Hershberger takes conference title, anchors record-setting relay

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 5/8/21

It was a good Thursday night for Hillcrest senior Aaron Hershberger, who left the conference meet in WACO as the SEISC North champion in the 400-meter hurdles, and also left his name in the record …

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Hershberger takes conference title, anchors record-setting relay

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It was a good Thursday night for Hillcrest senior Aaron Hershberger, who left the conference meet in WACO as the SEISC North champion in the 400-meter hurdles, and also left his name in the record books as a member of the Ravens’ school-record shuttle hurdle relay. 

Hershberger had been trying to get a shuttle hurdle relay together since his freshman year, when coach Marty Gingerich told him that the 2007 record of 1:19.90 could be broken. 

“Every year I've tried to get a team together, “Hershberger said. “And this is the first year that it actually came around.”

Hershberger convinced his Hillcrest soccer teammates John Hughes, Will Kolck, and Collin Miller to join him for Thursday’s meet.

We only practiced one time, that was last night, for about 30 minutes,” Hershberger said. “Everybody got a couple of runs on the hurdles, and we called it good.”

Hughes ran the leadoff leg and gave the Ravens a great start with an impressive split of 17.41. Hershberger ran the anchor leg and Hillcrest broke the record by less than a second, with a time of 1:19.07. 

“It was just really nice,” Hershberger said. “I think they knew that the shuttle hurdle meant a lot to me. So they came through and made it happen.”

I knew John (Hughes) had it in him because all his cousins have had good hurdle times — it’s just in his blood. And it just gave us a good strong start for the race.”

The Ravens finished seventh out of eight teams in the race. David Yoder, Josh Widmer, Ryan Oberman and Gideon Grenell had held the previous record since 2007, the first year that the event was added. 

In the 400-meter hurdle race, Hershberger was behind a pair of runners from Wapello after 300-meters, but had a strong kick and won the event with a new personal record 59.01. 

I thought I went out too fast. But that last 200 meters, it was just time for me to go. And the other guys slowed down maybe a little bit I think. And so I could just pick it up where they let down and come out with the win.”

Hershberger finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.76. 

The three soccer players gave the Ravens enough athletes to field a relay for the first time this year, and Hillest put together five relays for the SEISC meet. 

Quang Huynh, Andrew Starr, Kolck Collin Miller beat Winfield-Mt. Union by four seconds to take sixth in the sprint medley with a time of 1:55.60. The 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400-meter relays each finished ninth. 

Madeline Fox led the Hillcrest girls with a fifth place finish of 1:23.04 in the 400-meter hurdles. Fox was eighth in the 100-meter dash and the 100-meter hurdles. Samara Jiminez finished 15th in the shot put with a toss of 15-08.5.

The Hillcrest Ravens will be back at WACO on Thursday, May 13 for 1A state-qualifying meet. The top finisher in each event will automatically qualify for the state tournament, and then the next 14 best times or distances across the 10 district meets will qualify as well. 

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