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Goessel scores at state track meet

Staff writer

Goessel qualified in six events at the Kansas State Track and Field Meet Friday and Saturday in Wichita.

Laird Goertzen started the day for the Bluebirds with a well planned race involving eight laps around the track.

With 16 runners in the competition, he stayed with the lead group for the first five laps. There were six runners ahead of the pack, which then became four, with Goertzen among them. As runners began to “kick” in the last lap, the order of runners began to change. Two of the lead pack took off, with some of the slower runners gaining ground.

Goertzen began his “kick” with about 100 meters to go, holding off sixth and seventh place for a well-earned fifth-place medal in his senior season. He set a personal best time of 10 minutes, 7.71 seconds.

“That was not quite what I was hoping for,” Goertzen said after the race. “I had been wanting to go under 10 minutes, and even thought the 40-year-old school record might be achievable.”

With the fifth-place medal in hand and three points for the team, a smile of satisfaction spread across his face.

Tia Goertzen ran a 16.47 race in the 100-meter hurdles to qualify for finals. She was one of eight who raced Saturday.

“This was my favorite race because I don’t get so nervous for this one,” Tia Goertzen said.

She also ran the 300-hurdle race later in the day, finishing 12th with a time of 50.63. Goertzen’s time was 17.21 in the 100 hurdles finals on Saturday for eighth place.

“It has been a good season for me,” Goertzen said. “I have improved my performance from the previous year.”

John Berkholz had been nursing a painful hamstring injury and only practiced minimally this past week to let the muscle heal. In spite of the injury, he ran a respectable 400 in 54.32 for 14th place.

The girls’ 4x400 relay clipped a few hundredths of a second off their previous best time, but a finish in 16th place with a time of 4:36.24 ended the season for the team. Jessica Harvey, Tia Goertzen, Ali Buller, and Jennifer Van Horn comprised the relay team for the Bluebirds.

Laird Goertzen again set his sights on a good race in the 1600 Saturday afternoon. He moved around the track, starting as far back as 13th and then worked his way to the middle of the pack as the race progressed. Goertzen finished ninth with another personal record of 4:45.41.

At the end of the day, Laird Goertzen’s three points in the 3200 would be the total for the Bluebirds in the final meet of the year.

Last modified June 2, 2011

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