ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
As expected, the Hillsboro boys’ track team rolled to an impressive win at the 11-team Trojan Invitational Friday, but a dramatic first-place tie by the girls’ team was a pleasant surprise for Trojan coach Dennis Boldt.
The HHS girls tied Smoky Valley for the meet title with 116 while the boys cruised to first with 187 points and a huge margin over runner-up Smoky Valley with 72.
“I was overwhelmed by the girls’ results,” Boldt said. “Going in, you had to feel Smoky Valley was the favorite-they have some outstanding girls, and have always competed well at our meet.”
The Trojans secured a share of the team title in the last event of the day when the 4×400 foursome of Jessica Boese, Alisa Jost, Julie Hett and Kroeker broke the tape in 4:17.20 while Smoky Valley finished fourth.
Boese and Jost put the Trojans in good position with strong opening legs. Hett added a split of just over 62 seconds, which put the baton in Kroeker’s hands for the final 400.
“When Shannon came around the 100 (meter) mark of the final leg, I yelled at her that if she won the race, we’d win the title,” Boldt said. “I don’t know know if she heard me, but she turned in an incredible split of just over 61 seconds.”
Hillsboro won the race by three and half seconds over Remington, while Goessel fought off Smoky Valley down the stretch for third.
Boldt said some strong finishes in the early field events gave his coaches and him hope for a good team outcome.
The Trojans got top-three performances from Trista Hanley, who won the shot put and placed second in the discus, Andrea Peachey, who won the high jump, Mindy Munguya, who placed second in the triple jump, and Stephanie King, who finished third in discus.
Peachey also contributed the team’s top individual performance of the day, winning the 100-meter hurdles in a school record time of 15.03 seconds. Her mark shattered the record of 15.2 set in 1997 by Barbora Machova, who won the state championship that year.
“Andrea has been on a roll of late,” Boldt said. “It is clear that she is stronger than a year ago, and as she continues to compete this season I see her confidence growing.”
The Trojans helped their cause by winning two of the three relays. In addition to the 4×400 win, the 4×800 team of Hett, Cheryl Prieb, Alisa Jost and Kroeker won comfortably in a meet record time of 10:24.4.
Hillsboro’s only other win on the track came in the 800 meters, where Kroeker won by almost eight seconds over her closest rival with a season-best and meet-record time of 2:25.27.
The Trojan boys, meanwhile, simply dominated the field. Alan Yoder won three individual events-the long jump, 100 meters and 200 meters-and ran the opening leg for the victorious 4×100 relay team, which came within .02 seconds of tying the school record of 44.8.
Sheldon Funk, though, did break a school record by clearing 13-7 in the pole vault on his way to a second-place finish. His effort eclipsed the mark of 13-6 set by Brian Kroeker in 1993.
“Sheldon has been flirting with the record all year and we finally received the pole-vault poles we have been needing for our athletes, which helped Sheldon get his new record,” Boldt said.
The Trojans got a bucket full of outstanding performances on this day.
In addition to Alan Yoder’s three wins, Scott Winter won the shot put and javelin, twin brothers Ryan and Adam Jilka finished 1-2 in the high hurdles, Ryan Jilka won the 300-meter hurdles, Garrett Call won the 800 meters in a season-best 2:03.02, and freshman Aaron Yoder won the 1,600 meters in a career-best of 4:37.74, a mere 3.2 seconds off the school record.
Ryan Jilka’s winning time of 14.93 established a meet record.
The Trojans also swept all three relays. Teaming with Yoder in the near-record 4×100 were Phillip Terrell, Ross Duerksen and Ryan Jilka.
The 4×800 team of Adam Jilka, Call, Pete Richert and Aaron Yoder won in 8:39.62 and the 4×400 team of Terrell, Adam Jilka, Duerksen and Ryan Jilka finished the evening with a winning time of 3:34.32 in the 4×400.
All six schools in the Free Press distribution area competed in the meet.
For the girls, Peabody-Burns finished fourth 35 points, Marion fifth with 33, Goessel sixth with 30, Canton-Galva ninth with 12 and Centre 11th with one point.
For the boys, Marion placed third with 58 points, Canton-Galva fourth with 43, Goessel ninth with 26, Peabody-Burns 10th with 19 and Centre 11th with 12.
Little River-The Hillsboro boys and girls cashed in on a home-track advantage to win their respective team titles at the Little River Quintet track meet held at Tabor on Tuesday.
The girls won 11 of 19 events on the way to 146 points. Little River placed a distant second with 86 points, followed by Goessel with 82, Marion 16 and Canton-Galva 0.
The boys, meanwhile, won 16 of 19 events and finished with a whopping 211 points. Goessel was second with 57, followed by Little River 49, Marion 14 and Canton-Galva 13.
See Scorecard for complete results of the meet.
Coming-The Trojans will compete in the Hesston Invitational Thursday. Events begin at 4 p.m.