Mother Nature was the single dominant performer Friday at the James Thomas Invitational at Joel H. Wiens Stadium, but area athletes earned the award for perseverance in the face of sustained 40-plus mph winds.
?I can?t say that I have ever been involved in a track meet as windy as we found at the James Thomas on Friday,? Hillsboro coach Dennis Boldt said. ?Despite the gusty winds, we completed all events except the pole vault. We felt the conditions hindered the safety of the athletes vaulting.?
The Hillsboro boys, with two first-place performances, placed fifth among 12 schools competing with 59 points. Berean Academy edged Lyons 113-109 to take the team title.
Shaq Thiessen claimed the long jump title for the Trojans with a leap of 21 feet, 81?2 inches. Joel Allen won the 3,200 by more than 17 seconds with a time of 10 minutes, 38 seconds. He also placed second in the 1,600 (4:46) and was a member of the second-place 4×800 team that included Justin King, Josh Richert and Bret Mueller (8:57).
Callie Serene claimed the only gold medal for the Hillsboro girls, who finished ninth with 19 points. Serene won the 800 in 2:31.
?As a team, I thought we fought hard throughout the day and had some outstanding results despite the conditions,? Boldt said. ?The members of this young team are finding their individual strengths and posting some good results.
Hesston won the team title comfortably with a 122-90 margin over second-place Smoky Valley.
Area schools Centre, Canton-Galva and Peabody-Burns competed at the meet.
The Centre boys tied for ninth with 12 points while the girls placed seventh with 28 points. Cale Svoboda placed third in javelin and fourth in long jump to lead the boys. Theo Kassebaum and Cacey Simons had the girls? top performances with second-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and high jump, respectively.
The Canton-Galva boys and girls each placed 11th with four and nine points, respectively. The boys? 4×800 team of Justin Hiller, Eli Janzen, Trevor Unruh and Austin Bullinger turned in the top performance by placing fourth.
Angel Little and Cayla Sommers each placed fourth to lead the girls in shot put and high jump, respectively.
The Peabody-Burns boys placed eighth with 14 points and the girls 12th with three points in their respective divisions.
Sheldon Wiebe?s third-place finish in the 3,200 led the boys? team while Silvia Flores accounted for the girls? points with a third-place finish in long jump.
Hillsboro CKTL?The Trojan boys placed second and the girls fourth at the final Central Kan?sas Track League meet of the season, and the first meet on their home track.
Shaq Thiessen won two events to pace the boys, who scored 102 points to trail Berean Academy with 177. Goessel followed with 38, Marion 24 and Bluestem 22.
Thiessen cleared a season-best 6 feet, 2 inches to win the high jump, then won the long jump with a leap of 21-6.
Hillsboro?s other individual gold medal went to Joel Allen, who won the 3,200 in 10 minutes, 5 seconds.
Two relays took gold: the 4×800 team of Avery Franz, Justin King, Josh Richert and Bret Mueller crossed the finish line in 9:01; the 4×400 team of Tyler Proffitt, Franz, Richert and Mueller won in 3:44.
Callie Serene claimed Hills?boro?s only first-place medal for the girls by winning the 800 in 2:32.
Berean claimed the girls? title with 134 points, followed by Bluestem with 771?2, Goessel 62, Hillsboro 551?2 and Marion 22.
?I thought we had some great results tonight despite the rainy weather,? coach Dennis Boldt said. ?Many of our athletes had personal-bests efforts and placed well.?
Coming?Hillsboro is schedule to compete Thursday at the Hesston Invitational.