W-M seniors enjoy trip to state track meet

By: 
Theo Tate

Wellsville-Middletown senior Jacob Hollensteiner, above left, runs the second leg of the 3,200-meter relay at the Class 1 state meet on May 22 in Jefferson City. THEO TATE PHOTO

Just three days after helping his baseball team capture a regional title, Jacob Hollensteiner had another reason to celebrate on May 22 at the Class 1 state track meet at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.

The Wellsville-Middletown senior wrapped up his high school track career with an all-state medal. He helped the 3,200-meter relay team — which also included juniors Isaac Seabaugh, Layne Norris and Keaton Mayes — finish eighth with a season-best time of 8:55.39.

“How amazing is that?” Hollensteiner said. “It’s a great end to my senior year. That was a big push because I’m the only senior on this team, so they wanted to do something amazing for me and I also wanted to do something good for myself. We pulled together and ran our fastest time by over 20 seconds. We killed that. We did amazing out there. I’m so proud of those boys.”

After the race, Hollensteiner and his relay mates were all smiles after looking at the results at the electronic scoreboard. The squad came into the meet as the No. 12 seed.

“We were ecstatic,” Hollensteiner said. “We all gave each other big hugs because this was what we’ve been training for during the whole season. Because we have two dual-sport athletes in me and Keaton, it’s kind of challenging to get all of us together in practice, so it’s amazing to see us come together just for this.”

Another W-M senior, Elizabeth Jefferson, also ended her high school track career at the state meet. She competed in the 4x800, but the relay team didn’t get a medal as it finished 12th with an 11:42.88.

“I’m happy that it’s over, but I’m sad because I’m going to miss the environment, the family, the work and dedication every single of us has put in,” said Jefferson, who plans on joining the Marines this fall. “I’m glad I did it in my senior year. It taught me a lot. I’m glad that we can finish as a team.”

W-M coach John Slovensky said he was happy that Hollensteiner and Jefferson got to compete at state in their final high school track seasons.

“We had those seniors who made a big difference and got us here,” Slovensky said.

Hollensteiner, who plans to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the fall, ran the second leg of the 4x800. He helped put his team in sixth place.

“That was my goal,” Hollensteiner said. “I knew that Keaton, our first leg, was going to start off fast. He was going to get us there. So my goal was to maintain and see if I could run a PR for my 800. A kid who was in front of me was slowing down, so I knew I had to kick it in. That’s what I did and I felt really good.”

Norris and Seabaugh ran the final two legs. The team edged Galena by two seconds for eighth place.

Hollensteiner helped the W-M baseball team beat Community R-6 14-6 in the District 12 championship game on May 19 at Southern Boone. Mayes is also a member of the baseball team.

Hollensteiner joined the track team in his freshman year. When he was a sophomore, he was an alternate on the state-qualifying 4x800 team.

“I love it so much,” said Hollensteiner, who competed in the state cross country meet last fall. “I wished I would have cared for it during my freshman year. It’s crazy to see it all come to an end. But I’m very excited and happy for our team.”

Jefferson joined the W-M track team this spring. She also played basketball this winter and competed in cross country last fall.

The senior said all three sports helped prepare her for the Marines.

“I have a lot more stamina and endurance,” Jefferson said. 

Freshmen Jordan Forir and Jenelle Boeckelman and sophomore Molly Scott were the other members of the 4x800 at state. They also made their first trip to Jefferson City.

“It’s amazing,” said Jefferson, who competed in track for the first time since junior high. “We all learned together. Nobody got a track season last year. So we had to learn and go through all of this COVID stuff together. I’m glad they were the ones with me.”

 

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