Hillsboro senior Shaq Thiessen broke the Hillsboro long jump record Friday at the James Thomas Invitational Track Meet.
He crushed the mark set by Jerry Harder in 1956, 23 feet, 2.5 inches, jumping 23-5. He jumped 2.5 feet further than Ryan Schadler from Hesston who placed second.
“They say records are made to be broken, but this one held on awhile,” head coach Dennis Boldt said. “He should be proud of this accomplishment and look forward to bettering the mark in upcoming meets.”
Thiessen also won the high jump on the rain soaked afternoon, clearing 6-2.
Another outstanding Hillsboro athlete Emily Sechrist swept the distance events on Friday. She won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11 minutes, 54.66 seconds, the 1,600 with a time of 5:38.84, and the 800 with 2:31.74. She won the 800 by only .16 of a second, but that was after she ran the 3,200 and 1600.
Up and coming
Junior Hillsboro jumper Avery Franz, is in the midst of a breakout season for the Trojans.
Franz won the triple jump on Friday with a leap of 41-3 defeating Loren Pearce of Berean Academy by three inches. It is the third time Franz has won the event this season. The only time he did not walk away with a first place medal in the event was at the Conrad Nightengale Invitational where he jumped over 40 feet and placed third.
Heading into the finals of the event, Franz was looking to jump 42 feet, which would be his best mark this season. He jumped 42-6 in regionals last season and missed a state qualifying spot by two inches.
State is the ultimate goal for Franz. He is familiar with that level of competition having run with the 4x800-meter relay team there last season. However, Franz has undergone a mental transformation this season, changing from a distance-oriented athlete to an athlete based on explosion.
He also changed from running the 800 to the 400. Franz placed second in the 400 on Friday, running a time of 53.50 seconds. He runs the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay with Micah Mashburn, Tyler Proffitt, and Thiessen. They placed third with a time of 3:39.38.
Franz said changing from distance to sprinting has helped with the quick-twitch movements required for triple jump. There are a couple of small aspects of the jump he is working on, mainly to not get too high on the first jump off his left foot, and powering off of his right foot to gather more distance on the second jump.
“You can’t waste all your energy jumping too high on the first jump,” Franz said.
Besides a state berth, Franz’ goal this season was to break the school record in the triple jump of 44-6 set by former state champion Craig Duerksen in 1992. The recent practice schedule, modified by bad weather, has hampered that ambition. Realistically, he wants to jump over 43 feet this season.
Franz already passed one barrier in the long jump, clearing 20 feet at 20-0.25, good for third place.
Another up-and-coming athlete for Hillsboro is sophomore distance runner Grant Knoll. Senior Josh Richert is the Trojans’ mainstay in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200, which has diluted some of Knoll’s placements this season.
Knoll placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:53.81 behind Richert who was second at 4:44.35. Knoll placed third in the 3,200 with a time of 10:55.77.
1. Boys’ pole vault — 1. Proffitt, 13-0.
2. Girls’ pole vault — 2. Ashley Bartel, 8-0.
2. Boys’ 800 — 2. Richert, 2:09.19.