Panthers flush Paoli by three at NH Invitational
Corydon Central boys track coach Kerry Zimmerman played his cards close to his chest at Friday night’s North Harrison Invitational track meet and trumped the competition with a narrow 109-106 win over Paoli on the boys side. North Harrison was sixth place (53), Crawford County ninth (23), and South Central 10th (21).
Powered by a strong distance corps, Brownstown topped the field in the girls chase with 112 points to Corydon Central’s 105. North Harrison placed fifth with 31 points and South Central was seventh with 22.
The most outstanding athletes for the night were Winter Holman of Brownstown in girls track, Corydon’s Heather Timberlake in girls field events, Brian Wolfe of Paoli in boys field events, and Quentin Combs of Corydon Central for boys track.
The meet was held at Corydon Central for the first time in the 28-year history of the event due to North Harrison’s temporary lack of a press box and lighting at its track facility.
Perhaps the quick track at Corydon, coupled with ideal running conditions, were the reasons for a cluster of new or tied records. Six six new girls standards were set and one tied while the boys saw three marks equaled and one bettered.
“We played all our cards and it took it all (to win),” Zimmerman said. “Brian Hoehn in the vault — that was a season best for him. Steven Walker has a season’s best in the highs. Jimmy Conrad, in the discus, he keeps going. A lot of our relays were consistent and smart, too.
“We had a talk earlier this week and told them that’s where it starts, with this meet. There were some good teams tonight. It was a balanced meet, probably more so that it’s been in a lot of years. Paoli was good and Brownstown was good, so it made it interesting.”
Even with a cast on his arm, Corydon’s Combs won the 110 (15.8) and 300 (40.91) hurdles and was second in the 200 dash to Brownstown’s Levi Nehrt, who tied the meet record of 22.7.
Nehrt also tied the meet record in the 100 in 11.1 seconds.
“Quentin had a good meet considering he had surgery on his wrist on Tuesday,” Zimmerman said. “He’s been in a sling all week. Today was the first day he got out of it.”
The Panthers’ freshman 400-meter relay team also tied a meet record by finishing in 47.7 for a blue ribbon while the ninth-grade mile crew was second to Paoli.
Corydon scored another first in the varsity 1600 relay in 3:36.44; Jimmy Conrad won the discus with a toss of 150 feet and Brian Hoehn scored first in the vault by clearing 12 feet even.
Steven Walker was third in the 400 in 53.43.
North Harrison coach Dana Striegel said his club was after individual bests more so than wins and it showed: there were nine personal bests and one individual winner.
In the 1600 run, North Harrison freshman Ryan Byrne won and set a personal best time of 4:32, edging Carl Roberts of Austin by two seconds.
“As long as my guys keep running faster and keep posting personal bests, I can’t ask for much more,” Striegel said. “If you go out and throw, run, jump or whatever, better than you’ve done before, that’s all you can ask. If you keep doing that, then everything else will take care of itself.”
North’s Steve Throckmorton was second in the 300 hurdles (42.33); Scott Robertson took second in the 3200 in 10:24.3, and Byrne was third in 10:32.4 in the same race.
North’s two-mile relay team finished second to Austin in 8:38 as well.
South Central’s highlight finish came from Aaron Vaught, who was second in the 400 in 52.88. Sam Hawkins of Paoli won the event in 52.09.
Corydon’s girls were victims of circumstance in the team standings.
Brownstown had overpowering distance runners while Providence had a dominating sprint corps, so both teams basically cancelled each other out. The balanced Lady Panthers were hurt by the two teams because they don’t excel in any one area but are pretty good everywhere.
In the 16 events, four wins were achieved by Corydon Central: the 3200 relay team (Sunny Hipple, Colleen Merk, Brooke Timberlake, Kristina Fessel) was first in 10:32; the freshmen 1600 relay team (Jesse Rhodes, Sarah Carver, Miranda Melton, Betsy Craig) won in 4:42; Hyla Kitterman beat North’s Clara Rickman in the long jump with a distance of 15-7 1/2, and Heather Timberlake tripped up highly-favored Diana Zipp of Providence in the high jump with a leap of 5-2.
“It’s The Courier-Journal jinx,” said Corydon coach Michael Uhl. Zipp had been featured in a C-J Spotlight feature just a few days before the meet. “For the last few meets, everybody that’s had a story about them in The Courier-Journal has not performed very well the next meet,” Uhl said. “We’ve all been looking at the paper to see who’s going to be next.”
“We like for the kids to have the publicity,” Uhl said when asked if he would keep the daily away from his runners. “We just won’t let them run the next meet,” he joked.
Timberlake threw 109-0 in the discus; however, Providence’s Jill Andres had a toss of 129-3 1/2 for a new record. Providence’s Lindsey Brown also set a new mark with 12.5 seconds in the 100 to beat Corydon’s Kitterman.
Britney Freiberger of Providence established a new record in the 100 hurdles, 16.2 seconds, while the Lady Pioneers’ 400 relay quartet won in 50.8 (another meet record) with Corydon taking second in 52.02.
Brownstown’s Winter Holman had a clean sweep, winning the 400 (1:00.98), 800 (new meet record time of 2:21), the 1600 (5:30), and she was part of the mile relay team that set a meet record of 4:16.3.
Corydon’s Sunny Hipple was second to Holman in the 800 and third in the 1600, while teammate Colleen Merk was third in the 400. The Lady Panthers’ mile relay team also scored a show finish to the Lady Braves’ record-breaking bunch.
North Harrison’s freshman 400 relay team was third in 57.53, falling to Brownstown’s foursome, who tied a meet record with 55.5.
South Central’s 4×200 relay placed third in 2:00.54.
In the shot put, Jessie Cole of Austin threw 32-8 1/2 to nudge out Brittany Grut of North Harrison by one inch.
“Some of our girls aren’t feeling very well,” said North coach Tracy Kerns. “Gayla (Schmelz) went home after the first race. Mariah (Yates) doesn’t have any energy. Clara (Rickman) has a strained muscle. It’s that time of season where everybody starts getting hurt.
“It seems like everything we could do well in tonight we haven’t. The competition is really good.”
Some information for this story was gathered by Wade Bell of The Clarion News.