Trojans claim three state medals

Hillsboro freshman Wes Shaw shows the form that led to a fourth-place finish in the Class 2A discus with a throw of 145 feet, 10 inches. He also placed ninth in the shot put.A rain storm suspended the Kansas Track and Field Championships about midway through the Friday events, but the wait proved to be golden for Hillsboro pole vaulter Marah Franz, who collected her second consecutive state title on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.

The defending Class 3A champion, vaulting in 2A this year, cleared 10 feet, tying Madison Clark of Republic County for highest vault, but winning the gold medal on fewer misses.

“She won her second state title in true Marah fashion,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “She was patient, came in at the height she felt comfortable with (9 feet, 6 inches), then proceeded to vault cleanly until 10-6.

“I can’t say enough about this young lady,” he added. “She is consistent, hard working, dedicated and a joy to be around. She will be missed greatly, but we are glad she will still be training on our facility as she attends Tabor College. We wish her the best of luck.”

Freshman Wes Shaw made his mark at his first state meet, earning a fourth-place medal in the discus with a throw of 145-10, and finishing ninth in the shot put.

“He establishes himself as a solid 2A-3A competitor at the state level the next three years,” Boldt said. “He is another example of a hard working kid. He is a student of the throws and watched the best in the other classes and learns from them.”

Boldt noted Shaw’s confidence as a key factor in his success.

“Standing on the medal stand as a freshman looking up at the largest crowd in any state competition is pretty awe inspiring,” Boldt said. “He is well deserving of his accomplishments, but I guarantee you he is looking for more.”

Hillsboro junior Jonathan Hinerman earned the eighth-place medal in the 1600 in his state debut with a time of 4 minutes, 45.70 seconds. Junior Jonathan Hiner­man made a successful state debut, grabbing the eighth-place medal in the 1600 meters with a time of 4 minutes, 45.70 seconds.

“Jonathan battled through what was easily the toughest field of distance runners in most classes to qualify for state, but this only guaranteed him the opportunity to compete against the best—the rest was up to him and he took advantage of the field,” Boldt said.

“I know we are supposed to just be glad athletes qualify for state, and that in itself is a great honor, but in this program we also want these young people to come away with a great experience and compete at their highest level and Jon did that today.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Abby Sechrist just missed a medal in the 800 meters, finishing ninth in the field of 16.

“We worked this week on maintaining stride, not getting boxed in and being strong getting out off the start to establish and maintain a lane,” Boldt said. “It was nearly impossible in the crowd of runners, but Abby held her own and gave herself a clear line to surge the final 50 meters.

“She fell short of a medal, but not of an accomplishment. Her race was fabulous and she gained experience that can only be found at this level.”

Completing the Trojan presence at state was sophomore Sienna Kaufman, who finished 16th in the long jump.

“Although she did not have her best day, there is no substitute for competing at WSU,” Boldt said. “I know she was disappointed in her finish, but I am excited about her opportunity in the future.”

Boldt praised his assistant coaches for helping to get five athletes to the state meet.

“They are knowledgeable, care about kids and are just fun to be around,” Boldt said. “Our program had over 90 athletes this season, and it takes every one of us to train and help these young people prepare for any of the 18 events in which they compete.”

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