Hillsboro High School runner Emily Sechrist broke two meet records Friday at the James Thomas Invitational track meet in Hillsboro.
She won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12 minutes, .01 seconds, destroying the previous record by nearly 18 seconds. She had lapped a competitor half way through the race.
She won the 1,600 with a time of 5:30.73. She was 16 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. Both previous meet records had stood for more than 20 years.
“Obviously, she’s the best distance runner we have had,” head coach Dennis Boldt said.
Sechrist’s status in school history has gone from arguable to fact in one season. Examine the resume: Sechrist has already won a state championship this past year in cross-country. She holds the top two marks for cross country in school history and the top marks in the 3,200 and 1,600. Every time Sechrist sets a new personal best she will be setting a new school record.
The crazy thing is she is just a freshman and there is more track to go this season. Boldt said her times could improve as the competition intensifies.
“She’s young; she’s still learning,” Boldt said. “She needs to be pushed more and more.”
Espada places in all 3 throws
It is not easy to place in every throwing event at any given track meet. The throws are different enough and require technical precision. Senior thrower Kiara Espada said she is more comfortable with the discus and shot put, similar motions, than javelin, which has a run up and elevated release.
“Throwing is a whole different animal,” Espada said. “You have to get down the technique.”
Espada only placed in all three in one meet last season. She has done it in every meet but one this year.
The James Thomas Invitational was not the exception to the rule. She finished third in the discus with a throw of 101-9. She placed sixth in the javelin with a throw of 89-8. She placed third in the shot put with a throw of 33-6. Her marks in discus and javelin were personal bests. The mark in the shot was only an inch off.
“She’s never broken 100 in the discus,” Boldt said. “That’s a barrier.”
Espada said she is starting to peak as league and regional meets approach. Boldt told her the power might be derived from her hair she died blue for prom.
However, Espada knows her power comes from technique; she said she does not lift a lot of weights. Throwing technique seems to come more natural to Espada because she has been throwing her entire life. Her father, David, is the throws coach for Tabor College. Everyone in her family threw, including older sister Triste.
“I was kind of out to follow in her footsteps,” Espada said.
Espada placed in AAU National meet when she was 4 years old. She was competing in a division against 7-year-olds.
“Just the want to do it,” Espada said. “If your heart is in it.”
Her goal after her senior year is to throw at Hutchinson Community College, major in criminology, and eventually get a job with the FBI.
Discus: 4. Morganne Hamm, 94-4.
Long Jump: 6. Lindsey Brazil, 14-04.
Pole vault: 3. Ashley Bartel, 8-3.
3200: 4. Karyn Leihy, 13:38.38.
100 hurdles: 5. Bartel, 19.25.
4x100: 5. Bartel, Rhonda Rogers, Dallas Jost, Lakyn Johnson, 56.14.
800: 1. Callie Serene, 2:26.24.
4x400: 4. Johnson, Tara Proffitt, Sechrist, Serene, 4:39.31.