Ben Kirsch Qualifies For State In The Pole Vault!

Tuesday, July 9 2019 - IHSA 3A Boy's Track & Field Sectionals

The IHSA 3A Niles West Sectional was extremely competitive in every event. The Giants line-up was overall very young and looking to compete at a high level. The team members also worked very hard to once again have an athlete or athletes qualify for the State Meet after not having anyone qualify last year. 


Senior Ben Kirsch was extremely motivated after he just missed qualifying for State last year in the Pole Vault as he took 3rd place on misses. Kirsch had an inconsistent 2019 season with some disappointing performances as well as some great ones. With the pressure on at the Sectional Meet, he was able to deliver as he cleared a personal best 13’8” and finished in 2nd place. His performance earned him a trip to the IHSA 3A State Meet! This was well deserved as Kirsch has been a dedicated team member for 4 years and has put in countless hours of work to be the best vaulter he can be. This finish also put him one place in front of the CSL North Pole Vault Champion from GBN. This was a special moment and his teammates, coaches, and family were able to share in success at the meet.

Despite only having one State Qualifier, HP had several other strong performances at the meet.


Senior Jakob French has been an example of hard work and leadership all season. His time in the 400 Meter Dash has been dropping all season. He once again put in a tremendous effort to run a big personal best of 51.64! This run earned him a 6th place Sectional medal. French was in the second fastest heat and was able to win it and beat guys in the fastest heat. This performance was a testament to all of his hard work and commitment to the training throughout the season. 


In the 3200 Meter Run sophomore Jason Polydoris fell off the pace he was hoping to run in the 2nd mile but was still able to hang on for a 9:45.13 to take 9th place. Junior Corey Fairchild ran another tough race to finish in 10:00.13 for 14th place. Both of these hard working distance runners will be determined to be ready to qualify for State next year.


Sophomore Jaden Holzman was another athlete that stayed committed and focused on the process the entire season and was able to run sub 12 for the first time in the 100 Meter Dash. Holzman finished with an 11.92. Sophomore Lucas Ugaz also ran a personal best as he completed the race in 12.13. This was a good experience for these two sprinters and they will both be crucial to the team’s success next season.


In the 110 Meter High Hurdles, the Giants had two juniors racing. Max Kaplan and Eduardo Monk both ran under 18 seconds to finish with times of 17.59 and 17.60. These are solid times, but they both know that they have to put in a lot of work over the next 365 days to be able to come back to Sectionals and be competitive with the top hurdlers. Monk also ran a personal best 45.9 in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles.


The 4X100 Meter Relay team of Holzman, juniors Emre Gulpinar and Kolton Jacobs, along with French ran their best time of the season. They finished in 45.87. With 3 of the 4 sprinters on this relay returning, they have high expectations for what they will accomplish next season.


Gulpinar ran a personal best in the 200 Meter Dash of 24.64. Sophomore Josh Hollander ran 25.49. Once again, both athletes return next year and are committed to putting in the work to be even more successful in 2020.


Sophomore Gabe Kirsch showed a great deal of improvement this season in the jumps. At Sectionals he jumped 37’3.25” in the Triple Jump. Kirsch is looking to have another season of big improvements next year by putting in the work to do so.


Junior Charlie Kleiman had a personal best in the Discus with a 130’0”. Along with sophomore Chris Lee, the duo is determined to work hard to have a chance at qualifying for State in the Discus and/or Shot Put. 


If enough guys on the team are willing to make the commitment to being the best athletes possible, then next years results will be drastically improved from this season. Athletes can’t show up at the start of the season out of shape. They need to do a fall and/or winter sport. If they are not doing a sport one or both of those seasons, then it is important that they are still getting in consistent training to be ready for the grind of a long season.