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Back on track

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 3:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2014 10:03 p.m. CDT
Caption
Lindsay Hopffert was a state medalist (long jump, 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 relays; County record holder in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays; School record holder in the 4x400 relay and Two-time BCR Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

It’s safe to say Lindsey Hoffert was back on track this season.

The Bureau Valley junior returned to form this season in a big way after facing a injury-riddled sophomore season. All she did this year was run down four state medals, with the help of her relay friends.

She is the 2014 Female Track Athlete of the Year.

Hoffert, who was the co-BCR Athlete of the Year as a freshman, said it was all about getting healthy.

“In previous years, I’ve had issues with my ankles and other minor injuries, so this year I wanted to make sure I was playing it safe and keeping myself in the game,” Hoffert said.

“We were not sure what to expect from Lindsey this season after coming off an injury-riddled year last track season. She stepped in right away showing a lot of hard work, willing to try different things and we thought she could have a good year,” BV coach Dale Donner said. “Even though we thought that, we really did not imagine it ending up as good as it did.”

And it was real good, very good.

Four State events, four state medals. She is one of just three Bureau County female athletes to have that distinction.

“Very few athletes in Illinois medal in four events in one year.  To think Lindsey did it is really an accomplishment,” Donner said.

Hoffert placed fifth in the long jump with a jump of 17 feet, 9 1/4 inches, her third medal in three years in that event. She also had the ability to qualify for state in other individual events, such as the high jump (5-2), the 200 (26.6) or 400 (1:01.45), all in which she hit the state-qualifying marks.

She elected to go with what was best for the team and running in relays to get more girls to Charleston with her. Hoffert was simply playing out the philosophy of the team game that Donner stresses at Bureau Valley.

Consider it mission accomplished.

“It was so important to me to get more people down to state so they could get that experience and because they deserved to be down there just as much as I did,” Hoffert said. “Being a part of those relays meant so much more to me than individual events.”

“We tinkered with the high jump early in the year, and she was doing well with it jumping 5-2. But after talking with her, and realizing the strength of the team, we decided to chase the relays along with the long jump,” Donner said.

Hoffert and Donner said medaling in four events would not have been possible without her relay teammates, including Haley DeVoss, Tiana Kennedy, Marissa Mungia, Katelin Johnson, Sabrina Webb and Helena Arnadottir.

“It was really a team effort,” Donner said. “That is what a lot of people do not realize about track.  Too many people consider track as an individual sport. It is a team sport.  We all work together to make the team stronger.

“Lindsey had a great year, but it would not have been as successful if she did not have others contributing and pushing her.”

Along with the state medals, two of the relays, the 4x100 (50.71) and the 4x400 (4:01.59), set Bureau County records and the other, the 4x200 (1:48.10), set a school record.

Hoffert said getting the records was the icing on the cake

“Getting the medals was such a huge honor and incredibly exciting, but seeing our names up on the house record boards is something I will be forever grateful for and will never forget,” she said. “Those were some pretty tough records and to see all of our hard work pay off was indescribable

“Each and every single girl on our team put their heart and soul into those races and I’m so proud of them for what we were able to accomplish.”

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