|BUCCS SHINE IN FIRST DAY OF REGIONAL...
By Rob Kiser - Piqua Daily Call
MAY 25, 2011 - TROY
Willy Hoffert and Sam Christian are a shining example of hard-work being rewarded.
As a result, Hoffert will finish his prep athletic career at the state track and field meet next week and Christian will make the trip to state for the first time.
Nothing was going to stop Christianin matching older brother Ben, who competed in the state meet a year ago in the shot put.
He threw a PR of 154-4 to finish second in the discus at the Troy Division III regional meet Wednesday.
“That (Ben making it to state last year) was a big motivatin for me,” Sam said.
And even when he suffered a serious shoulder injury in a football playoff game in November, he wasn’t going to be denied.
“That’s what I thought about when I had the injury,” Christian said. “I was worried about track.”
But, he has been strong as ever all spring and he uncorked a PR in his final throw in the prelims Wednesday to secure the state berth.
“I knew it as soon as I let it go,” Christian said. “I knew it was a good one. Once I hit that throw, it was like a weight off my shoulders. I am hoping to throw around 160 next week.”
Now, he has a chance to top his brother Friday when he goes for a second state berth in the shot put.
“I don’t know if he (Ben) knows yet,” Ben said with a smile as he waited to receive his award. “Definitely (he was going to let him know about it.)”
Hoffert has been a leader for the Covington distance runners, in both track and cross country the last four years and has reaped the awards his senior year.
After running in the state cross country meet, he teamed with Dustin Fickert, Isaiah Winston and Lane White to finish third in 3,200 relay and advance to state.
“It feels great,” Hoffert said. “We didn’t put this team together until late in the year. We were missing one guy and Isaiah (Winston) has given us that.”
The foursome first ran together at the Covington Invitational three weeks ago. Last week, they won district.
“I wasn’t expecting to go to state,” Winston said. “But, I wasn’t even on the 4x800 relay team at the start of the season.”
But, it was evident once he joined the team, they could be pretty special.
“We knew we were pretty good,” Hoffert said. “But, regionals is so tough. You just never know.”
White, a freshman, ran the anchor leg, moving up to third and holding that spot.
“I thought I ran terrible,” White, who always has high expectations, said. “I was just trying to hold on the last lap.”
And they can take pride in making sure Hoffert’s final race is as the state meet.
“Of course,” Fickert said. “We wanted to do that for him.”