ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro girls’ track team displayed both talent and depth by edging Smoky Valley for the team title at the Marion Relays on Friday.
The Trojans girls rolled up 113 points to edge the Vikings, who finished with 109.
JuliAnne Chisholm led the Trojans with three individual first-place performances, including a school-record-shattering win in the high jump. Chisholm, who set the record of 5-feet, 7 inches in her gold-medal performance at the state track meet last spring, soared 5-9 at Marion.
“She came into the competition after the rest of the field was completed,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “She was hitting her mark and you could see her confidence grow with each jump.”
Chisholm also won 300-meter hurdles in 47.76 seconds and the 110-meter hurdles in 15.63. She joined with Jessica Heidel, Kelsie Penner and Hannah Marsh to win the 4×400 relay in 4 minutes, 19.75 seconds.
Marsh contributed individual gold medals in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.93 and the 200-meter dash in 26.99. The defending state champion in the long jump placed second at Marion with a leap of 16-71/2.
Even with the gold-medal performances by Chisholm and Marsh, Boldt said he was most encouraged by the performance of his middle-distance runners.
Carrie Schroeder placed second in the 800 meters and fifth in the 1,600 meters and the 4×800 team of Julia Loewen, Samantha Heinrichs, Amanda Faber and Schroeder placed second.
“This group of young ladies provided the depth we needed,” Boldt said.
The Trojan boys, meanwhile, placed a solid second with 78.5 points, falling just short of first-place El Dorado with 80 points.
“The boys showed us that despite losing 10 seniors, they intend to work hard and score well throughout the season,” Boldt said. “I think the boys put some doubts to rest today, and although we have a long way to go, they proved that we will be more than just a competitive team.”
The Trojans managed three first-place performances. Tim Funk won the high jump by 5 inches by clearing 6-3, Sammy Esapada won the triple jump with a leap of 41-71/4 and Nate Holmes won the 800 meters in 2:06.50.
The Trojans also picked up two seconds and three thirds.
“We knew the boys’ team would not have the depth of the past few years and we would depend on top-three finishes to place highly in invitational meets,” Boldt said. “They did this today and should be extremely proud of their effort.”
Three other area schools competed at Marion, including the host team. The Warrior boys placed fourth and the girls tied for fifth.
“Our athletes did a nice job competing and we have a better idea going into the rest of the season of where we will score points on a consistent basis and where we need to score some points in order to place high in all of our track meets,” said coach Grant Thierolf.
Jeremy Vondenkamp led the boys’ team by winning both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles in 15.57 and 42.02 seconds, respectively. He also was a member of the winning 4×400 team (3:41.85) with Casey Nelson, Jason Hett and Russell Ploutz.
The Warriors picked up two seconds-Ben Leppke in the triple jump and Adam Depler in the shot put.
The top performance for the Warrior girls came from Erin Richmond, who placed second in the javelin with a throw of 105-7. Erin Carr placed third in the 100 meters in 13.31 and fourth in the 200 in 27.69.
Centre and Peabody-Burns also competed at Marion. The Centre boys placed eighth with 40.5 points and the girls were 10th with 18 points. The boys from Peabody-Burns placed 10 with 32 points and the girls also placed 11th with 8 points.
The top performer for the Centre boys was Justin Garrard, who won the 1,600 meters in 4:52.21 and the 3,200 meters in 10:27.68. Klenda placed second in the pole vault to pace the Cougar girls.
For Peabody-Burns boys, Mario Nava placed second in both the 100 meters (11.60) and the 200 meters (24.12). He also was part of the Warrior 4×100 team that placed second (45.73).
For the girls, the 4×800 team placed fourth (11:10.55) and Kate Topham placed fourth in the 1,600 meters (6:06.60).
Coming-The Hillsboro and Marion track teams were scheduled to compete at Hesston on Tuesday. On Friday, both teams will travel to Lindsborg for the Smoky Valley Invitational. Events begin at 4 p.m.