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Hornaday’s horde of track and field athletes headed to IHSA State Meet

By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola hosted an IHSA sectional this past Wednesday and head boys track coach Ryan Hornaday’s group did more than their fair share of damage by the end of the evening. Eight athletes in all secured a qualification spot at the sectional with two relays, two open runners and a thrower set to make the trip south to Charleston and the Big Blue Oval at Eastern Illinois University this Thursday for the IHSA State Meet. 

Chris Boyd is one of the favorites in the throws. The junior is making his second trip to EIU after placing in the shot put and reaching the finals in the discus a year ago. He delivered 18 of the fourth place Warriors 62 team points, punching his ticket to state in both events, launching the shot 57 feet nine inches. Discus had more than a few tense moments after two attempts went out of bounds but a 142’2.75” toss on his final throw secured second place and another advancement. 

He heads to EIU ranked second in the shot behind only Daniel Lucas of Cowden Herrick but isn’t quite as high in the disc. If he is able to come through with throws at or over his season bests he should be in contention for not only a medal but a shot at a state title. Will Foltz will be joining Boyd in Charleston after surpassing the qualification standard in the pole vault with a leap of 12 feet 1.4 inches. 

Haven Hatfield knocked on the door of a berth in the shot holding down second place until one of the final throws of the meet dropped him to third missing qualification by inches. The senior scored team points in both the shot and the disc taking third and fourth respectively. Connor Lewis added to the team totals in the field as well, ending up in fourth overall in the long jump. 

Hornaday’s boys in black eight personal bests in the open runs highlighted by Josiah Hortin and Jackson Barrett. The distance duo will head south also both surpassing the qualifying standard in the 1600 meter. Hortin crossed the line in sixth overall with a 4:37.89 and Barrett was right behind in seventh clocking in two-tenths of second under the necessary 4:39.29. Both Riley Nolan and Thomas Brown PR’d in the 800 while Tristan Gadomski and David Hornaday set career bests in both the 110 high and the 300 low hurdles. 

The coach dialed up the right combination in the relays pushing two thru to the state meet with seconds. Logan Wallace, Lewis, Krish Patel and Ben Hornaday toured the track in the 4×200 in 1:33.67 advancing with an automatic bid for a runner-up finish. Barrett, Nolan, Wallace and Hortin did the same in the 4×800 with a season best time of 8:19.94 while B. Hornaday, Foltz, Hunter Branca and Wallace were a near miss in the 1600-meter relay, winding up in third. Alternates for the 4×200 squad will be Branca, Boston Broady, D. Hornaday and Gadomski. Foltz, Brown, Mason Veach and B. Hornaday will do the same for the 4×8.

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