 in the high jump to finish eighth.



n Scott Winter threw a career-best in the shot put of 47-91/4 to

finish eighth.



As a team, the HHS girls, with 25 points, finished eighth among
the 34

teams that scored. They boys finished 24th among 39 teams with 8

points.



?We returned many athletes to the state meet and once again are
not

disappointed,? Boldt said. ?We really had two good days of

competition. This was a particularly great year to bring so many
young

athletes, since we have veterans on the team who have been here
three

and four consecutive years.



?I speak for our entire coaching staff when saying that this was
one

of the most enjoyable groups, from freshmen to seniors, that we

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