HHS boys claim team title


Fierce but friendly competitors in the 400 all season, Ishmael Morris (left) and Nathan Vogel strain for the finish line at Marion. Morris edged Vogel by 0.06 of a second for second place.


Callie Serene heads for a second-place finish in the 800.?

The Hillsboro High boys qualified nine entries for the state track-and-field championships this weekend?and threw in the team championship to boot?at the Class 3A regional at Marion Friday.

The HHS girls, meanwhile, qualified in four events.

Ishmael Morris led the boys? effort by finishing second to Osage City?s Tyler Bartee in the 100 (11.12 seconds), 200 (22.53) and 400 (51.05) meters. The top four finishers in an event qualify.

Morris also ran a leg in the winning 4×400 team that clinched the team championship in the final event of the evening. Joining him were Matthew Klenda, Nicholas Mueller and Nathan Vogel.

The Trojans? other relay entry, the 4×800, will be making the trip to Wichita after placing second (8:39.35) to Hutchinson Trinity (8:31.58). Members of that team were Klenda, David Ratzloff, Mueller and Vogel.

Klenda also qualified for the open 800 by placing third (2:02.82) and Vogel qualified in the open 400 by placing third to Morris by 0.06 seconds (51.11).

Rounding out the state entries for the HHS boys will be John Hein and Michael Klaassen, who finished a surprising one-two in the shot put with career-best throws. Hein registered a winning toss of 50 feet, 51⁄4 inches while Klaassen heaved it 49-3⁄4.

?Without a doubt what set the tone, and put us in a position to win, was the shot put competition with John and Michael finishing 1-2,? Boldt said. ?These guys are much improved over the past season. I can?t say enough about how great a job coach (Don) Penner has done with the throwers.?

The boys won the team championship with a total of 73 points, edging Hutch Trinity (72) and Marion (71).

In the final event, the 4×400, Hillsboro crossed the finish line in 3:28.23, Jayhawk Linn was second in 3:28.53 and Hutch Trinity third in 3:29.68.

For Boldt, the regional meet is all about qualifying athletes for state. But that doesn?t mean the team title was insignificant.

?Getting athletes into the state meet takes priority over points scored,? he said. ?We have sacrificed many a first- and second-place plaque over the years in order to get in multiple events?it was no different today.

?For example, the 4×800 boys had the state qualification locked up, so we just coasted in, taking second. This gives us an opportunity to save energy for events later in the competition.

?This is why the regional championship is such a pleasant surprise when the scores were announced,? he added.

For the HHS girls, meanwhile, Dakota Kaufman secured a return ticket to state in both the triple jump and long jump. She placed second (35-6) to Marion?s Julia Zeiner (38-2) in the triple jump and fourth (16-61⁄2) to Zeiner (18-0) in the long jump.

The Trojans? two other entries were pleasant surprises.

Senior Tiffany Rooker won the pole vault competition by tying her career-best of 9-0.

?Tiffany had a great day in the pole vault, finishing with her best jumps of the season and a regional championship,? Boldt said. ?You could just see her relax when she knew she was qualified. Then, to her credit, she stepped up and finished a great competition.?

Meanwhile, freshman Callie Serene placed second in the open 800 in 2:33.37?less than 1.5 seconds behind the winner.

?Her drive and competitive nature took over on the final 200 meters?that was all Callie, and what a great result for her,? Boldt said.

The Trojans also had a couple of near misses for state by placing fifth: Rooker in the 400, Heidi Schroeder in the triple jump and the 4×100 team of Bethany Hawkinson, Kaufman, Shelby Koons and Rooker.

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