Hillsboro High School track and field team brought home nine medals this weekend at the state meet.
Competing at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium, Ishmael Morris led the way for the boys’ team with three medals, while Dakota Kaufman brought home two for the girls.
Morris won a fifth in the 100-meter dash, and seventh-placed medals in the 200 and 400. Kaufman was second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.
Head coach Dennis Boldt was proud of his team.
“Every year I hope the athletes have their best days at the state track meet,” he said. “Once again this group of girls and boys overachieved, broke all expectations that people had for them, and had a fantastic day in state competition.”
The boys’ team battled some injuries but managed to score 20 points and finish 11th. Morris, the team’s leading scorer all season, hurt his hamstring in the 100 prelims.
“He has been quite an inspiration throughout his senior year and we will miss his contributions to our team on and off the track greatly,” Boldt said.
Nathan Vogel, who usually defeats Morris in the 400, ran with a sore back and finish ninth.
“He is a fantastic athlete who really epitomizes the competitiveness this program strives to achieve,” Boldt said.
The final boys’ individual medalist was John Hein, who took fifth in the shot put. Michael Klaassen was 12th.
“They have both improved so much over the course of the season and are both a prime example of the results an athlete can achieve if they dedicate themselves to an event and just stick with it,” Boldt said.
The boys also finished third in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. The 4x400 included Matthew Klenda, Nicholas Mueller, Morris, and Vogel, while the 4x800 consisted of Klenda, David Ratzloff, Mueller, and Vogel.
“The third-place finishes for both is an outstanding accomplishment and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort those two teams gave,” Boldt said
The girls had just three competitors but managed 17 points to finish 14th.
Kaufman racked up 14 points by herself. Boldt said she saved her best jumps for last.
“She was a little inconsistent in her approaches, but to her credit, pulled everything together to have her best state finishes of her career,” he said.
Senior Tiffany Rooker earned the other three points by taking fifth in the pole vault after claiming a regional championship the week before.
“After not qualifying last season, she was determined throughout this season to not only qualify, but score at the state meet,” Boldt said.
The coach was happy with what his teams did at the ultimate meet, and looks forward to next season.
“These athletes displayed not only great athletic ability, but competitiveness and character throughout the season,” Boldt said. “I have been blessed to be involved with such great young people. The community should be proud.”