Six Hillsboro track and field athletes competed for the first time in recent memory at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge Thursday and Friday at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.
Formerly known as the KT Woodman Track and Field Meet, the event is open to top high school athletes who compete in one of three divisions: 1-3A, 4-6A and Elite.
Two Trojans, Emily Sechrist and Jesse Brown, competed in the Elite Divi?sion.
Sechrist, one of the top distance runners in Class 2A, won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11 minutes, 51.27 seconds, and placed third in the 800 in 2:34.38.
?Emily did a great job of hanging with the front runner early,? coach Dennis Boldt said about her 3,200 race. ?The first race of the year is always a challenge, but running at WSU in the Elite Division is the best competition she has faced this early in her career?and to her credit, she took advantage of the competition.?
Brown placed sixth in high jump by clearing 6 feet, 2 inches.
?To put this in perspective, he would have placed second in the 1-3A division, but the high jump competition was much greater in the Elite and that will work to his advantage as he continues this season,? Boldt said.
The other four Trojans competed in the 1-3A Division.
Senior Avery Franz came away with the best finish among the group, winning the triple jump with a leap of 41-111?4. He finished fourth in the long jump at 20-21?2. Both marks are personal bests.
?You could really see Avery?s confidence increase after he hit the board well and went over 20 feet on his third jump,? Boldt said of the long-jump mark. ?He has such great horizontal jumping ability.?
Sophomore Marah Franz, a state qualifier last season, was the runner-up in pole vault by clearing 8-61?4.
?Some windy conditions made the 9 a.m. pole vault conditions a bit of a challenge, but she competed well and I look for her to have great results this season,? Boldt said.
Junior Grant Knoll finished third in the 1,600 in 4:46.06, fifth in the 3,200 in 10:44.29 and eighth in the 800 in 2:11.77.
?The impressive thing about Grant?s results is that not only did he run his personal best in (two) races, but they were only 45 minutes apart at the most,? Boldt said. ?His race of focus was the 1,600, and since it was before the 3,200 we decided to run both, knowing he would not be fully recovered.?
Two seniors, Taylor Vogt and Morganne Hamm, competed in shot put and discus.
In shot put, Vogt placed eighth with a toss of 29-103?4 and Hamm was 13th at 28-5. In discus, Hamm placed seventh at 87-11 and Vogt was 13th at 78-5.
?One of the ideas of competing in such an early season meet as this one is to give athletes the opportunity to compete at the state championship venue,? Boldt said.
?Taylor and Morganne had a nice day in both throws and now can visualize the competition area in the state championships. I know they have the ability for a top-four finish this season in either of their events.?
Hesston?With several key athletes held back for the Shocker Pre-State Challenge later in the week, Hillsboro opened its competitive season last Tuesday at a five-school Central Kansas Track League meet at Hesston.
The girls managed 12 points for fourth place and the boys four points for fifth. Hesston won the girls? title with 152 points; Berean Academy was the top boys? team with 118 points, edging Hesston by a half-point.
Leading the girls was Karen Leihy, who placed second in the 3,200-meter run in 13 minutes, 26.18 seconds, and was fourth in the 1,600 in 6:39.37. The 4×400 team of Ken?nedy Klein, Leihy, Callie Linnens and Proffitt finished fourth in 4:54.56
For the boys, Jonathan Hinerman cleared 4 feet, 10 inches to place fourth in high jump and Matthew Denholm finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.94 seconds.
?We had some fine performances from our athletes today?particularly for being the first meet of the season as well as the first meet in the high school career of so many of our team members,? coach Dennis Boldt said.
Coming?The Trojans were scheduled to compete Tuesday at a CKTL meet in Sterling for their only outing of the week.