ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
For Hillsboro High School athletes, this year?s performance at the
state track meet was gratifying, but also tinged with
By way of the medals stand, the Trojans? top individual
the weekend came from Ryan Jilka, who missed a gold medal by less
a tenth of a second in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
Tyler Conrad of Cheney nipped Jilka in a photo finish at the tape
win in a time of 40.56. Jilka?s 40.63, a career best, was more
second off the school record set by Craig Duerksen in 1992.
?Ryan Jilka, who qualified for state last year, was determined not
leave the stadium without a medal this year,? said coach Dennis
?His second-place finish in the 300 hurdles is the highlight of
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
seventh and final spot in the finals.
In Saturday?s finals, Jilka placed seventh in another photo
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
For the Trojans?and senior Jacey Boese?the quest for four straight
gold medals fell short when a superior Conway Springs team broke
tape first on Saturday in a time of 4:02.1.
Hillsboro?s team of Angela Kroeker, Shannon Kroeker, Julie Hett
Boese finished next in 4:06.2, about 3.5 seconds off the school
they set a week earlier.
?Conway had the ultimate in motivation, which was, simply, if they
this race, they win the girls? team title,? Boldt said.
Angela Kroeker, a defending champion in the discus, finished third
Friday. With a throw of 124-11 on her first attempt in the
round, she led the field going into the finals.
But Cristy Hall of Lakin (129-2) and Gina Grutzmacher of Rock
(125-1) each found one good throw in the finals to leap-frog past
?She has put in more effort this year than anyone I have seen,?
said of his thrower. ?If you would come by the track on an given
you would find her and Coach (Don) Penner working late getting in
throws. She deserves all the success she has had in this event
the past two years.?
Her teammate and sister, Shannon Kroeker, picked up four points
Hillsboro by matching last year?s fourth-place performance in the
meters. She finished in 2:24.3.
Hett, meanwhile, picked up a point by finishing sixth in the open
meters in a time of 1:02. She had sneaked into the finals on
with a seventh-place qualifying time of 1:01.4.
The only other medalist performance came in the girls? 4×800
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
seconds. It was the sixth straight meet in which this team
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
52.37 in the prelims, 1.26 seconds slower than the seventh
n Boese ran a 1:01.6 in the open 400.
n The boys? 4×800 team of Adam Jilka, Vance Frick, Peter Richert
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
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
As a team, the HHS girls, with 25 points, finished eighth among
teams that scored. They boys finished 24th among 39 teams with 8
?We returned many athletes to the state meet and once again are
disappointed,? Boldt said. ?We really had two good days of
competition. This was a particularly great year to bring so many
athletes, since we have veterans on the team who have been here
and four consecutive years.
?I speak for our entire coaching staff when saying that this was
of the most enjoyable groups, from freshmen to seniors, that we
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF