Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heights' Michael Hoffer Wins State Title ; Hoffer: Hayden's Klemz Breaks Record in 3,200

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heights' Michael Hoffer Wins State Title ; Hoffer: Hayden's Klemz Breaks Record in 3,200

Article excerpt

WICHITA -- Sure, Shawnee Heights sophomore Michael Hoffer would have liked to have gone higher than 6-foot-4 in Friday's Class 5A boys high jump competition.

But Hoffer wasn't going to let that fact detract from his state championship celebration.

Now a two-time state placer in the event, Hoffer was unable to make a run at his personal-best of 6-10 but the T-Bird standout earned the gold medal when he cleared 6-4 on his final attempt.

"I'm pretty psyched out about it," Hoffer, who had tied for third as a freshman, said about his title. "I'm just really happy."

After clinching the state title, Hoffer, who is tied for the state lead, skipped 6-6 and had the bar raised to 6-8. Hoffer had narrow misses on his first and third attempts, but went out at that height.

"I just wanted to go higher and I knew I could make 6-8," Hoffer said.

Even though he was the favorite to win Friday, Hoffer said he had to fight off some butterflies.

"I was a little nervous when I came in, but I just knew that if I did what I usually do it could carry over to a state championship," he said.

Earlier in the season nerves may have been a contributing factor when Hoffer no-heighted at the Kansas Relays, but Hoffer seemed more loose throughout Friday's event.

"I told myself, "Just make sure that doesn't happen again and keep calm,' " Hoffer said. "When I went to KU I was a little overwhelmed and I knew at this meet I just had to do what I usually do."

Seaman senior Alex Cleaver cleared 6-2 to tie St. James Academy junior Travis Pickert for second place, with Pickert claiming that spot by virtue of fewer overall misses. Cleaver finished third after tying for sixth as a junior.

- Hayden senior Jacob Klemz wouldn't normally be thrilled with a third-place finish, but Friday was an exception.

After finishing third in the 4A 3,200 meters for the second straight season, Klemz let out a short yell after realizing he had broken Hayden's school record in the event.

Klemz's time of 9:33.20 was good enough to eclipse the previous record of 9:34.0.

"I would have loved to win a state championship, but, hey, breaking a school record is something I've wanted to do since I was a freshman so I was happy," he said.

"I went 9:34.9 earlier in the season and I tied the cross country record down to a 100th of a second, so I've actually got a record now."

Spring Hill junior Dylan Brenneman won the event with a state- meet record of 9:25.19 while Smoky Valley sophomore Calvin Shannon was second in 9:23.23.

Klemz's junior teammate, Robbie Schmidt, finished fourth in 9:41.22.

- Shawnee Heights senior Trace Henault placed third in a field event for the second straight year, taking third in the shot put to pace three T-Bird medalists in that event. …

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