Panthers back in swing
Saratoga High School’s track team hit the field this week after a relaxing spring break spent with family, or on a class trip to Europe. Even though the team’s originally scheduled meet in Douglas was canceled due to weather, the Panthers found another meet to attend, the Roy Peck Invitational in Riverton.
According to the team’s head coach Rex Hohnholt, the team needed to get back into the swing of things after the break, and the Riverton event was a good place to do it, with several good results in the offing.
While the students were on vacation with families or on the school sponsored European trip, Hohnholt said he suggested exercises the athletes could do to keep in physical shape, but laughed when he said that students just kind of smiled a bit when asked how many of the exercises they did on the break.
As the season enters its final stretch—there are only three meets left this year for the Panthers before the postseason begins—it is important to keep everyone focused and “on track”, Hohnholt said.
“They competed well, especially after two days of practice,” Hohnholt said. “We knew we needed to make some progress as we moved toward the end of the season.”
Alex Zeigler scored a first place time in the 800-meter run, at 2:09.18 seconds and earned a place at state with his seventh place 100-meter run time of 11.94 seconds. Sam Schneider took third in the triple jump with a distance of 39’-5.75.”
In team events, the Panther gentlemen also turned in three strong results. In the 1600-meter relay, Ben Fairbanks, Morgan Rempel, Thomas Ingraham and Jeremy Detterer took fourth with a time of 3:49.35, earning the group a berth at state. In the 400-meter relay, Rempel, Ingraham, Greg Swanson and Jaxon King also prequalified for state with their 48.57 second performance, a fifth-place finish at the meet.
The Lady Panthers also seemed to shine on the team events, with two fourth place finishes that earned five more ladies a place at state. The 4x100 meter relay team of Shaelee Hamann, Shianne, Meredith Lincoln and Alicia Zaragoza finished in fourth, with a time of 56.93 seconds. Hamann, Lincoln and Zaragoza all reprised their performances along with Katie Loose on the 4x400, where the team finished in 4:4:47 seconds.
According to Hohnholt, it was a good weekend for the Panthers, one that helped them get back into the swing of things after the break, and one that will prepare the team to host the Burt Willford invite Saturday at Saratoga High School.
The meet is an emotional one for Hohnholt, as it is named after a longtime and much loved coach in the Valley. “We just want to put on a good show,” Hohnholt said. “We have great community support.”
Last year, the meet was canceled because of weather. As of press time, the weather forecast for Saturday looks like the meet might be at risk of being canceled again, with predictions of cool temperatures and clouds. Friday, the day before the meet, snow is predicted.
“The first thing I’m hoping to see is no snow,” Hohnholt said. “It’s not looking too good for that right now.”
Weather permitting, the Burt Willford Invite will start at the SHS track at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. It is the only home meet for the Panthers this year.