Area teams, athletes compete at highest levels

Area high school teams and athletes again made their presence known in a variety of state sports and settings during 2014, while Tabor College?s basketball teams enjoyed a brief double-dip in the NAIA tournament, and its baseball team made its deepest run yet in the NAIA World Series.

January

Two Marion High School track and field coaches, Rex Wilson and Jerry Smith, were recognized as Assistant Coaches of the Year by the Kansas Cross Country Track and Field Coaches Associ?ation Jan. 11. The pair have more than a combined 90 years of track and field coaching experience.

February

The Hillsboro High School Booster Club accepted a check for $7,520 from Hillsboro Ford owners Terry Hagen and Randy Hagen during halftime of the Trojan boys? basketball game against Smoky Valley Feb. 11. The money was raised fall of 2013 during the Drive 4UR School fundraiser.

March

The Tabor College men?s and women?s basketball team won their respective Kansas Collegiate Athletic Confer?ence tournaments March 2. The men defeated Sterling in overtime, 97-90, while the women defeated top-seeded Southwestern, 85-51. The wins qualified both teams for the NAIA Div. 2 national tournament.

The Tabor men?s and women?s basketball teams lost their first-round games at their respective national tournaments. The men lost to third-ranked Indi?ana University Southeast, 77-75, while the eighth-seeded Bluejay women lost 63-62 to top-seeded Northwestern (Iowa).

Tabor College senior Nikki Lewis was named a third-team All-American for NAIA Division II?basketball.

Garrett Daugherty led the Tabor College effort at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The junior earned All-American honors by placing seventh in the finals of the men?s 1,000-meter run in 2:31.92.

The Marion wrestling team earned two medals at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at Hays: Kyle Palic placed second at 220 pounds and Adam Janzen finished sixth at 170 pounds. Also competing for Marion were Jarrett Johnson (106), Noah Albin (113), Bryce Shults (129), Ezra Darnall (126), Remington Putter (145), Luke Steele (160) and Zac Lewman (182).

Hillsboro?s four state-qualifying wrestlers combined for a 1-8 record at the Class 3-2-1A tournament. Jon Carey went 1-2 at 126 pounds, Cody Delk 0-2 at 152, Preston Nelson 0-2 at 160 and Levi Mendoza 0-2 at 182.

The Hillsboro boys? and girls? basketball teams qualified for the Class 2A state tournament by winning their respective sub-state tournaments at Berean Academy. In the title games, the girls defeated Mound?ridge, 53-36, and the boys defeated Berean, 54-30.

An untimely bout of cold shooting ended the Trojan boys? outstanding season with a 59-42 loss to Olpe in Manhattan. The Trojan girls lost their state opener in a 53-50 heart-breaker the previous day. The boys finished the season 21-3 and the girls were 18-6.

April

Tabor College announced that former athletic director, coach and player Don Bru?bacher would be inducted into the Tabor College Athletic Hall of Fame in May.

May

The Tabor College baseball team earned a trip to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series after winning the NAIA Opening Round tournament in Hutchinson with a 5-1 victory over Viterbo (Wis.). Tabor was a perfect 3-0 in the tournament.

The Hillsboro softball team earned a berth in the Class 2-1A state softball tournament with a 7-0 win over Inman in the regional finals. Junior Julie Sinclair allowed only one hit while striking out a school-record 17 batters in the title game.

The Marion baseball team earned a berth in the Class 3A state tournament for the second consecutive year after defeating Wichita Independent, 3-2, in the Marion Class 3A regional.

Marion?s Marissa Jacobson shows the form that won her a gold medal in triple jump at the state track meet. She competed in four events, including the gold-medal-winning 4x400 relay. Free Press file photo
Marion?s Marissa Jacobson shows the form that won her a gold medal in triple jump at the state track meet. She competed in four events, including the gold-medal-winning 4x400 relay. Free Press file photo
Twelve Marion Warriors qualified for the state track and field meet in Wichita by finishing among the top-four in their respective events at the Phil?lipsburg regional meet. Marissa Jacobson qualified in four events: triple jump, long jump, 400 meters and the 4×400 relay along with Katey Ehrlich, Kelli Hess and Marshelle Mermis.

Battling lightning and rain as well as top competitors from 15 other schools, the Hillsboro track and field team qualified six athletes in a total of 10 events for the state meet. The state qualifiers were Emily Sechrist, Grant Knoll, Marah Franz, Avery Franz, Taylor Vogt and Tara Proffitt.

June

The Hillsboro softball team finished as the runner-up at the Class 2-1A softball tournament in Great Bend with a 5-1 loss to undefeated Chase County in the finals. The Trojans ended the season with a 23-3 record.

The Marion baseball team made a premature exit from the Class 3A tournament in Topeka, losing in the opening-round loss to Silver Lake, 9-8. The Warriors finished the season with a 21-2 record.

Three state-champion performances highlighted a busy weekend for Marion track and field. The girls? 4×400 team of Marissa Jacob?son, Katey Ehrlich, Kelli Hess and Marshelle Mermis crossed the finish line first in a school-record time of 4:06.27. Jacobson won the triple jump with a leap of 35-10. Alicia Maloney won the pole vault by clearing 10-6.

Hillsboro?s Emily Sechrist and Marah Franz won silver medals at the state meet. Sechrist was the runner-up in the 3,200 with a time of 11:43.19; she also claimed third place in the 1,600 in 5:24.18. Franz cleared a personal-best 10 feet in the pole vault for her silver medal.

Danae Bina, a senior at Hillsboro High School, was one of 24 seniors who competed at the 29th annual Kansas Volleyball Associa?tion All Star Match at Washburn University.

Tabor College shortstop Gadiel Baez takes his turn at bat during the Avista NAIA World Series. The Bluejays made their deepest run in history, going 2-2 on the national stage. Free Press file photo
Tabor College shortstop Gadiel Baez takes his turn at bat during the Avista NAIA World Series. The Bluejays made their deepest run in history, going 2-2 on the national stage. Free Press file photo
The Tabor College baseball team?s historic run in the program?s first NAIA World Series appearance ended with a heartbreaking 10-9 loss to No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 12 innings. The Bluejays went 2-2 in the tournament and finished with a 51-13 record.

Three members of the Tabor baseball team earned all-America honors from the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Associa?tion. Pitcher Junior Mustain was named to the second team, while Kirk Rocha and Jacob Webb received honorable mention in the outfield.

Tabor pitcher Jacob Webb became just the second Bluejay in school history to be selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the 18th round as the 553rd overall selection.

July

Hillsboro High School?s Addie Lackey scored 11 points during the Kansas Basket?ball Coaches Associa?tion All-Star Game for girls Saturday in Salina. Her Blue team won, 82-75, over the White team.

Rusty Allen of Tabor College was named KCAC Athletic Director of the Year for 2013-14. He was formally recognized at the KCAC Sport Management Confer?ence in Sterling. This is the second time in three years that Allen has won the award; the first time was 2011-12.

Tabor baseball head coach Mark Standiford was named the 2014 American Baseball Coaches Associa?tion?s Diamond Coach of the Year for the Plains Region.

August

The USD 410 board of education approved a cooperative sponsorship with Canton-Galva High School in wrestling for 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

October

Hillsboro senior Emily Sechrist capped her high school cross-country career with a second-place finish in the Class 3A race at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence. Sechrist covered the 4-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 33.1 seconds.

Allison Weber capped an outstanding tennis career at Hillsboro High School with a third-place finish at the Class 3-2-1A tournament in Dodge City. The senior, a four-time state qualifier who had placed among the top six each year, improved upon her previous-best fifth-place finish in 2012.

Hillsboro seniors celebrate the team?s sub-state championship plaque that qualified the Trojans for their seventh consecutive state appearance in fall. The team finished as the Class 3A runner-up after winning two 3A and one 2A state title the previous three years. Free Press file photo
Hillsboro seniors celebrate the team?s sub-state championship plaque that qualified the Trojans for their seventh consecutive state appearance in fall. The team finished as the Class 3A runner-up after winning two 3A and one 2A state title the previous three years. Free Press file photo
The Hillsboro volleyball team qualified for state for the seventh consecutive year by winning the sub-state title on their home court. The Trojans competed in a gymnasium where temperatures approached triple digits?thanks to outdoor temperatures in the 90s.

The Hillsboro volleyball team took home the runner-up trophy at the Class 3A tournament in Emporia after losing a tough battle against Silver Lake, the No. 1 ranked team in the state.

The Goessel volleyball team finished as the Class 1A, Division I state runner-up after a three-set loss to Centralia in the championship game at Hays. It was the Bluebirds? only loss of the season.

November

Marion football team?s playoff run ended with a 61-40 loss to visiting Lyndon Friday in their Class 2-1A regional game. With the loss, Marion concluded the season with a 6-4 record.

The Peabody-Burns football season ended with a 66-44 loss to Osborne in a Class 8-man, Division I bi-district playoff game. Peabody-Burns concluded the season with a 9-1 record.

Three senior athletes represented Tabor College at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships at Rim Rock Farm near Law?rence: Joel Allen, Garrett Daugherty and Hannah Holmes.