Holden Eagles track and field team members Tyler Hankins and Masyn Powell recorded top-eight in all-state medal finishes at the Class 3 Track and Field Championships held in Jefferson City Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.
High jumper Cole Zillner tied for ninth place in the event to just miss the state medal cutoff.
“The ability to qualify three boys this year was a great accomplishment,” said Holden track and field coach David Diener.
Hankins secured his all-state medal by tying for eighth in the pole vault with a height of 3.8m (12’-05.5”) on Saturday.
“This is all I’ve wanted for the last four years,” said Hankins. “Freshman year got cancelled for Covid. My sophomore year ended in sectionals with a fifth-place, one away from state. Then junior year, I got hurt and was on crutches, and couldn’t do anything. That’s all I worked hard for this year, and I was just working as best I can to get there.”
Hankins’s medal finish came with his mother Kim, the Holden pole vault coach, guiding him a day after Lady Eagles pole vaulters Izzy Guinn and Addilyn Wooster competed in the event.
“Tyler had an amazing season this year, and to cap it off with a medal is the perfect way to end it,” said coach Diener. “Coach Hankins and he did a great job of challenging him to get the bigger heights, and he was able to accomplish that this year, setting our school record. Coach Hankins has done a great job all year with all of our vaulters. All three of our state qualifiers have held school records this year.”
Powell converted his second state meet appearance into the first two medals of his career by placing third in the 110m hurdles, and fourth in the 300m hurdles on Saturday.
Powell outperformed his fifth-place finishes in both preliminary races to move into top-four placings as he closed out his junior season with a time of 15.14 seconds in the 110m hurdles finals, and a time of 40.71 seconds in the 300m hurdles finals.
“I was ranked fifth overall during yesterday, so I was excited to see that I got third, instead of fifth,” said Powell after his 110m race. “I just tried to get out fast from the blocks, and run my race.”
After collecting his 300m medal, Powell commented, “It went pretty good. I kind of died out at the end, but I tried to finish strong. I was ranked fifth in that event and ended up being fourth, so I’m proud of what I got.”
“Masyn is a great worker, and is really focused on improving his speed between his hurdles,” pinpointed coach Diener.
“Masyn had the goal to make the podium this year, but for him to place top-four in both hurdles events really shows how talented he is. Coach (Valorie) Craft worked really well finding ways to challenge him, and improve his technique. Coach (Spencer) Gudde also came out to practices, and helped him fine tune things late in the season. I am very proud of how he stepped up this year against tough competition.”
After advancing to the sectionals in his freshman season, then improving to a state qualification during his sophomore season with a ninth-place state meet finish in the 300m hurdles, and an 11th-place finish in the 100m hurdles, Powell has followed a natural progression over the course of his career.
“It feels like a really big accomplishment,” said Powell. “I feel like Mr. (Spencer) Gudde and I have worked hard for this, and I’m proud of my place. I’m proud that I made it. It’s a big accomplishment.”
Aside from the medal performances marking Powell’s state meet, the 14 Holden state meet qualifiers this year differed from last season when Powell, Elizabeth Stout, and Kia Harmon made up the Holden track and field program’s representation.
“It’s a lot better,” said Powell of the larger number of qualifiers. “It’s a good feeling for your teammates to push you, and you get excited when you see your other teammates placing. It’s just nice to see your school succeed in that.”
Zillner in his junior season recorded his ninth-place finish in the high jump in a height of 1.83. (6’-00”).
“Cole did a great job at the state meet,” said coach Diener. “He finished in the toughest spot, one place out of the medal stand, but I could not be more proud of his progress made this year.”