ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Led by three athletes with double-win evenings, the Hillsboro boys’ track team remained unbeaten-and mostly unchallenged-in major meets this season with a 45-point victory margin at the James Thomas Invitational Friday at the Tabor College track.
The Trojans rolled up 140 points to outdistance runner-up Smoky Valley with 95. Marion was a close third with 94 points.
Among other area schools competing in the 10-team field, Goessel placed ninth with 7 points and Canton-Galva 10th with 5.
“We knew coming into this meet that Smoky Valley would be giving us good competition, and it ended up that both Smoky Valley and Marion scored well today, pushing us through the final events,” Hillsboro coach Dennis Boldt said.
“We have many events in which we have consistently scored well, but it was the improvement of some of our younger athletes that really pushed us over the top,” he added.
In the girls’ division, Hesston won by six points over Belle Plaine with 98 points. Hillsboro was fifth with 66 points, Goessel sixth with 38, Marion eighth with 28 and Canton-Galva 10th with 11.
For the Trojan boys, Caleb Marsh, Alan Yoder and Aaron Yoder all came away with two wins in the individual events.
Marsh won the pole vault by clearing 13-6-taking first on fewer misses over Marion’s James Davis and Casey Nelson, who made the same height. The Trojan junior also won the long jump with a mark of 21-31/2.
Alan Yoder, who placed third in the long jump, won the 100- and 200-meter dashes by breaking the tape in 10.78 and 23.23 seconds, respectively. Yoder’s time in the 100 lowered his previous school record of 10.8.
Aaron Yoder came away with a win in the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 40.82 seconds, and in the 800 meters in 2:07.16, edging his brother Daniel, who placed second in 2:09.26.
Hillsboro also won the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. The 4×100 team of Alan Yoder, Tyler Peachey, Brodie Unrau and Marsh crossed the finish line in 44.53 seconds, for a one-second win over Haven.
The 4×400 team of Peachey, Aaron Yoder, Daniel Yoder and Marsh finished just over 10 seconds faster than runner-up Smoky Valley in 3:30.51.
Other Trojans to finish in the top three in their events were Daniel Yoder, second in the 400, Derek Mayfield, second in the triple jump, and Unrau and Tim Funk, second and third in high jump, respectively.
For Marion, Joel Versch won the 300-meter hurdles in 42.57 seconds and placed second in 110-meter hurdles to pace a strong team performance.
The Warriors’ other first-place finish came from Zac Ewert, who won in the 3,200 meters in 10:41.16. Ewert also placed third in the 1,600 meters.
Other Warriors to score among the top three places in individual events were Gavin Moore, third in the 3,200, Calvin Riggs, third in the 300-meter and 110-meter hurdles, Steven Boone, third in the javelin, as well as Davis and Nelson, second and third, respectively, in the pole vault.
Korrie Bennett and the team of Chad Shrag, Peter Goerzen, Jared Unrau and Justin Fensky turned in Goessel’s top placement with fifth-place performances in the high jump and 4×100 relay.
Canton-Galva got sixth-place finishes from Regehr in the high jump and Unruh in the 100 meters.
For the girls, Hillsboro got first-place performances from Charity Davis in the long jump (16-71/4), Alisa Jost in the 400 (1:03.48) and the 4×400 team of Jessica Boese, Elise Matz, Davis and Jost (4:24.72).
Also placing in the top three were Davis, second in the 400, Mindy Munguya, third in the triple jump, and the team of Cheryl Prieb, Matz, Boese and Davis second in the 4×100.
Marion’s best finishes came from Sarah Regier, third in the discus, and Shawna Hett, third in the pole vault.
Goessel’s Melinda Stucky won the high jump by clearing 5-41/2. and Jennifer Schmidt placed second in the long jump and the 200 and third in the 100 to pace the Bluebirds.
Clari Becker of Canton-Galva won the pole vault by clearing 10-3 for the Eagles’ top finish.
Coming-Hillsboro and Marion will compete at the Hesston Invitational on Thursday. For the Trojans, it will be their final tune-up before the MCAA league meet May 16 at Lindsborg.
The Hillsboro boys placed first and the girls third at the Peabody-Burns quadrangular April 29.
The boys won with 153 points to outdistance second-place Sterling with 105 points. Peabody-Burns was third with 100 and Canton-Galva scored 14.
The Trojan girls scored 82 points to place behind Sterling with 161 and Peabody-Burns with 113, and ahead of Canton-Galva with 3.
Winning individual events for Hillsboro were: Tyler Peachey, discus (127-71/2); Sammy Espada, triple jump (42-31/2); Caleb Marsh, long jump (21-10); Alan Yoder, 100 meters (11.75) and 200 meters (24.25); Karl Magnuson, 3,200 meters (12:10.59); and Aaron Yoder, 1,600 meters (5:01.69) and 800 meters (2:09.9).
The 4×100 team of Alan Yoder, Peachey, Brodie Unrau and Marsh won with a time of 44.94, and the 4×400 team of Peachey, Aaron Yoder, Daniel Yoder and Marsh won in 3:42.57.
For the girls, Alisa Jost won the 400 (1:03.72), Andrea King the shot put (32-81/2), Mindy Munguya the triple jump (33-101/2) and Charity Davis the long jump (16-7).
The 4×100 team of Cheryl Prieb, Elise Matz, Jessica Boese and Davis place first, as did the 4×400 team of Boese, Matz, Davis and Jost with a time of 4:37.88.