ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Posting some of their best times and distances of the season, the Hillsboro boys’ and girls’ track teams both won their respective divisions at the 12-team Hesston Invitational Friday.
The boys, scoring well in distance events and relays, turned the tables on Smoky Valley with a comfortable 112-72 win after losing to the Vikings by two points a week earlier at the James Thomas Invitational.
The Trojan girls, also scoring well in the relays, outpaced Garden Plain by an 97-87 margin to claim their title.
Sheldon Funk and Aaron Yoder turned in notable performances in the only individual-event victories for the boys. Funk raised his own school record in the pole vault by an inch after clearing 14-7, while Yoder, making his first 800 start of the season, outran the field in 2:02.66, the best time of any Trojan this season.
Funk’s mark in the pole vault also set a new meet record. He won the event by clearing 13-6, then had the bar set at 14-7, which he cleared on his second attempt.
Yoder and his teammates-Pete Richert, Daniel Yoder and Daniel Deckert-combined for 41 points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
The Trojans won two of three relays. The 4×800 team of Daniel Yoder, Matt Unger, Richert and Aaron Yoder outran the field by almost 17 seconds, breaking the tape in 8:20.56-less than five seconds off the school record.
In the 4×400, Tyler Peachey, Daniel Yoder, Richert and Ross Duerksen edged Hesston by less than two seconds with a time of 3:32.60.
The 4×100 team of Duerksen, Adam Woods, Peachey and Alan Yoder lost at the tape to Garden Plain by 0.29 seconds.
This meet marked the return of Alan Yoder, who had sat out two meets with a slight hamstring pull. Besides the relay, Yoder competed in the 100-meter dash at Hesston, finishing second.
“Alan looked good,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “With two weeks off, we wanted to come back slowly, getting in a few races. Al has been extremely diligent in his training the past two weeks as he strengthens his legs.”
Andrea Peachey won the only individual event for the Trojan girls with another strong performance in the 100-meter hurdles (15.42). She and Shannon Kroeker placed second and third, respectively, in the high jump by clearing 5-0 and 4-10.
Freshman Charity Davis added 15 team points by placing second in the 100, third in the long jump and sixth in the 200.
But it was in the relays where once again the Trojans dominated. Each of the three teams ran its best time of the season on the way to two firsts and a second.
The 4×800 team of Jessica Boese, Jenna Jost, Alisa Jost and Shannon Kroeker won by 18 seconds with a time of 10:31.73. The same girls also won the 4×400 by more than three seconds with a time of 4:17.25.
The 4×100 team of Peachey, Boese, Jenna Jost and Davis was edged at the tape by Garden Plain by 0.15 seconds.
The Marion boys’ team, meanwhile, placed fifth and the girls placed 10th.
Zac Ewert turned in a career-best time of 10:38.20 in the 3,200 and James Davis cleared 13-0 in the pole vault to finish second in their respective events-the best finish by a Warrior.
Fourth-place performances by Stacia Williams in the 800 meters and Megan Moore in the javelin led the girls in individual events. The Marion 4×800 team placed second.
Coming-Hillsboro will compete at the MCAA league meet in Nickerson on Friday. The boys are the defending champions.
Field events begin at 4 p.m., running preliminaries at 5 p.m., and finals 30 minutes after the conclusion of prelims.