ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro High School boys sent a strong message about their potential for the season with a resounding win at the inaugural Marion Relays track meet Friday.
The Trojans, fueled by six first-place and five second-place performances ran away from the 10-team field with 1291/2 points. Their closest competitor was Smoky Valley with 84 points. Marion finished third with 80.
“Multiple scoring in events really made the difference for us today,” said coach Dennis Boldt. “Placing two athletes in the 1,600, long jump, 110 hurdles, triple jump and three places in the pole vault really added to the point totals in a hurry.”
In the girls’ division, Hillsboro placed third with 70 and Marion was fifth with 63 points in a nine-team field. Chase won the title with 101 points and Smoky Valley was second with 86.
“I felt our girls had an exceptional showing for our first invitational,” Boldt said. “Each athlete or relay team who scored finished in the top three places of their events.”
For the boys, junior Caleb Marsh, making his first track appearance as a Trojan, indicated his value to the team with individual first-place finishes in the pole vault (12 feet 6 inches) and long jump (21-11/2) and a leg on the first-place 4×400 (3 minutes, 34.47 seconds) and second-place 4×100 (44.68) relay teams.
The 4×100 time was only a little more than one-half second off the school record. Adding their legs to the cause were Kyle Jilka, Tyler Peachey and Alan Yoder.
Daniel Yoder and Aaron Yoder joined Marsh and Peachey on the winning 4×400 team.
Other Trojan firsts came in the 1,600 meters and 800 meters, which Aaron Yoder won in 4:39.89 and 2:04.13, respectively, and the 100-meter dash, which Alan Yoder won in 11.32 seconds.
Daniel Yoder placed second in the 1,600 meters (4:47.10) and 400 meters (52.17), Alan Yoder was the runnerup in long jump (20-1), and Sammy Espada was second in the triple jump with a leap of 41-1/2.
Marion’s highest finishers were James Davis, who matched Marsh’s winning height in the pole vault but had more misses; Zac Ewert, who placed second in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:04.67, and Joel Versch, who crossed the line in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.45.
Versch combined with Calvin Riggs to score 14 points in each of the two hurdle events while Davis placed in three of his four events.
Centre placed seventh in the competition with 28 points and Peabody-Burns was ninth with 21.
Justin Garrard won the 3,200 meters by nearly 26 seconds (10:38.97) to pace Centre. The highest finisher for Peabody-Burns was Kenny Mayfield, who finished second in the high jump at 6-0.
Pacing the Trojan girls was Mindy Munguya, with a winning triple jump of 33-11/2, and Charity Davis, who won the long jump with a leap of 15-81/4 and was second in the 100 with a time of 13.28.
The Trojans came home with two other second-place finishes: Andrea King with a throw of 95-0 in the discus, Cheryl Prieb by clearing 7-6 in the pole vault, and the 4×100 relay team of Jessica Boese, Elise Matz, Alisa Jost and Davis with a time of 54.17.
Marion girls won three events: Brandi Peterie-Shipman in the high jump (4-8), Allison Maddox in the 110-meter hurdles (19.58) and Shawna Hett in the pole vault (8-0).
“Brandi Shipman had a very good day in the jumping events,” said coach Grant Thierolf. “We look for repeated success from her this year. It was great to have Shawna Hett vault for us again.”
Savannah Killough contributed second-place points in the javelin (93-5).
Peabody-Burns, led by individual wins in the 1,600 (5:43.22) and 3,200 (12:42.87) meters and a strong leg in the winning 4×800 relay (10:37.19) by Ashley Elliott, placed fourth at the meet with 69 points.
Centre finished in sixth place with 60 points. Leading the Cougars was Laura Klenda, who won the javelin (106-5), and Kathleen Meek, who won the 300-meter hurdles (53.12).
Thierolf said the first running of the Marion Relays was a success.
“What a great day for a track meet,” he said. “We had great workers who ran the meet very well and head nothing but compliments from the teams who participated.”
Coming-Hillsboro was scheduled to compete at a Central Kansas Track League quint at Sterling on Tuesday. On Thursday, they travel to Lindsborg for the Smoky Valley Invitational. Events begin at 3:30 p.m. Next Tuesday, the team will compete at a CKTL quint in Inman, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Marion, meanwhile, was scheduled to compete at a CKTL quint in Hesston Tuesday. The Warriors will join Hillsboro at Lindsborg on Thursday, and then host their own CKTL quint on Tuesday.