HHS takes silver, 3 bronze medals

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John Hein follows through with his throwing motion during the 3A boys shot put finals on Saturday. He placed fifth in the event.

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Matthew Klenda hands the baton to Nicholas Mueller during the prelims of the 4×400 on Friday. The Trojan squad had the fifth-fastest time in 3:32.64. but improved it to 3:29.19 in Saturday?s finals to win the bronze medal.

One silver and three bronze medals highlighted the Hillsboro High track-and-field team?s weekend at the state meet in Wichita.

Dakota Kaufman earned the silver medal in the triple jump with a distance of 36 feet, 9 inches. Marion?s Julia Zeiner won gold by a comfortable margin at 38-51⁄2.

Kaufman placed third in the long jump with a best effort of 16-113⁄4. Zeiner claimed gold with a leap of 18-1.

?Dakota saved her best jumps for last in both competitions today,? coach Dennis Boldt said. ?She was a little inconsistent in her approaches, but to her credit, pulled everything together to have her best state finishes of her career.?

Tiffany Rooker claimed fourth place in the pole vault by tying her career-best effort at 9 feet even. The winner, Page Stuhlsatz of Garden Plain, cleared 10-6.

?Tiffany vaulted well on Friday in a competition that featured a very strong field of competitors,? Boldt said. ?After not qualifying last season, she was determined throughout this season to not only qualify, but score at the state meet.?

Making her debut at state as a freshman, Callie Serene finished 16th in the 800 with a time of 2:36.01.

?Callie qualifying for the state meet her freshman year is such an accomplishment,? Boldt said. ?She ran a good time today and will take with her experience that will benefit her next season.?

Relays led the way for the HHS boys, as both the 4×800 and 4×400 took home bronze medals.

The 4×800 team of Matthew Klenda, David Ratzloff, Nicholas Mueller and Nathan Vogel placed behind Holcomb and Silver Lake with a time of 8:18.32.

In the 4×400, the team of Klenda, Mueller, Ishmael Morris and Vogel crossed the finish line in 3:29.39?2.09 seconds behind first-place Beloit. The Trojan team had qualified for the finals on Friday with a fifth-best time of 3:32.64.

?Relay teams have always been a cornerstone and a source of pride for this program, and we had two good ones this season that just kept getting better,? Boldt said. ?The third-place finishes for both is an outstanding accomplishment and I couldn?t be more proud of the effort these two teams gave.?

Boldt said Klenda held back in the open 800?finishing 15th in 2:22.91?to save himself for the 4×400.

?It paid off with their second-best time of the season,? he said.

Meanwhile, Morris qualified for the finals of the 100 on Saturday morning with a fifth-best time of 11:52, then maintained that finish in the finals with a time of 11.66, 0.3 seconds behind the winner, Kurt Pauly of Garden Plain.

?Ishmael has been our scoring leader all season and finished a stellar career today at the state championships,? Boldt said. ?He injured his hamstring during the 100-meter prelims, but did not let that deter his goal of qualifying and scoring in four events.?

The outcome was similar for Morris in the 200. He qualified with the fifth-best time of 22.96, but came in seventh in the finals at 23.06. Pauly led the field in 22.17.

In the 400 meters, Morris qualified with a seventh-best time on Friday of 51.93, but his teammate, Nathan Vogel came up short of qualifying, finishing 11th in 52.56.

?Nathan struggled in his 400 prelims on Friday,? Boldt said. ?He has been battling a sore back for the past few weeks, but as did Ishmael, he was determined to get the 4×400 qualified and place as well as the 4×800. He really epitomizes the competitiveness this program strives to achieve.?

In the 400 finals, Morris again held true to his qualifying finish, claiming seventh in 51.26. Pauly led the field with a winning and Class 3A record time of 48.32.

?(Morris) has been quite an inspiration throughout his senior year, and we will miss his contributions to our team on and off the track greatly,? Boldt said. ?Ishmael was affected greatly by the absence of a facility as a sprinter. To his credit he overcame the obstacle and proved he is one of the best athletes this state has to offer.?

In the field events, John Hein placed fifth in shot put by throwing the steel ball 50 feet, 21⁄2 inches on his final throw of the competition. Teammate Michael Klaassen finished 12th in the field of 16 with a best throw of 45-10.

?They have improved so much over the course of the season,? Boldt said, ?and are both a prime example of the results an athlete can achieve if they dedicate themselves to an event, and just stick with it.?

In the team competition, the Trojan girls placed 14th among the 39 schools represented, while the boys finished 11th among 40 schools.

?Once again this group of girls and boys overachieved, broke all expectations that people had for them, and had a fantastic day in state competition,? Boldt said.

?Bringing home nine medals is quite an accomplishment for any team, but particularly this group, who had to deal with the lack of a practice facility.?

Boldt also praised his team?s competitiveness and character throughout the season.

?I have been blessed to be involved with such great young people,? he said. ?This community should be proud.?

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