Slovensky leaps to success for Tigers

Theo Tate

Wellsville-Middletown freshman Bethany Slovensky, center, jumps over a hurdle in the 100-meter hurdles at the Montgomery County Invitational on April 19. THEO TATE PHOTO

Bethany Slovensky had a very happy bus ride back from Wright City on April 15.

The Wellsville-Middletown freshman celebrated her first high school track victories at the Wright City Invitational, winning the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.

“That was so awesome,” Slovensky said. “I was so excited. Even though my legs were dead after I finished my race, I was jumping up because I was so excited. To go tell my parents and stuff, it was awesome.”

Slovensky has been outstanding in the hurdle events since track season began on March 23. She earned eight medals after four meets.

Slovensky ran a season-best time of 17.21 seconds in her first-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles in the Wright City meet. Four days later, she finished with a season-best time of 50.25 seconds in her second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles at the Montgomery County Invitational on April 19.

“She has really good hurdle form,” W-M coach John Slovensky said of his daughter. “She’s got a nice mixture of speed and endurance. She’s in the events that she was made for.”

Bethany Slovensky finished with four medals at the Wright City meet. Besides the wins in the hurdle events, she also placed third in the 200 and the triple jump.

“It was really warm, so I do better in the heat,” Slovensky said. “I just felt really good that day.”

Slovensky turned in another four-medal performance at the Montgomery County Invitational. In addition to her second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, she also finished third in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the triple jump. She also helped the 1,600-meter relay team place fourth.

Slovensky helped the W-M girls finish seventh with the 34 points in the Montgomery County meet. The W-M boys, led by a second-place finish from its 3,200-meter relay team of Keaton Mayes, Layne Norris, Kaleb Peak and Isaac Seabaugh, placed eighth with 24 points.

Slovensky finished second to Centralia’s Harper Sontheimer by two-tenths of a second in the 300-meter hurdles.

“She is a senior, so I really respect her,” Slovensky said. “It was a really good race and I was really proud of both of us. We did really good. It was a really good competition.”

Slovensky has a total of 13 medals after four meets. She began her freshman season on March 23 with third-place medals at the Montgomery County Early Invite.

“I’ve impressed myself, honestly,” Slovensky said. “It’s awesome. I have a good coach. I guess I’m coachable.”

Slovensky said she was looking forward to competing in track after basketball season ended in February.

“Track season is my favorite season,” Slovensky said. “I just like competing as a team and individually. I get to see my friends from all over. I met new friends. There’s awesome competition. It’s really fun.”

Track has been Slovensky’s favorite sport since she first competed in it in fifth grade at the Show-Me-Games.

“It’s so fun,” Slovensky said. “The environment, the team and the people are awesome. It’s the best.”

Slovensky started competing in the hurdles in fifth grade. When she was in seventh grade at Wellsville-Middletown Junior High School, she set the school record in the hurdle events.

“My dad taught me (the hurdles),” Slovensky said. “I was kind of self-taught in hurdles, but when I went over them the first time, I said I’m going to be good at this. It kept going from there.”

Now, Slovensky is already setting her sights on making a trip to Jefferson City to compete in the hurdles at the Class 1 state meet. She’s already having a banner freshman year that included a trip to the state cross country meet and an all-Eastern Missouri Conference award in basketball.

“I’m excited to see if I could go to state and compete there,” the freshman said. “That would be very exciting as a freshman, especially with my cross country season ending at state and basketball. It would be the perfect wrapup of my freshman season.”



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