Nine Trojans qualify for state track

Nine Trojans will represent Hillsboro High at the KSHSAA Track & Field State Championships this weekend in Wichita. Pictured in the back row are (from left) Jessica Saunders, Wes Shaw, Josiah Driggers and Sienna Kaufman; front row, Addie Berens, Kinsey Kleiner, Iris Klein and Roxana Nieto. Not pictured: Abby Sechrist.

Hillsboro track and field athletes qualified for eight individual events and one relay for the upcoming KSHSAA State Championship Track & Field event this weekend in Wichita.

For the boys, Wes Shaw will compete in both shot put and discus after winning both events at the Class 2A regional meet in Blue Rapids May 18.

Shaw hit the 60-foot milestone on the nose in shot put, which placed him just over 9 feet farther than the runner-up.

“Wes has been working toward the 60-foot mark all season, and I know he feels relieved to achieve that mark and join a select group of throwers who have achieved that distance,” coach Dennis Boldt said.

“He can now relax and concentrate on his events at state. He is an exceptional talent and we all enjoy watching his competitions.”

Shaw’s winning throw was 169-5 in discus.

Josiah Driggers, a junior, will represent Hillsboro in long jump after placing second at Blue Rapids with a leap of 20-8.25, just two inches behind the gold-medal winner.

“Josiah continues to jump consistently over 20 feet now,” Boldt said. “I’ve watched athletes for years now eclipse a particular distance or height, then they seem to relax and move on.

“Distances like 20 feet in the boys long jump, or 6 feet in high jump, 5:00 minutes in the mile, etc., are all milestones athletes fight to reach, when they breakthrough they are limited by very little,” Boldt said.

As a team, the Trojan boys complied 32.5 points to place 10th among 14 schools.

Jessica Saunders led the girls’ team with a pair of top-two efforts in the throws. The freshman won the shot put with a heave of 34-4.25, and placed second in discus at 111-3.

“Jessica did not improve her current record in shot put, which is 38-5, but threw exceptionally well in both shot and discus,” Boldt said

“As always, our goal is to just qualify—which doesn’t mean we don’t work hard when we know we are qualified in one event, but we move our focus on the next.”

Sienna Kaufman also qualified in two individual events. The senior won pole vault by clearing 9-6, and placed fourth in long jump at 15-10.5.

“Sienna qualified in the long jump and pole vault, which allows her to return a second year in both events, and a third year in long jump,” Boldt said.

Another senior, Abby Sechrist, qualified for state in the 1600 meters, placing third in 5:41.52.

“Abby battled for third place in the 1600, qualifying her for her fourth consecutive year in an event at the state championships,” Boldt said. “This itself is quite a feat, but particularly in this regional, which featured exceptional distance runners in both girls and boys events.”

Hillsboro qualified its 4×100 team for state. Roxana Nieto, Kaufman, Iris Klein and Kinsey Kleiner placed third in 52.6 seconds, less than a half-second behind the winning team from Jefferson County North.

“The girls’ 4×100 placed third, which qualifies multiple athletes, including Iris Klein, Kinsey Kleiner and Roxana Nieto, who will be competing their first time in state competition,” Boldt said.

Coming—Following are the times for Trojan athletes competing at the state meet, based on the KSHSAA schedule.

◼ Wes Shaw: shot put, 3 p.m. Friday; discus, 6:30 p.m. Friday.

◼ Josiah Driggers: long jump, 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

◼ Jessica Saunders: shot put, 8 a.m. Saturday; discus, 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

◼ Sienna Kaufman: 11:30 a.m. Saturday; long jump, 4:45 p.m. Friday.

◼ 4×100 relay: preliminaries scheduled for 2:55 p.m. Fri­day; finals, 3 p.m. Satur­day.

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