There may have only been two athletes competing for the Camdenton boys’ track and field team at the Class 4 state meet in Jefferson City over the weekend, but sophomore Gabe Kurtz and junior Jacob Hill made the most of it as they both earned All-State honors for the first time in their Laker careers.
Kurtz competed in the javelin throw where he made All-State by finishing in the top eight earning seventh with a throw of 153 feet. Kurtz knew he was capable of more, but was excited to be on the podium nonetheless.
“I did not really come out with the throw I wanted to today, but being a sophomore and getting a state medal is still really exciting so it was a good time,” he said. “I think it is just getting back in that weight room. Comparing my distances from last year to this year it was a good 20 to 25 feet so I think that weight room really helped out this year. When I get back in there I think I can improve again and maybe a little better nutrition might help too.”
Kurtz was competing at state for the first time where he also placed 11th in the pole vault clearing 13 feet. The sophomore said it was really exciting to represent Camdenton and he is eager to come back next year and find out what he can do.
“I guess the real motivation is knowing that I have two more years to do this and I’ve already been on the state podium this year so two more years to improve is good motivation for me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hill went to state as a sophomore, but narrowly missed the cut for All-State in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. This time he would not be denied though as he took second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.8 seconds trailing only Union’s Deric Purnell at 10.64 seconds respectively and finished fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.41 seconds.
“It feels amazing,” Hill said of earning All-State honors. “Coming in last year I had the opportunity to race at state, but this year it was on my mind all year that I had to go All-State and had to be on the podium and get a medal for it.”
Like his teammate, Hill was proud of everything the Lakers accomplished throughout the weekend and he is excited to get back to work.
“It is overwhelming knowing that everyone who has made it to state has gone All-State, been up on the podium and have pushed themselves to the best of their abilities,” he stated. “It is going to take a lot more work. I did not put in that much work this past season, but I know that if I work hard coming off the football season that I will be perfectly fine.”
Time will soon tell how much their hard work will pay off in 2018 for both Lakers and what the rest of the Camdenton boys’ track team will bring to the table as they push towards making their presence known at state.