In 2017 the Hillsboro Indians track and field team saw Austin Goolsby win the State Championship in the pole vault for Division II bringing home the seventh State Championship to Hillsboro High School and the first since Monique Smith in 1996.
Hillsboro boys head track and field coach Bud Marsh expects Goolsby to compete for the state title again this season. Marsh also expects the team as a whole to preform well in the upcoming season.
“We have Austin Goolsby back again this year which is nice. It is nice to have our defending State Champion in the pole vault back. We are looking for him to be up there again where he was last year if not better. We want to put a little bit more of a focus on his long jump. He could be a state qualifier in the long jump as well,” said Marsh.
Hillsboro also saw the boys 4×100-meter relay team qualify for the State Tournament in 2017. However, the 4×100-meter relay team saw two members graduate at the end of the 2017 season and a third injured his knee in the fall to leave Goolsby as the lone returner for the relay team.
“We lost three people off of that 4×100-meter team. Austin Kimball is wanting to come back but even if he gets back by the end of the season he will not be the sprinting caliber he needs to be. I would like to see him at least be able to compete and finish out,” Marsh said.
The Indians coach thinks that the team will be strong in several field events with Goolsby doing the pole vault and the long jump, Britton Haines in the high jump and Draven Stodgel in the shot put and discus.
In the running events Marsh thinks that the team has a lot to prove this season.
“We have a lot of question marks this season. The goal is to compete in the league and get as many people of of the district tournament as possible when that time comes,” the Indians coach said.
Coach Marsh talked about the impact of the facilities and having athletes qualify for the State Tournament.
“It has helped in the last several years that we have had kids qualify for state. Facilities are great, that has meant a lot. We are using the facilities to help build enthusiasm in the program, even with the younger kids,” said the Hillsboro coach.
The Lady Indians have not been as successful as their male counterparts the past several years as they have competed in Division I for girls track and field.
The team returns one athlete, sophomore Jaleigh Hart, who qualified for the regional tournament in 2017.
Lady Indians head coach Anthony Amore is looking to get more of the girls deep into the tournament as the girls transition from Division I to Division II for the 2018 season.
“We have moved from Division I to Division II so I am hoping that we get more girls to the regional meet. Hopefully we can even get a couple relay teams or individuals out to the state meet this year,” said Amore.
Amore showed excitement for Aiden Chaney, a hurdler that is returning to the team after not participating in track and field in 2017.
“Aiden Chaney is a senior that runs the hurdles for us. She is back and determined to get her three step this year. If she does that it will give her a very good shot to advance to the next level at the end of the season. Aiden will also be a great addition to some of the relay teams for us this season as well,” Amore said.
The Lady Indians coach stressed that he will be relying on his upperclassmen to provide leadership for the younger athletes this season.
“The upperclassmen that have come back year after year we are expecting big things from them as well as our underclassmen to step up,” said the Lady Indians coach.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.