Pleasant Hill track coach John Hamilton dug out the notes he took on Donna Borer at last year’s district meet. One interesting thing about them – and all the other notes he’s taken on his star thrower – is that they haven’t changed a bit.
“These are the exact same notes at the exact same meets last year, and the distances are even better this year than they were at these same meets,” Hamilton said “I guess I know her well enough after four years that I don’t need to be concerned.”
It’s hard imagine Borer – and honor student and future Air Force Academy cadet – raising anyone’s concerns in anything. But when the postseason started last Saturday with the Class 4 District 7 meet, she had yet to match her personal best shot put mark from last year.
No problem. Borer didn’t need to go that far to win another district title, taking first with a throw of 37 feet, 8 ¼ inches at Southwick Stadium in Belton. The defending Class 4 state champion in the discus won that event as well with a 140-0 mark that was almost 24 feet farther than the runner-up.
“She brings her best throws at districts, sectionals and the state meet for sure,” Hamilton said. “In the shot, I’m not concerned. She’s in the 38s and the 39s will come next week. We’re starting to get it together.”
Still, that 39-9 personal best she recorded last year remains elusive. Borer admits to some frustration at not matching it, but not enough for her to spend more time perfecting the shot and less on the discus. She also set her PR last year in that event with the 149-9 throw that won her the state title in Jefferson City.
“The shot put, I’ve just been trying to stay with it,” Borer said. “I’ve really just been focusing more on the discus and pushing forward to the end of the season.”
Hamilton hasn’t pushed the idea of putting more emphasis on the shot because he knows he doesn’t have to. Not with a senior like Borer, who along with being an outstanding athlete and student was also a drum major on the marching band. And she did place eighth in the state last year in the event.
“I know the discus is her favorite event, but I know she wants to be as good at the shot as she can possibly be,” Hamilton said. “She’s a super-competitive kid which is why she’s good at what she does.”
Borer was one of seven individuals and two relays from Pleasant Hill’s girls team to finish in the top four and qualify for this weekend’s Class 4 sectional meet at Blue Springs South. The Chicks placed third in the girls team standings with 100 points.
Sprinter Olivia Ferdig advanced in four events, placing second in the 200-meter dash, third in the 100 and joining Breanna Curtis, Kylie Campbell and Caitlin O’Hanlon on the Chicks’ second-place 400 and 800 relay teams.
Lauren Redwine won the javelin for the Chicks with a toss of 125-0 and placed fourth in the shot put, Lillian Harlan tied for second in the pole vault, Chloe Bloom was third in the discus, Haley Lamborn placed third in the 800 and Lauren Larkins was fourth in the 3,200.
Luke Woodall’s second-place finish in the pole vault led Pleasant Hill’s boys qualifiers, which included Jerod Rottinghaus, who took third in the 1,600, and Brayden Bonnesen, who was third in the 800. The Roosters’ 3,200 relay team finished fourth and also qualified.
Belton took first place in the boys 3,200 relay, with Noah Floyd, Mason Funk, Brandon Gibbs and Kory Snyder finishing in 8:24.04. Snyder and Funk also qualified in the 3,200 by placing second and fourth and Floyd was fourth in the 800. Belton also had Charles Vestal place third in the shot put, Mason Goffoy fourth in the javelin and Tyler Matthews fourth in the 110-meter hurdles.
Harrisonville had a district champion in Kaylee Harp, who won the girls 800 in 2:25.43.