HHS hurdler Holly Karn (shown above) soars over one hurdle during the 100m race at the Holton Invitational on Tuesday. Karn got off to a good start this season, setting personal records and taking first in both the 100m and 300m hurdles at the Wildcats' home meet.

Holton track athletes get off to comfortable start in home meet


For the Holton track team, Tuesday’s home meet was a very good start as the boys and girls both finished third overall led by some strong individual performances.

“As a team, where our numbers are at, I thought we competed real well,” HHS coach Mark Middlemist said. “Our numbers probably aren’t indicative of us winning too many meets this year, so you have to focus on other things in terms of looking at individual performances in the events that we are strong in and I think that showed Tuesday.”

The boys jumps will certainly be one of those events with senior and previous state qualifier Indie Allen back this spring and he turned in a stellar performance right away.

In his first triple jump of the season, Allen cleared a total distance of 43’ 8”, which was good enough to break assistant coach Brian Meerpohl’s school record (43’ 2”) that was set in 1991. On top of that, he took second in the long jump by a half inch.

Allen wasn’t the only athlete to turn in some championship performances, as Kimmie Snepp (100m dash), Holly Karn (100m, 300m hurdles) and the girls 4x100m relay team of Snepp, Ashley Cook, Tyler Prine and Ashlyn  Weilert also claimed individual titles.

Karn in particular got off to a hot start this season, setting new personal records in both hurdle races in the first meet.

“I thought Holly stepping up and having the times that she did just proves that she’s a little bit stronger, had a pretty good year in the weight room and exceeded that,” Middlemist said.

Several other Wildcats came up just shy of first-place finishes, as Cook (100m dash), Prine (100m hurdles), Alex Myers (300m hurdles), Miles McClintock-Strozier (100m dash), Mason Strader (1600m run) and the 4x100 relay team of Will Wright, Mason Barta, Allen and McClintock Strozier all came in second in their respective events.

Those, too, were impressive performances, according to Middlemist, and could bode well for the Wildcats over the long haul of the season.

“Posting those times for the first meet with the rest of the year to go makes it look promising for us to be real competitive at the end of the year in those events that we’re strong in,” Middlemist said.

Some other athletes also made strong debuts, like the aforementioned Strader or senior Tristan Parks taking fourth in the 800m run and being part of the fifth-place 4x800m relay team.

If they continue to turn in performances like that, then Middlemist said the Wildcats should be in good position this spring and he noted there were a lot of contributing factors on Tuesday that allowed the team to get off to what he felt was a strong start.

“Our performances might have been a little surprising for this early in the year, but when you get a 78 degree day with no wind and some good competition with what we had yesterday, with Hiawatha, Atchison, Jackson Heights and Valley Falls, it was easy for our kids to go out and compete, so I was really pleased with the way things went,” Middlemist said.

Holton will look to keep moving forward as the team next competes in a Big Seven quad hosted by Royal Valley and starting at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday. 

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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