TRACK: No chance to improve on historic 2019
Qualifying for the Kansas State High School track meet is the ultimate goal for every athlete.
Being able to stand on the podium at Cessna Stadium in Wichita during Memorial Day weekend is the reward for hard work during the season and qualifying.
With spring sports being suspended, hopes for improving on 2019 performances are on hold as well.
That hits Hillsboro High School track and field team hard, where brighter things may have been in store for many participants.
The good news is there’ll be a 2021 for all of 2019’s qualifiers outside Addie Berens.
Berens set the school record for javelin in 2019, and Blue Rapids’ state champion Emma Yungeberg, a freshman, may have been the only one standing in her way of a title after Berens’ fourth-place finish.
Berens also managed to qualify as part of Hillsboro’s 4-by-100 meter relay team that didn’t make the finals.
The next time Berens will be seen is as a freshman at Fort Hays State University.
A competitor who had something to prove in 2020 was junior Kinsey Kleiner.
Kleiner just missed qualifying for state in the 100-meter dash, and a brutal regional field kept her from qualifying in long jump.
Marion’s 2019 regional contained Class 2A’s top four medalists in long jump, and three-fourths of them would have been back in 2020.
Kleiner, along with Iris Klein, and Sammie Saunders, comprised the rest of the Trojans’ 4-by-100 team along with Berens.
Klein qualified for state in high jump, and graduation left her with an opportunity to improve on her 2019 finish of 14th place.
Jessica Saunders earned a fourth- and sixth-place finish in shot put and discus.
Sedgwick’s 2019 shot put champion, senior Grace Thompson, would’ve likely been the only returner standing in Jessica’s way.
The competition could have been a bit stiffer for Jessica in discus, with Thompson, Yungeberg, and Plainville’s Brooklyn Staab figuring to be a force.
Thompson is on track to graduate in May, possibly leaving Yungeberg and Staab Jessica’s only ones to beat in 2021.
The boys’ side had a lot of promise, despite the loss of Wes Shaw’s throwing.
The Trojans also got a state title in 2019 in pole vault with Nate Hein besides Shaw’s pair in shot put and discus.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Nick, Hein will miss both defending his title in pole vault as well as improving on his 2019 mark in the 100-meter dash.
The Trojans’ other state qualifiers who’ll miss out on both qualifying and improving for the boys were Tristan Reed, Jared Janzen, Charlie Major, Cole Kaufman, and Austin Rempel.
The junior Reed, along with fellow classmates Dillon Boldt and Caleb Diener qualified as part of the Trojans’ 4-by-800 team and Reed finished 11th in the 3200-meter run.
Outside the loss of Berens, both Trojan teams could post numerous contenders in 2021.
Last modified March 25, 2020