Vogel claims state title in 800
Hillsboro High School track and field athlete Nathan Vogel won the 800-meter run Saturday at the 3A state championship track meet in Wichita.
Vogel turned in a time of 1 minute, 58.76 seconds; he had never run a sub two-minute time in his high school career before Saturday. He defeated Adam Larsen of Riley County by just over seven tenths of a second by kicking hard in the last 150 meters of the race.
“I was expecting it to be close,” Vogel said.
Vogel came in second in 400 with a time of 50.11. Vogel was bested by Kurt Pauly of Garden Plain and barely held off Ashton Draper of Norton Community, defeating him by six hundredths of a second.
This was Vogel’s third trip to state but first individual medal. He ran with the Trojan 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams as a freshman and sophomore and missed the tournament his junior year because he dislocated his hip in practice.
Vogel was elated after the race and said he never imagined he would be a state champion.
“This young man is very deserving of his accomplishments this weekend,” coach Dennis Boldt said. “He trains hard, listens to his coaches, promotes our sport, and helps encourage our younger athletes. Every coach would want this guy on their team.”
Hillsboro distance runner Joel Allen set the tone for a successful meet for the Trojans Friday with a third-place finish in the 3200, 10:06.81.
Allen was in sixth place for much of the race, hanging back with the pack and waiting for a time to strike. He said he started running faster in the last 400 meters, squeezing his way through two runners to take third in the last 100 meters.
Allen said he broke down the race into segments. He conquered the first 1600 meters and then the last 800, 400, and 100 meters of the race. He also said he was inspired by his former teammate Sam Westback to use a different arm pumping technique to speed up in the latter part of the race.
The finish was a beacon of hope for Allen, who said he struggled much of the year. Allen, son of the pastor of Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church Brian Allen, started school at Hillsboro at the beginning of the winter semester after moving from Cambridge, Minn. While his father starting working in Hillsboro in the fall, Allen stayed in Minnesota to compete in cross-country, working toward the goal of a possible state appearance.
Allen said he was progressing as a track runner in Minnesota. He ran a time of 10:11 and thought that he might be able to dominate the competition at a smaller school; his school in Cambridge was eight times larger than Hillsboro High School.
Allen struggled with adjusting to windy conditions and a new team. His average time for much of the year was in the 10:30 range, he said.
“It has not been an easy year,” he said.
But, Coach Boldt kept telling Allen that a breakout performance would come soon. Allen won the Trojans regional at Garden Plain with less windy conditions, and finished strong in Wichita partially because of two stands at of Cessna Stadium, blocking the wind.
Dakota Kaufman placed fourth in the triple jump Saturday with a distance of 35 feet, 5.5 inches.
She finished ninth in the long jump on Friday with a distance of 15-9.25.
Kaufman did not jump this past week in practice in an attempt to heal a fracture in her right middle toe. On Friday, she adjusted by jumping off her other foot.
“I know she was disappointed in her finish, but considering her condition, I think it is a testament to her athletic ability to switch takeoff feet and still narrowly miss the finals,” Boldt said. “After her first jump in the triple, you could see her competitive nature come out and she put everything out of her mind and just plain jumped.”
Callie Serene finished fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:25.76.
“I don’t know that we could have had much of a better day,” Boldt said. “When you go home from a state championship and everyone has a medal, you have to be proud of the accomplishments these young people achieved.”
Last modified June 2, 2010