ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Fueled by three individual gold medals from JuliAnne Chisholm and two from Hannah Marsh, the Hillsboro girls’ track team won the girls’ division of the Conrad Nightingale Invitational meet Friday in Halstead.
Hillsboro rolled up 80 points to slip past runner-up Southeast of Saline with 72. Marion placed sixth in a tough 18-school field with 33 points while Goessel failed to score.
Chisholm won the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches), 100-meter hurdles (15.04 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (46.41)-all in meet-record performances-while Marsh took the long jump (16-8) and the 200 meters (26.75).
Marsh also equalled the best height in pole vault (9-6) but placed third based on misses.
To finish the evening, Chisholm and Marsh teamed with freshman Tiffany Rooker and Tina Frick to win the Trojans’ other gold medal in the 4×400 (4:13.81) and secure the meet title.
“Our youngest member of the team, Tiffany, has been working extremely hard as she also competes in the open 400 in order to train for this relay,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “Tina ran an excellent leg tonight, as she is coming off some illness this past week.”
Marion’s top finish came from Erin Carr, who placed second in the 100 (12.72). Danielle Cope, Kalayla Jackson and Kimber Hardey picked up third-place medals in the 3,200 meters, long jump and shot put, respectively.
“We continue to be pleased with our girls’ team as they come out and compete well each week,” said Marion coach Grant Thierolf.
In the boys’ division, Hillsboro placed fourth with 621⁄2 points. Hoisington won the team title with 72 points, followed by Hesston (71) and Garden Plain (65). Marion placed 11th (20) and Goessel 13th (6).
The Trojans were energized by the return of David Funk, the Class 3A defending state champion in pole vault, who had been injured in a non-sports-related accident. Funk proved his fitness by clearing 13-6 and taking home the gold medal.
“Winning the pole vault in his first full meet will do nothing short of inspire confidence in our boys’ team,” Boldt said. “I know he was exhausted, as this was his first full day of competition. He needs to get stronger over the coming weeks in order to reach his full potential in May.”
Funk’s gold medal was only one the Trojans brought home. Adam Dirks and Cody McMillen earned silver medals in the javelin and 3,200 meters, respectively, as did the 4×800 team of Sean Leihy, Thad Holmes, McMillen and Nate Holmes.
“Overall, what more could you ask for,” Boldt said of his squad. “Our teams came home with first and fourth place in a meet that featured 18 teams. These young people sacrifice their time and are committed to this program, and their efforts continue to pay off. I’m proud of their accomplishments today.”
For Marion, Russell Ploutz claimed the highest prize, taking second in the triple jump (40-7). Shawn Britton added a bronze medal in the shot put (47-111⁄4).
“We have got to ratchet up the competitiveness of our team this week in order to take steps forward,” Thierolf said. “We are a better track team than we showed at Halstead and I am confident that we will compete much better in the coming weeks.”
Goessel, meanwhile, got a fourth-place performance from Craig Banman in the pole vault (11-6). Tyler Schroeder placed sixth in discus (136-8) and shot put (45-71⁄4) to account for the Bluebirds’ points.
“As the only 1A school at this meet, we are very proud of the performances our kids turned in today,” said Goessel coach Vanessa Schroeder.
Halstead quint-The Hillsboro girls won a five-team Central Kansas Track League meet at Halstead on Tuesday while the boys finished as runners-up.
Marion competed with a reduced squad and placed fifth in both divisions.
The Hillsboro girls rolled up 131 points to outpace the home team with 112. Berean Academy scored 91 points, Wichita Independent 26 and Marion 4.
Hannah Marsh, JuliAnne Chisholm and Tina Frick combined for all seven of Hillsboro’s individual gold medals.
In terms of volume, Marsh was the big winner by taking first in the long jump (16 feet, 3 inches), pole vault (9-0) and the 200-meter dash (28.13 seconds).
Chisholm took a day off from running the hurdles to make her first attempt at triple jump-and won the event by more than three feet at 35-61⁄2. She won the high jump by 10 inches when she cleared 5-8.
In Chisholm’s absence, Frick won both hurdles races, taking the 100-meter race with a time of 15.76 and 300-meter race in 54.35.
The three juniors combined with freshman Tiffany Rooker to win the 4×400 relay by more than 8 seconds (4:31.18). Frick and Rooker teamed with Shelby Koons and Abi Humber to win the 4×100 (55.71).
The Trojan boys, meanwhile, finished second to Halstead, 123 to 149. Berean followed with 66, Independent 18 and Marion 10.
Jacob Yoder won two gold medals for Hillsboro, taking the long jump (18-8) and the 200 meters (24.26). Nate Holmes won the 800 (2:10.63), Tim Funk the 110-meter hurdles (16.22), Clinton Schneider the 300-meter hurdles (46.72) and John Christian the 3,200 (12.28.66).
“Both groups did an excellent job today,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “We are in a specific training phase right now, so we ‘worked through the meet’ this week, meaning that we continued to train hard Monday despite having a meet on Tuesday.”
Coming-The Trojans are scheduled to be in Fairfield for a five-team CKTL meet on Tuesday, then will play host to the James Thomas Invitational at the Tabor College track on Friday.
“We look forward to our home invitational next week, particularly since weather has cancelled the meet the past two seasons,” Boldt said.
Events begin at 3 p.m.