Lone Tree, Hillcrest, Highland boys track and field teams compete in the Wayland State Qualifiers

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 5/17/23

The Hillcrest, Highland, and Lone Tree boys track and field team traveled to WACO high school’s Roth Field in Wayland for the third time in three weeks for a meet, but this time there was a …

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Lone Tree, Hillcrest, Highland boys track and field teams compete in the Wayland State Qualifiers


The Hillcrest, Highland, and Lone Tree boys track and field team traveled to WACO high school’s Roth Field in Wayland for the third time in three weeks for a meet, but this time there was a chance for State on the line. 

Taking place on May 11 the boys 1A State Qualifying Track and Field Meet commenced and a field of 14 schools all battled it out to earn the right to compete in Des Moines. It did rain a bit this day but it was off and on and when it was on it never picked up to a point where it caused any real concern. 

After all the points were tallied it was the Columbus Wildcats who walked away, or perhaps jogged away, as the big winner. Columbus took first place overall with 154 points to earn the state qualifier meet team title. This was their first title since 1975. Danville and Winfield-Mount Union came in second and third place with 100 and 99 points respectively. 

In order to qualify for state at this meet, besides winning the qualifier meet title, is to take first place in an event. Winning the gold in an event would auto-qualify a person or team for State competition. 

One could still earn a bid to state with a fast enough time, far enough distance, or high enough jump but they would have to place among the top 14 finishes across all ten qualifier meets. All the results from those meets would be compiled together and compared against each other to find out who qualifies for State, but those results would only be completed the following day of the qualifiers.    

Lone Tree Results 

The Lions tallied 35 points by the time the meet ended to finish ninth overall in the team standings. While Lone Tree did not place first in any event at the qualifiers they still managed to send a relay team to State.

In the 4x200 meter relay a Lone Tree team of four placed second out of a field of ten. The Lions team of senior Tyce Alt, freshman Emmett Burke, junior Ethan Bockelman, and senior Drew Gauley were the ones who gave Lone Tree a runner-up finish in the 4x200m with a time of 1:34.21. 

This quartet of Lions’ time of 1:34.21 was fast enough to advance them to State. This was the lone State event Lone Tree qualified for. 

In addition to being on the Lone Tree relay team heading to State, Gauley also placed fifth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.66. 

Another top performance for Lone Tree came from its shuttle hurdle relay team. The Lions shuttle hurdle relay team consisted of junior Harry Brenneman, senior Ethan Willoz, Gauley, and Alt. This team placed third with a time of 1:08.11.

In the 800 meter sprint medley Lone Tree was able to earn a fourth place placement. The team of Burke, Alt, Bockelman, and Brenneman finished the race with a time of 1:42.40.

 Hillcrest Results 

The Ravens finished this qualifying meet with eight team points, giving them an 11th place finish overall. Hillcrest freshman Owen Scott was the one responsible for all of the points the Ravens acquired and Scott was able to place well enough in the long jump event to qualify for the State meet. 

“Owen had his longest jump in his first jump. He was ready to go out of the gate. The cutoff for state is usually a high 19 or a low 20,” Hillcrest coach Martin Gingerich told KCII. “Sometimes you can wrap a lot of emotional energy up into waiting to find out (if you qualify), but Owen is a pretty cool cat. If he has a lot of anxiety or emotion he doesn’t show it. I’ve learned too that it works best just to wait and not worry about it one way or another. When the results come out, deal with whether you have or not then.”

Scott placed 4th in the long jump at the qualifiers with his farthest jump traveling 20-03.50. Out of the 24 who qualified for the long jump at State, Scott is ranked 16 out of 24. 

Along with scoring five points in the long jump Scott scored Hillcrest’s three other points in the high jump and the 100 meter dash. He placed eighth in the 100m with a time of 12.17 and he placed seventh in the high jump by clearing a 5-08 crossbar. This was the first time Scott ran a 100m. 

With Scott qualifying this increased Hillcrest’s streak of sending someone to compete in State to three years in a row. 

Highland Results

Highland’s track and field season came to an end at the state qualifiers, with no one on Highland’s team earning a top 24 finish overall in order to advance to State after all 10 of the qualifying meets were tabulated. The Huskies finished the WACO meet with 1 point overall to give them a 14th place finish. 

The Huskies competed in 10 events with its lone point coming in the 110 meter hurdle event, courtesy of junior Jackson Schneider. Schneider was able to place eighth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 19.58. 

Highland’s 2023 roster consisted of only 12, with nine of them being freshman, so Highland will have room to grow with next year slated to be a good stepping stone for this team. With its season officially over Highland will say goodbye to its lone senior on the team, Brendan Schnoebelen. 

Up next for Hillcrest and Lone Tree will be traveling to Des Moines to compete in the three-day event that is the 2023 State Track and Field Meet. This meet will take place from May 18-20.


Results: *= State Qualifier

100m: 1, Kaden Amigon, Columbus, 11.00; 5, Drew Gauley, Lone Tree, 11.66; 6, Domonic Garcia, Lone Tree, 11.98; 8, Owen Scott, Hillcrest, 12.17; 18, Elvin Hernandez, Highland, 13.95.

200m:  1, Kaden Amigon, Columbus, 22.55; 7, Domonic Garcia, Lone Tree, 24.49; 9, Ethan Willoz, Lone Tree, 25.49; 17, Owen Knox, Highland, 27.08.

400m: 1, Alex Jensen, Regina, 52.25; 14, Owen Scott, Hillcrest, 1:02.63; 15, Reece Holbrook, Lone Tree, 1:03.66.

800m: 1, Rylan Martin, New London, 2:02.25; 15, Brendan Schnoebelen, Highland, 2:40.81; 18, Joey Birtcher, Lone Tree, 2:28.70.

1600m: 1, AJ Bonnesen, Danville, 4:32.14; 16, Joey Birtcher, Lone Tree, 6:23.67.

110m hurdles: 1, Triston Miller, Columbus, 14.10; 8, Jackson Schneider, Highland, 19.58.

400m hurdles: 1, Gabriel Hemsworth, WMU, 55.50; 12, Jackson Schneider, Highland, 1:10.75.

4x100m relay: 1, Columbus, 43.24; 8, Lone Tree (Brody Magruder, Harry Brenneman, Maddox Jondle, Domonic Garcia)

4x200m relay: 1, WACO, 1:33.45; 2, *Lone Tree (Drew Gauley, Tyce Alt, Ethan Bockelman, Emmett Burke), 1:34.21; 10, Highland (Brayden Zywiec, Spencer Thompkin, Brody Sobolik, William Boileau-Futrell), 2:13.15.

4x400m relay: 1, WMU, 3:33.41; 5, Lone Tree (Tyce Alt, Drew Gauley, Emmett Burke, Ethan Bockelman), 3:57.74.

800m sprint medley: 1, WMU, 1:37.19; 4, Lone Tree (Harry Brenneman, Emmett Burke, Ethan Bockelman, Tyce Alt), 1:42.40; 11, Highland (Owen Knox, Brendan Schnoebelen, Elvin Hernandez, Brayden Zywiec), 2:07.87. 

Distance medley: 1, New London, 3:40.97; 7, Lone Tree (Gabe Forbes, Brody Magruder, Maddox Jondle, Grey Spilman), 4:28.26.

Shuttle hurdle relay: 1, Columbus, 1:01.52; 3, Lone Tree (Tyce Alt, Drew Gauley, Ethan Willoz, Harry Brenneman), 1:08.11.

High jump: 1, Kade Benjamin, New London, 6-06.00; 7, Owen Scott, Hillcrest, 5-08.00; 9, Grey Spilman, Lone Tree, 5-04.00. 

Long jump: 1, Cam Buffington, WMU, 21-07.50; 4, *Owen Scott, Hillcrest, 20-03.50; 10, Elvin Hernandez, Highland, 16-08.75.

Shot put: 1, Ryan McDonough, Wapello, 49-09.00; 12, Jack Patterson, Lone Tree, 33-10.00; 20, William Boileau-Futrell, Highland, 27-03.25; 21, Spencer Thompkin, Highland, 25-03.50.

Discus: 1, Oleh Shtefanchuk, WACO, 164-10; 9, Andrew Hotz, Lone Tree, 109-08; 21, Jack Patterson, Lone Tree, 76-00; 22, Brayden Zywiec, Highland, 69-11; 24, Keaton Van Schoyk, Highland, 61-00.


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