DELPHOS — Three years ago as a freshman, Kalida’s Josh Verhoff was introduced to track and field, as Kalida unveiled a varsity program.
Verhoff has been a very quick learner.
At Saturday’s Delphos St. John’s Invitational at Delphos Jefferson High School, Verhoff won the 100 meter dash (10.79 seconds), 200-meter dash (22.86), 400 meters (52.59) and was a part of the winning 400 meter relay (45.57).
Verhoff broke the meet record Saturday in the 100 and 400. Teammate Grant Laudick also nearly broke the record in the 400, finishing a very close second (52.87).
As a team, the Kalida boys finished second to Lincolnview, 130-142. Ottoville came in third (86) and St. John’s was a very close fourth (85) in the eight-team field.
In the girls final team standings, Kalida pulled away from the field, scoring 189 points, beating second-place Lincolnview 189-121. Ottoville (90) and St. John’s (85) rounded out the top four teams.
“We started track three years ago when he (Verhoff) was a freshman,” Kalida boys coach Scott Miller said. “He was pretty good as a freshman – probably high 24s in the 200 and maybe 12.1, 11.9 (in the 100) as a freshman. Then, when he came on toward the end of last year, it was like all of a sudden something clicked. And since then, he hasn’t turned back. He’s pretty phenomenal.”
Last season, Verhoff made it to the Division III state track meet in the 200 dash and 400 relay. Verhoff placed third in the 200 (22.17) and the 400 relay finished sixth (44.07). Kalida graduated two of the four athletes off the 400 relay. Trevor Vorst, a junior, returns with Verhoff.
Coming into Saturday’s invite, Verhoff was hoping to set at least one personal best. However, he was a little surprised at the end result.
“I didn’t think I would get that low of a time (in the 100),” Verhoff said. “Last year, I got 11.2. So, I was just hoping to get like 11-flat. It (the weather) wasn’t too bad today.
“When you put in the 400 (along with the other events), it makes it a little tougher. I’ve ran the 100 and 200 all the time my first two years. This year, he (Coach Miller) put me in the 400 to help my 200 time get better. It’s going pretty good so far.”
Miller said Verhoff keeps improving.
“You never know with Josh. He’s one of those kids, that every time he runs, he kind of amazes me. He’s such a hard worker and such a good kid. He came back this year and has looked fast all year long. I was expecting more like 11-flat, or somewhere around there,” Miller said.
It wasn’t just Verhoff setting records Saturday.
Ottoville senior Brendan Siefker broke his own meet record in the 3,200, winning with a time of 9:50.50. Siefker, the 2017 Division III state champion in the 1,600, also won Saturday’s 1,600 (4:30.06), just missing his own meet-record time of 4:27.87. He also won the 800 (2:04.72) and was the anchor of the 3,200 relay team that finished second (9:00.38).
“Today, I was just hoping to go into the 9s (in the 3,200),” Siefker said. “I knew what the meet record was, and I was hoping to be somewhere around that. But I wasn’t confident that it (breaking the record) was my goal. I was just trying to run a sub-10 and go from there.”
Siefker felt a little more confident of his chances in breaking his 1,600 meet record Saturday, than he did in the 3,200.
“I was hoping to go under 4:27, but it didn’t happen,” Siefker said about Saturday’s 1,600 race. “My second lap was too slow. I kind of knew after my second lap that I probably wouldn’t be able to get it, but I learned for next week.
“This year has been really weird, because with all the cold weather, wind and stuff, we’ve been inside more than what I wanted to be. So far, this is our fourth meet, and I think last year (at this time), this was like our seventh meet. We’re a little bit behind, but we have plenty of time to catch up.”
On the girls side, Kalida senior Taylor Lucke won both the 1,600 (5:25.88) and 3,200 (11:56.65). In both races, Lima Central Catholic senior standout Emily Sreenan finished second.
“They were just outstanding,” Miller said about the girls team. “You look at a meet and look at what you can get and you’re hoping for the best. Today, every spot we thought we could get, we got. Credit the girls, they worked so hard.”
Lincolnview coach Matt Langdon was very pleased at his boys’ performance Saturday.
“Kalida, obviously, is pretty good, boys and girls; and we knew that coming in,” Langdon said. “We did what we thought we could do, and ended up being very close at the end. It was a good meet for us.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.