Thiessen joins Allen, Serene as state contender
Hillsboro High School junior Callie Serene won the 800-meter run Thursday during the Central Kansas League meet in Hillsboro. She ran a time of 2 minutes, 27.88 seconds — 4.15 seconds faster than the second-place runner.
Trojan senior Joel Allen won the 3200 with a time of 10:29.22, nearly 10 seconds faster than the second-place runner. He was also third in the 1600, 4:44.38, and placed second with the 4x800 relay team with Josh Richert, Justin King, and Bret Mueller, 8:32.15.
Serene has gone to state the past two years for the 800; after moving from Minnesota, Allen went to state in 2010. Allen and Serene have not lost the 800 or 3200 in a meet this season. Even with a drop in performance, both distance runners are likely to compete May 27 and 28 in Wichita for a state title.
A Hillsboro athlete who could join them is sophomore Shaq Thiessen.
Thiessen placed second Thursday in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 2 inches. It tied a personal best mark the Hillsboro jumper set earlier this season. Thiessen barely missed clearing 6-4, his thigh grazing the purple high jump bar on three attempts.
“When you’re jumping that high, your timing has to be really good,” jump coach Nathan Hiebert said.
Hiebert said Thiessen was hitting on all cylinders Thursday because he felt good and he arrived at the track in a jovial mood.
“He had a really good attitude,” Hiebert said. “I think there is a correlation between feeling good and jumping well.”
Before the bar reached its maximum, Thiessen only missed one other jump at 5-10.
Hiebert said he has worked with Thiessen on finishing jumps earlier in the event. They ran a drill in practice where if Thiessen missed a jump, he would have to do it three times. Thiessen then worked on arching his back to make sure he cleared the bar.
“You have six to nine great jumps,” Hiebert said. “You wear yourself out quite a bit.”
The sophomore also placed second in the long jump with a leap of 22-2.5. Ryan Schadler of Hesston defeated Thiessen by 2.5 inches.
While Thiessen also competes with the 4x100 team — including Mitchell Day, Jesse Brown, and Caleb Hilliard — that placed fifth Thursday, 46.57, the Hillsboro coaches have kept him from competing in a fourth event so he remained focused for the high and long jumps.
“We want to make sure they excel in the events they do well in,” Hiebert said.
The first step of excellence for Thiessen could be a strong regional performance that will get him to the state championship meet.
“I think if he jumps 6-2, he has a really good shot,” Hiebert said. “Last year, he competed at regionals; he knows he’s capable.”
High jump — 3. Heather Mayfield, 4-4
Long jump — 6. Lindsey Brazil, 14-9
Pole vault — 3. Ashley Bartel, 7-6
4x100 — Rhonda Rogers, Mayfield, Maci Kelsey, Karina Torres, 54.61
High jump — 6. Jesse Brown, 5-8
Triple jump — 5. Avery Franz, 39-11
Javelin — 4. Jordan Riggs, 141-3
Pole vault — 4. Tyler Proffitt, 11-6
Last modified May 18, 2011