Hillsboro senior Marah Franz will lead a contingent of five Trojans who qualified for state in a regional track and field meet Friday in Lyndon.
The only pole-vaulter to push Franz was herself. Coach Dennis Boldt said Franz initially had trouble getting her approach down, but her winning leap of 10 feet was a foot better than the runner-up.
Since Hillsboro’s classification changed to 2A this year, Franz won’t be defending the state crown she won in 3A last year. Madison Scott of Republic County, who cleared 10-6 in her regional competition, appears to be the biggest obstacle for Franz in Wichita.
Freshman Wes Shaw qualified in shot put and discus. His winning throw of 145-03 in discus places him as the sixth seed at state.
“He showed great composure after a poor discus throw to come back and snap off a great series,” Boldt said.
Shaw placed second in shot put with a heave of 46-10.75, 11th best in the 16-man state field.
Abby Sechrist went to state last year as a member of the 4x800 relay, but after the Trojans failed in a bid to return to Wichita, Sechrist landed a state berth in the 800-meter run, placing second with a time of 2 minutes, 33.8 seconds.
“She showed great resolve as she battled the last 300 meters to put herself in a solid position to qualify,” Boldt said.
Jonathan Hinerman made it to state in the 1600 by just two tenths of a second, edging out Jordan Smith of Yates Center in a time of 4:46.13.
“He was probably in the most competitive field of 1600 runners in our class,” Boldt said. “We knew that he needed to put himself in a top three or four position early and extend a lead in order to outlast a potential challenge at the end, and that is exactly what he did.”
Rounding out the state squad for the Trojans will be Sienna Kaufman in long jump. Her leap of 15-0.25 was good enough for third at regionals, and she will be seeded 15th at state.
“She had a great week of practice,” Boldt said. “I don’t think it is any coincidence that it is long jump in which she qualified.”
Seniors Kennedy Klein and Jacob Denholm wrapped up their high school careers at Lyndon.
“Finishing well, but not qualifying today, they both end exceptional four-year runs, and I appreciate everything they brought to the program,” Boldt said.