Pine River hurdler looking forward to healthier season next year

LEROY — Shiloh Ruppert didn’t qualify for the track and field state finals this season, but she still had a memorable junior year.

A highlight was during the Pine River Invitational when she took first place in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, the 200 dash and 4x200 relay.

“Being the fastest runner this year, I really didn’t have those other girls like I had last year to help push me,” Ruppert said. “It was kind of hard to run against myself. I helped a lot of the freshmen become faster runners.”

Ruppert took four firsts in two home meets, including the Pine River Invitational.

She acknowledged going to the state final was a goal.

“I had an injury on my leg, a severe torn muscle on my bone,” Ruppert said.

Her last meet was in the Highland Conference finals at Marion.

“I was really hurting bad,” Ruppert said. “I could have done better. I went through this three weeks into the season with this and the pain progressed.”

She said in late May that she wasn’t going to run for about four weeks.

Ruppert also is manager for the Pine River cross country team. She runs both indoor and outdoor track.

“I plan on competing in indoor track (next) year,” she said.

The Bucks won their home invitational this season.

“I think we did really good as a team,” Ruppert said. “We’re one big family. We all care so much about other and push each other.”

The Bucks graduated some key athletes this season.

“There’s a lot of lower-classmen coming up that are good runners,” she said. “I think our team is going to be pretty solid.”