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North Crawford boys track athletes step up to the challenge in state competition
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TROJAN SPRINTER DALLAS HERSHBERGER takes off running in the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay after receiving the baton from Skyler Ol-son. The team placed fifth in the event with a time of 3:29:42 at the WIAA State Track and Field Meet in La Crosse on Saturday, June 3. Photo by Nate Beier

Competing in four events at the Annual WIAA State Track and Field Meet in LaCrosse last week, the North Crawford boys track athletes performed very well. They ended the weekend as the 13th best team in the state out of more than 200.

Things started off on Friday, June 2, with junior jumper Kenny Spencer. Spencer is no stranger to the state meet, having qualified for it in the previous two years. Spencer started a bit slow, jumping 43’1.25” in the triple jump to make finals. His best jump of the day occurred in finals with a leap of 43’11.50”. It was good enough to place him as the fourth best triple jumper in the state.

Next were the preliminaries for two events. First was the 400-meter dash where foreign exchange student Pierre de Beul found himself at the biggest stage of his running career. Staying calm, de Beul ran his best time of the year and set another school record by placing second in his heat in a time of 50.79. He went on the next day to finish in fifth place overall in the state in a time of 51.42.

Prelims for the 4x400-meter relay went well also, as the team, consisting of Jack Polensky, Dallas Hershberger, Pierre de Beul and Skyler Olson, set a new school record and won their heat in a time of 3:29.01.

The 4x400-meter relay team headed into the finals on Saturday with the fourth best time in the prelims. However, the team wound in fifth place overall following a collision on the final handoff between Polensky and de Beul. A member of another team ran into de Beul, causing him to run off the track, but he managed to keep his composure and finish the race in fifth place in a time of 3:29.42.

Also on Saturday, jumper Skyler Olson, a junior,  jumped well in the long jump, making the finals with a leap of 20’4.75”. He entered the finals sitting in fifth place, but would be pushed back to seventh place following some great jumps from other athletes. However, Olson would not be denied a podium appearance. On his final jump of the meet, Skyler Olson jumped 20’10.25”. It was good enough to move him back into sixth place and a first time podium experience at the state level.

“This is the biggest stage that these athletes have seen and all four entries that North Crawford had, made a podium appearance,” coach Mike Allbaugh said after the meet. “Though we did not win a state title, we peaked at the right time and set personal, as well as school records. This was an outstanding year for all of the North Crawford athletes and I am very proud to call myself their coach.”