The Saratoga Sun -

SHS track gets state qualifier


Saratoga High School (SHS) had it’s first athlete qualify for the state track and field championships April 15 at the Burns High School Track Meet. Sophomore Jeremy Detterer took second place in the 3200 meter run, with a time of 10:52.32, earning himself the chance to compete against the fleetest feet in the Cowboy State May 19 to 21 in Casper. Detterer also took third place in the 1600 meter event with a time of 5:02.65

“Jeremy’s been running since January,” coach Rex Hohnholt said, which perhaps explains the youth’s success. Rather than try out for the Saratoga basketball team, Detterer ran for Laramie High School during their indoor track season over the winter.

By qualifying now instead of having to try to do so at regionals, Hohnholt will have more flexibility when it comes to deciding who will compete in what events at the regional competition. “Maybe you want to focus on a relay or something and take him out of one of his individual races (so he’ll be better rested)” Hohnholt said. The coach continued “the more kids you get qualified – it gives you more leeway in how hard you work them at regionals.” Last year three SHS athletes qualified for the state championship before regional competitions.

Hohnholt said that Ben Fairbanks had also turned in outstanding performances. Fairbanks took second place in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:13.33 and had a 1600 meter competition almost immediately afterwards, which he took sixth in. “For Ben to come back (and) even finish that 1600 (meter race) 15 minutes after his other race was amazing,” Hohnholt said. “Our distance runners didn’t have a whole lot of time between races,” Hohnholt added.

Track and field is hitting the real grist of the season now, and with the weather finicky, it can sometimes be difficult to perform in the harsh conditions. “This meet here was far from ideal, but you won’t hear our kids complain about it,” Hohnholt said. In bad weather or wind, “you can’t judge everything by time – you judge by how they compete,” the coach said. “It is what it is – everyone else competes in it as well.”

With regionals approaching, the time for mental errors is past. “Now you lose one opportunity on a big jump because you scratch or something – somebody else is going to hit that,” Hohnholt said.

It’s been a good week for the tracksters though. Despite a few cases of shinsplints, the team isn’t suffering any serious injuries and is generally in good health. “We had a good week – a good week of practice and a good week of performance,” Hohnholt summed it up. “Our jumpers are starting to come along,” and the rest of the season looks bright for the Panthers.

The next track meet will be the Douglas Invitational to be held 12:30 p.m. April 22 in Douglas.


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