Hillsboro High School will be represented by four male athletes at the 2017 Track and Field State Tournament on June 2 and 3 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at the Ohio State University. The four athletes are Jeremy Hayton, Austin Goolsby, Luke Gallimore, and Austin Kimball. Following is a preview of three of the four athletes:
Goolsby a junior qualified for the tournament in the boys pole vault field event for the second year in a row after finishing as state runner-up a year ago. This season for Goolsby has been arguably his best all-around year in track and field, along with his dominance in the pole vault he has competed in the boys long jump, the boys 4×100-meter relay, and the boys 100-meter dash.
Hillsboro head coach Bud Marsh was full of praise for the high school junior saying, “Austin is a junior, as a freshman he did 10-06. Well, you know he loves to pole vault so he did things during the summer and the winter and the next winter he was vaulting 15-00. All of that is because of the work he put in to get bigger, faster, and stronger. That’s what it takes to get better, that’s what you got to do.”
Goolsby was extremely good in all four events that he participated in this year garnering several top finishes and setting the bar for the entire state in his favorite event, the pole vault. He also was a top finisher and a regional qualifier in the long jump competition. Goolsby is just as good on the track having success in the 100-meter dash and helped the 4×100-meter relay team reach the tournament as well.
Given the level at which Goolsby competes in all of his events it is fair to say that missing out on qualifying for the tournament in his second best event, the long jump, may be the catalyst that propels him to the state title in the pole-vault.
Goolsby said, “I was kind of disappointed at first, when I didn’t qualify for the long jump, but I talked to coach and we kind of decided that it’s probably best because I will have most of my energy left for the pole vault.”
Coach Marsh said, “He wanted to try to do both, but both events run simultaneously. At regionals when he finished the long jump he went over to the pole vault and he didn’t have much left. You have maybe 12-15 jumps in you including practice and everything. You could tell he was wore down. He should have made it if he had done his jump before, one of the tops in the state, but it would have taken away from the pole vault.”
Goolsby qualified for the tournament as a result of posting a 15-00 vault at the regional tournament that was held at Athens High School. Goolsby’s best vault of the season was 16-00.00, a height that if repeated could earn him the state championship.
Goolsby indicated that he has his sights set on not only the state title, but also the state record height of 16-07.00 by saying, “I want to get a chance at the state record, I think I have a chance at it, I have gotten that in practice before.”
Goolsby will be competing on the first day of the tournament, Friday June 2, at 9:30a.m.
Kimball a junior will be competing with the boys 4×100-meter relay team at the tournament. The team has had a tremendous season on the track with several top finishes and great times throughout.
Kimball runs the first leg of the event and has helped enhance the teams’ overall ability to compete at higher levels and against stiffer competition.
This is Kimball’s first year on the track team. When asked about his late entry into the sport Kimball said, “I really wasn’t into running and stuff because I wanted to get bigger for football, but this year the coaches told me I could do more track to get more speed, so I did it to get more speed.”
Kimball’s contribution to the team is undeniable and he has plans, regardless of the outcome at the tournament, to come back out for the team next year.
Coach Marsh said, “Kimball has really solidified our 4×100-meter team this year in his first year out. Before him we only had three sprinters, so his addition to the team has been tremendous.
Kimball had this to say about the team’s chances of winning a state title, “I’m just hoping we qualify for the finals. If we make the finals hopefully we can put together a good game-plan.”
The semi-finals for the boys 4×100-meter relay will be held on Friday at 2:55p.m., and the finals for the event will be Saturday at 1:50p.m.
Hayton qualified for the 2017 Track and Field State Tournament after what can only be described as a breakout year for the senior on the track. Through hard work and dedication Hayton has transformed himself into one of the top athletes in the state and the results of his focus and determination have been on display for all to see.
Hayton, a senior who did not advance past the district tournament prior to this season, qualified for the boys high jump by posting a jump of 6-04 at the regional tournament held at Athens High School. Hayton’s highest jump of the outdoor track and field season was 6-06.
Hayton’s string of success started in the winter during the indoor track and field season which saw him win the state title for the high jump and qualify for nationals on the strength of a 6-09 jump.
Hayton, regarding what has changed from last year to this year, said, “Last year, when everyone was leaving for regionals and I wasn’t with them, I came out here and started jumping and running a whole bunch. I got my diet in check, started lifting weights, doing plyometrics like six days a week, I was really committed to it.”
Coach Marsh emphasized the work that Hayton has put in to get to this point saying, “Jeremy has stepped it up a notch. About a year ago he made up his mind that he was going to make himself the best athlete that he could be. He started working out, jumping, and running and making himself better. He really worked hard, any time you go from 6-00 to 6-09 that is a big jump for anyone. He did that all on his determination to get better. I can’t say I had a lot to do with it, he just decided he was going to do what it takes to get better.”
When asked to compare Hayton to past athletes Marsh said, “There is no comparison.”
Hayton has supreme confidence in himself and said’ “I’m pretty confident. When I was in indoor I didn’t worry at all, I was so calm and confident, that’s how I’m going to go into the state meet, I’m going to be confident. Even if I have bad steps I end up making the jump most of the time, so I’m real confident about that. If everything is perfect I’m going to try and get a personal record that day.”
Marsh believes Hayton has a good chance to claim the state title and said, “Jeremy has stiff competition, the best jump going in is 6-05. I believe he is the top in his event, he can win, he just has to put everything together.”
Hayton will be competing in the boys high jump on Saturday at 9:30a.m.
Gallimore a senior will be competing as part of the boys 4×100-meter relay team. Gallimore was on vacation and was unavailable to be interviewed.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.