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Wildcat Tom Koontz soars over a hurdle during the Louisburg Invitational. He won the 110-meter high hurdles at state and was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles.

LOUISBURG — Tom Koontz won three medals at the Class 4A state track and field meet, leading the Louisburg Wildcats to the state title.

Justin Collins, Ethan Ptacek, Ben Weidenmann and Koontz ran a time of 3 minutes, 29.13 seconds for third place in the 4x400-meter relay. Louisburg scored six points in the event, wrapping up the state championship.

“Taking the title on the last event of the day can only be described as exhilarating,” Koontz said. “The adrenaline pumping through me was so intense that my hands were shaking before the race started, and yet, it was over just like that. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome in that very brief moment that will be remembered by us all forever.”

Koontz placed first in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.97. He was second in the 300-meter hurdles.

Koontz was named the Tri-County Spotlight Track and Field Boys Athlete of the Year.

It was a great honor to not only him, but also the program, to be named the athlete of the year, Koontz said.

“Honestly, it took me by surprise,” Koontz said. “I am nonetheless flattered to receive it. Knowing that I finally got recognized means the world to me, and it makes me want to keep working for the future.”

The Wildcats have a tradition of excellence, and adding to that tradition in 2021 was very exciting, Koontz said.

“Being able to represent the school is a great honor,” he said. “I get to say that I will make future generations work a little bit harder so they too can raise the bar a little bit higher.”

Koontz was a team leader, Louisburg Wildcat boys track coach Andy Wright said. He was always one of the first athletes to show up at practice and always one of the last to leave.

“Tom has worked super hard all season,” Wright said. “He is a perfectionist at practice. He stays after to get it just right, and that commitment has paid off for him.”

The Wildcat boys track and field team ended the season with a regional championship and the state team title.

Koontz swept the boys hurdles at the regional meet in Paola. He won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.07. Koontz ran a time of 38.90 for first place in the 300-meter hurdles.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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