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Gathering for a group hug, Corydon Central seniors, from left, Olivia Lawson, Kaitlin Salomon, Chelsea John and Jordan Dagenhart celebrate winning the Mid-Southern Conference girls' track and field title. Photo by Brian Smith

Girls' track title back to Corydon


May 21, 2014 | 12:00 PM

A four-horse race to the end, Corydon Central was able to put an end to a long run of Mid-Southern Conference titles by Brownstown Central.

Coming across the finish line in the 1,600-meter relay, Corydon Central's anchor leg, Sidney Capelle, was well ahead of the second-place finisher, Salem. While teammates Keely Martin, Kaitlin Salomon and Jordan Dagenhart caught their breath, attention focused on what was going on at the shot put. Distantly located from the Silver Creek track, the Lady Panthers waited a few minutes for the return of shot results.

When word traveled that Lady Panther throwers Chelsea John and Ashley Oliver scored points, it assured that Corydon Central put an end to Brownstown Central's 12 straight Mid-Southern Conference girls' track and field titles.

"It feels pretty good," Salomon said after taking a host of photos with the trophy that returns to Corydon Central for the first time since 2002. "We knew it had been a long time since (Corydon) had won. It's pretty awesome."

Upon completion of the 16 events, Corydon Central finished with 112 points, followed closely by Silver Creek (106), Brownstown Central (100) and North Harrison (93). It's the ninth MSC girls' track and field title in program history.

It was a stellar day not only for the Lady Panthers team, but also Capelle. She won all four events she participated in: 100 and 300 hurdles along with 400 and 1,600 relay.

North Harrison also had a pair of standouts with Shaylah Neal lighting the track on fire, winning both sprints with the 100 in a record time, and distance runner Ashton Bosler continued her dominance in the conference, taking the 1,600 and 3,200 with little trouble.

Overall, though, the day belonged to Corydon Central.

When action on the track began, Capelle kicked it off with a 100-hurdle victory. Smooth over the jumps, she easily won in 16 seconds, while teammate Olivia Lawson was sixth (17.5).

Later in the meet, Capelle made it a perfect hurdle effort. She won in 47.3, beating out Emily Motsinger (Salem) and Olivia Goecker (Brownstown Central); both were half a second behind Capelle. Corydon Central's Dagenhart scored a fourth-place finish in 49.2 seconds, while North Harrison's Bethany Wiley (56.8) was eighth.

"She is such a phenomenal hurdler and, when she gets that three-step down, there is no reason she shouldn't shatter the records at Corydon," said Corydon Central coach Meghan Bussabarger, who happens to hold the hurdle records, but said she wants Capelle to continue to improve and take down her best.

In relays, Corydon Central was impressive in the 400, setting a school best mark of 50.9 seconds. The team of Martin, Capelle, Dagenhart and Salomon rolled to beat out second-place finisher North Harrison (Jenna Turner, Nicole Keene, Lexi Seitz and Neal, 52.8) to set the fastest time since 2000.

"We did awesome, breaking our personal record and school record in the 4x100," Salomon said. "We PR'd in the 4x400 with Jordan hurt. That time can only get better. I love my relay team."

In the 1,600 relay, the same foursome capped a strong day with a time of 4:15.3, two seconds faster than runner-up Salem.

"They just run hard," Bussabarger said.

Salomon scored an individual victory as well, winning the long jump by half a foot over the competition. Her best effort was 16 feet, while Neal was second (15-6-1/4) and Dagenhart was fourth (15-1). Salomon went back and forth between the long jump and high jump pit area while competing in relays. She cleared 4-10 to finish fourth in the high jump. North Harrison's Natalie Hollensead (4-8) was sixth.

"It was so quick today, but events were coming really fast," Salomon said. "At first, it wasn't a good day at the long jump because I couldn't get my steps down. (Assistant coach) Hyla (Conrad) gave me some tough love I needed, and it put me back where I needed to be."

Some of North Harrison's big moments came on the track.

Neal was much faster than the fields in the 100 and 200. She set a conference and school record in the 100, going in a state-meet level time of 12.4 seconds. Martin would finish third (12.9), and Keene was eighth (13.9).

It was no contest in the 200, with Neal rolling in 26.2 seconds, a school-record time. She left an impressive distance between second-place finisher Catherine Leupp of Corydon Central. Leupp's time of 27.8 was her personal best, while Keene took sixth in 29.1 seconds.

"It felt good," Neal said after the 200 win. "As soon as I started off, I knew it would be a good time. I'm hoping I can advance further once the postseason starts. It's exciting. I wanted to get the conference record and get a PR."

Leupp scored points in the 400, placing sixth in 1:08.5. Behind her was North Harrison's Abby Logsdon (1:09.2) in eighth.

Leading from the start, Bosler dominated the distance events. She won the 1,600 in 5:32.3 and the 3,200 in 12:02.9.

North Harrison's Emma Book also set a new school benchmark, clearing 8-6 in the pole vault. She finished tied for second.

Key points for Corydon Central came away from the track events with John and Oliver's performance in throws.

Opening in the discus, John had an opening-round throw just under 110 feet. In the final, John took second place with a throw of 111-9. Oliver wasn't far behind, with a throw of 111-5 for third.

"I've been working on my footwork constantly," John said. "I guess it paid off. I got in to the finals with a 109 and ended up getting a 111. I was definitely proud."

John turned around and placed fifth (31-9-1/2) in the shot, while Oliver was sixth (31.5). North Harrison's Sarah Mertz was seventh (30-1).

Upon returning to the track, John not only noticed the running events were finished, but the Lady Panthers likely wrapped up the team bragging rights.

"It's amazing because so many of us are seniors," John said. "It's a 'finally' moment. Our last year we go out with a last hurrah."

Bussabarger said she was proud of her team's effort, along with the assistance of boys' coach Kevin Potter and assistant coaches Alex Zimmerman and Conrad.

"Even as coaches, we've come together as a team," Bussabarger said. "I've learned from all the coaches to help me grow as a coach."

The end result was bringing the hardware back to Corydon.

"I couldn't ask for a better group of 14 girls," Bussabarger said. "They give me heart, and we're not deep. We have so many girls going four events every meet. They go with so much heart and determination, and I couldn't ask for a better group of girls in my first year coaching. They are so talented."

Other top scorers from Corydon Central and North Harrison were: 3,200 relay North Harrison (Lexy Terrell, Hayley Elliot, Hollensead, Bosler), third, 11:06.3; 800 Elliot (North Harrison), second, 2:29; Terrell (North Harrison), sixth, 2:44; Kelcie Byrd (Corydon Central), eighth, 2:47.2.

The girls' track and field sectional was held last night (Tuesday) in Corydon. The top four place winners move on to the Bloomington North Regional on May 27 at 6 p.m. The top three from regional move on to state.

Photos

Team scores: 1. Corydon Central 112, 2. Silver Creek 106, 3. Brownstown Central 100, 4. North Harrison 93, 5. Salem 78, 6. Eastern (Pekin) 39, 7. Charlestown 38, 8. Austin 29, 9. Scottsburg 17.

Individual results: 3200 relay 1. Silver Creek (B. Sharp, M. Shields, M. Crouch, J. Backherms) 10:02, 2. Salem, 3. North Harrison; 100 hurdles 1. S. Capelle (CC) 16.0, 2. T. Stewart (Sco), 3. E. Gallion (BC); 100 1. S. Neal (NH) 12.4, 2. K. Ernstberger (EP), 3. K. Martin (CC); 1600 1. A. Bosler (NH) 5:32.3, 2. S. Calhoun (S), 3. M. Crouch (SC); 400 relay 1. Corydon Central (K. Martin, K. Salomon, S. Capelle, J. Dagenhart) 50.9, 2. North Harrison, 3. Brownstown Central; 400 1. H. Motsinger (S) 1:02.3, 2. E. Gallion (BC), 3. J. Backherms (SC); 300 hurdles 1. S. Capelle (CC) 47.3, 2. E. Motsinger (S), 3. O. Goecker (BC); 800 1. M. Shields (SC) 2:25.2, 2. H. Elliot (NH), 3. S. Calhoun (S); 200 1. S. Neal (NH) 26.2, 2. C. Leupp (CC), 3. B. Bishop (BC); 3200 1. A. Bosler (NH) 12:02.9, 2. Mackenzie Crouch (SC), 3. Brittany Sharp (SC); 1600 relay 1. Corydon Central (K. Martin, K. Salomon, S. Capelle, J. Dagenhart) 4:15.3, 2. Salem, 3. Silver Creek; Shot put 1. M. Brooks (Ch) 39-11.5, 2. E. Christman (SC), 3. R. Harrison (BC); Discus 1. M. Brooks (Ch) 124-9, 2. C. John (CC), 3. A. Oliver (CC); High jump 1. B. Riley (A) 5-0, 2t. E. Newberry, 2t. S. Spencer (A); Long jump 1. K. Salomon (CC) 16-0, 2. S. Neal (NH), 3. H. Neal (SC); Pole vault 1. E. Newberry (BC) 9-0, 2t. N. Dalton (EP), 2t. E. Book (NH) 8-6.

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