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HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

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Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

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HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

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Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Track preview 2013 .. Otis-Bison's Hoffman a surprise favorite

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Track preview 2013 .. Otis-Bison's Hoffman a surprise favorite

Published on -5/23/2013, 8:05 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Otis-Bison High School junior Jordan Hoffman was tired during his first 400-meter dash of the year at the April 5 La Crosse Invitational. During the run, Hoffman kept telling himself "don't quit, don't stop." Hoffman stayed with it and crossed the finish line in 53.51 seconds. He defeated La Crosse senior Levi Morss, the defending state runner-up in the 100, 200 and 400, by .04 seconds. As well, Hoffman ran a 11.92 in the 100 and a 24.02 in the 200, marks that Morss narrowly beat.

"If you can compete with Morss, you know that you are doing really well," Otis-Bison coach Travis Starr said.

Hoffman's performance started arguably the most surprising year by any area athlete. Helped by his "don't quit" mantra, an improved mindset and strength, Hoffman could become the first Cougar to win a state track title in Starr's eight years. Hoffman suffered some bad shin splints in basketball that has curtailed his training and kept him from a fourth event.

Still, the junior has surprised himself, broken all three school records in the sprinting events and is ranked second in the 100, third in the 200 and first in the 400 entering this weekend's Class 1A state meet at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium.

"I ran decent last year, but I was nowhere near this," Hoffman said. "...It just came out of nowhere."

Last year, Hoffman ran 11.6 in the 100, 24 seconds in the 200 and 53.5 in the 400. This year, he posted a 10.79 in the 100, 21.89 in the 200. At the Fort Hays regional last Friday, Hoffman broke the school record in the 400 in 49.78 and beat Morss in a photo finish.

"I have never quit," Hoffman said. "I've worked as hard as I could. Last year, I had a little bit of a mental weakness, but this year I have just really kept it up."

Hoffman and Morss, who also won the long jump last spring, have met three times this year. At La Crosse, Morss won the 100 and 200, while Hoffman collected first in the 400. At the Central Prairie League meet two weeks ago, Morss won the 100 by .01 seconds and the 200 by .37 seconds. Hoffman took the 400.

At regionals, Hoffman won the 100 and 400 and Morss false started in the 200.

"I don't mean to sound mean, but after I saw Levi walk off, I got a sense of relief that I have got a better shot at winning," Hoffman said.

In the 400, Morss started quickly and led for most of the race, but Hoffman caught him at the end.

"Levi is a kid who has got to make other people catch him," La Crosse coach Jon Webster said. "He is not really a kid that does a good job of coming from behind as of late. He has got to get out and go, and that's his race. It's a good battle for those two kids, and the 100 is a good battle, too. They have been battling all year, and I look forward to seeing it one more time."

Hoffman, now weighing around 190 pounds, has put on about 20 pounds from last year. He has added 50 pounds to his clean and squat and around 40 pounds to his bench press. Hoffman finished second in state powerlifting in the clean earlier this spring. Plus, Starr has noticed Hoffman's improved mentality in all areas, including school and sports.

"Almost night and day," Starr said.

In 2012, Hoffman had a strong start during the season, but couldn't maintain throughout the year.

"We started losing stamina," Starr said. "We weren't mature enough to handle that."

Plus, Hoffman couldn't finish the 400 last year. Hoffman would run the first 300 as fast as possible. Then, Starr said Hoffman would "die on the last 100." Now, Hoffman has the mature strength to handle the finish, including against Morss last Friday.

"He is pacing himself a lot better," Starr said. "He has one heck of a kick that allowed him to come back and do what he did."

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