New Franklin qualifies for sectionals in seven events
Prior to the start of Saturday’s Class 1 District 5 Track Meet at Marshall, New Franklin coach Adam Quest had an uneasy feeling on how his team would fare against the rest of the field.
With only the top four place finishers in each event moving on to the Sectional 3 Track Meet this coming Saturday at Clinton High School, Quest said in all of the years since he has been coaching he didn’t feel like the Bulldogs had many, if any, “slam dunk” events.
As it turned out, Quest’s uneasy feeling was nothing more than an aberration as New Franklin qualified in a total of seven events.
“I knew going in that in order for us to qualify more than an event or two to sectionals, some of our athletes were really going to have to step up and have a good day,” Quest said. “In the end, we had several outstanding performances and some heartbreaking near misses. Despite the mixed results, I was very proud of how hard our athletes competed.”
In the final-team standings, the Hardin-Central boys and Glasgow girls captured the team titles with 143 and 167 points, respectively. The Polo boys finished second with 114 points, followed by Glasgow with 105, Santa Fe 89 and Braymer 74. New Franklin finished seventh overall with 21 points.
As for the top-five finishers for the girls, Braymer followed Glasgow with 84 points while Santa Fe finished third with 73, Southwest (Ludlow) fourth with 71 and New Franklin fifth with 48 points.
As for the lone first-place finisher for New Franklin, the girls 4 x 100-meter relay team of Madison Maupin, Grace Chambers, Madison Matney and Shelby Breshears finished almost two seconds of second-place finisher Glasgow in a time of 54 seconds.
Quest said the 4 x 100-meter relay team had been getting better and better over the last couple of weeks and was hoping that this meet would be their coming out party.
“Luckily, they did just that,” Quest said. “They ran their best race of the year by far, and ended up bringing home our lone district title. All of their handoffs were clean, and they knocked over a half second off of their previous best time. To say they were all excited about their performance would be an understatement.”
However impressive the 4 x 100-meter relay win was, Quest said his favorite moment of the day was actually the girls 4 x 200-meter relay. He said some of the girls in the 4 x 200 compete in the event almost as an afterthought.
But on Saturday, the team of Jordan Leighton, Chloe Dobson, Nicole Blumer and Madison Matney defied all odds to finish fourth overall in a time of 2:02.33.
“Some meets I almost had to drag them to the bullpen,” Quest said. “But when the performance list came out earlier in the week, I noticed that they were seeded in fourth, and thus had a legitimate chance to advance to sectionals. From that moment on, they were determined not to let the opportunity slip by them. There was a fire in them that I had never seen before. They were actually excited about competing. I couldn’t have been prouder of how they ended up. They nearly pulled off a third place finish, but ended up in fourth and will be advancing to sectional. But the biggest accomplishment in my mind was how much they improved their time. They nearly took four seconds off their previous best time. Seeing the disbelief on their faces when I showed them their time was priceless.”
As for the best individual performances, Madison Matney and Shelby Breshears both finished second in their respective events. Matney placed second only to Kaylie Campbell of Southwest (Ludlow) with a toss of 34’-4 1/2” while Breshears took second in the high jump only to Kristin Stockhorst of Glasgow with a jump of 4’-6”.
Stockhorst won the high jump at 4’-8” while Campbell finished first in the shot put with a throw of 34’-7 1/2”.
Quest said Matney, who will compete in three events at sectionals, had a very solid throw and nearly pulled off the victory.
As for Breshears, Quest said being just a freshman, he was impressed with how well Shelby handled the pressure of her first district meet.
“She didn’t have her best jump of the season, but it was good enough for second place,” Quest said. “Now that she has tasted the thrill of competition, I expect that we will see more good performances like this from her in the years to come.”
Also make their way to the sectional meet will be Grace Chambers in the high jump after placing fourth with a jump of 4’-4”.
Quest said being a senior it was exciting to see Chambers extend her high jump competition career at least one more week.
As for the New Franklin, they had two sectional qualifiers as the 4 x 100-meter relay team of Tyler Hackman, Trevor Sanders, Dalton Friedrich and Jacob Hendrix finished second in a time of 47.61 seconds. Kenneth Boggs also took fourth in the discus with a throw of 102’-9”.
Quest said by far the highlight of the meet for the boys team was the performance of the 4 x 100 relay team. “It was only the second time that this combination of boys was able to run together,” Quest said. “Usually we don’t even have enough boys to put together a full relay team, much less a competitive one. This year is definitely an exception. Our boys all ran an outstanding race and ended up finishing in second place. It was great to see our boys finally have the talent and numbers to put together a solid relay. I am really looking forward to seeing them compete again next week with a triple to state on the line.”
“Our only other boys qualifier was Kenneth Boggs in the discus. Kenny will be the first to tell you that he didn’t have a good day. He just never was able to find his rhythm. But the “survive and advance” phrase definitely applies here. Kenneth lived to compete another day, finishing fourth by literally one inch. Hopefully a good week of practice can return him to top form.”