Hillsboro track qualifies four for state

Hillsboro qualified four athletes for state in six events Friday at the Class 3A regional in Garden Plain.

Seniors Nathan Vogel and Dakota Kaufman each qualified in two events, while Callie Serene and Joel Allen each qualified in one.

Vogel was the regional champion in the 800 meters, crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 2.91 seconds. He finished to Garden Plain?s Kurt Pauly in the 400 meters in 49.85. The time would have broken the school record of 48.89 he set (May 6). But because events were hand-timed at Garden Plain, the official result is rounded up to 49.9.

Vogel competed at state in the 800 and 400 a year ago. His times at Garden Plain rank him second among the 16 regional qualifiers in those events this year.

Kaufman, hampered by a sore foot, will be returning to state in the same two events for the fourth straight year. She placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 35-31?4 and third in the long jump with a mark of 17-103?4.

Kaufman?s distances rank her third among regional qualifiers in the triple jump and ninth in the long jump.

Serene, a sophomore, will return to state in the girls? 800 with a second-place finish at Garden Plain in 2:28.64. Her time ranks her 10th among regional qualifiers.

Joel Allen qualified for the Kansas state track meet for the first time by winning the 3,200 in 10:26.67 and outdistancing his competition in the final 200 yards. His time ranks fifth among 2010 state qualifiers.

Though the number of Hillsboro regional entries and state qualifiers were lower than normal this year, coach Dennis Boldt said he felt his athletes exceeded expectations, especially those held by the coaches and the athletes themselves.

?Don?t get me wrong, there are always disappointments,? Boldt said. ?Those athletes who were close to qualifying but missed narrowly are disappointed. But simply scoring in this extremely competitive regional is quite an accomplishment. There were no easy qualifications on this day.?

Two athletes, junior Ben Beber?meyer and freshman Shaq Thiessen, just missed qualifying for state, finishing fifth in the triple jump and high jump, respectively.

The HHS boys placed sixth as a team with 34 points, well behind the 116 put up by the host school. The Trojan girls, meanwhile, scored 22.2 points, to place them 10th behind Conway Springs with 110.2.

?As it is every year, the goal is to qualify as many events as possible and give as many young people the opportunity to compete in this nation?s largest and most impressive state championship competition,? Boldt said.

?We look forward to a competitive weekend and hope that everyone has their best day at state.?

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