Stargazer dominated by Corydon, Providence
The Corydon Panthers dominated their first big track meet of the season with a 41-point win over runner-up Floyd Central Friday night at the annual ‘Stargazer.’ Providence also won easily in the girls’ division, with a 58-point win, also over Floyd.
North Harrison was third in the boys chase and South Central as fourth. Lanesville wound up eighth.
On the girls side, Corydon was third, South Central was fifth, North Harrison was seventh and Lanesville was 10th.
Individually, South Central’s Sarah Pease was co-Most Outstanding Athlete with Silver Creek’s Kelsey Page and Ryan Byrne was the boys Most Outstanding Athlete.
The Panthers got a jump on rest of the field early, gathering a third of their points in the field events, winning three of those (long jump, pole vault and high jump). Corydon coach Kerry Zimmerman said success in the field events was important to success overall in the meet.
‘Obviously the field events are our thing,’ said Zimmerman, adding that a winning tradition at the school also makes a difference. ‘You have to have a good support staff with it. I know people get tired of seeing us clean up in the field events, but in the junior high we had a guy clear 5-10 in the high jump and we’ve got good long jumpers down there. It just keeps going.’
Adam Melton won the high jump for Corydon at 5-11 and Steven Walker was third at 5-10. Corydon went 1-3 in the long jump as well, which was won by Quentin Combs (20-9) and Brandon Wood third at 19-10 3/4. Jon Windell took the pole vault competition at 12-0.
Corydon’s 400 relay team set a new school record in the event with a time of 45.41. Michael Emily, Andrew Engleman, Zac Robson and Brandon Wood.
The former record was set in 1988 by Vince Daily, Mark Pigg, Michael Smith and Craig Engleman.
North Harrison’s quartet was second in the event.
In the first of the boys running events, North Harrison was strong in the 3,200-meter relay, and Crawford County placed second in both the girls’ and boys’ events, with the girls shattering their school record by a full minute.
The North Harrison boys’ literally ran away from the field in their 3,200-meter relay. A bad handoff on the last leg allowed Floyd Central to gain a little ground but anchor Ryan Byrne was not going to be caught.
‘Ryan was ready to go and Andrew (Wolseifer) gave it all he had to give and we barely got it in,’ said junior Scott Robertson. ‘I looked at the starter and he gave the safe sign. We’ve been practicing the blind handoffs. It works out well when you do it right. This is our second meet so we’ve still got a while to perfect it.’
In the 100m dash, Corydon’s Brandon Wood and Zac Robson were 2-3 and in the 110m hurdles, Quentin Combs scored the win in 15.36.
Combs came back to score an easy victory in the 300m hurdles in 41.49, with South Central’s Jared Wilkerson third in 45.27.
South Central’s Aaron Vaught captured the 200m run in 23.60, with Wood of Corydon second, and Vaught also won the 400 in 51.98, with Corydon’s Billy Saulman second.
It was a real battle for North Harrison’s Ryan Byrne and Scott Robertson and Graceland’s Tristan Mannix in the boys’ mile. Robertson had to make a strong move to get by Mannix, then went on with Byrne to sweep the event as well as the 800 and 3,200 meter runs.
‘It was a tough one,’ said Byrne after the 1,600 meters. ‘We just had to keep on running and try to get a good lead on the last straightaway. I think I’ve got a pretty good kick, and I just wanted to get a pretty good lead. I’m going for 4:25. Tuesday, I ran a 4:36, and that’s better than what I thought I would do at this point in the season.’
Kerry Zimmerman said competing hard was one of the main keys in his team’s success. The Corydon coach said Quentin Combs’ three close wins was an example of that.
‘We always like to see people compete real hard,’ said Zimmerman. ‘That’s what makes Quentin, ‘Quentin.’ He won the long jump by a quarter of an inch. He won the highs by three-hundreths and in the 4-by-100 he won by a hundredth of a second. That’s why he’s Quentin. He battles it out to the end.’
Sometimes, however, winning consistently and by big margins, like has happened in other areas, can lead to problems, like what almost happened to the Panther 1,600m relay team winning by just .01 of a second over Floyd Central.
‘Sometimes you’d almost rather lose a close one than win a close one,’ said Zimmerman. ‘That 4-by-400 team, which I think will be untouchable by the end of the year, showed that. They should be on the backstretch warming up but they’re not. They should see now there’s somebody else that can run. We need stuff like that so they can get in their focus in accomplishing stuff.’
‘A lot of track and field is timing. You have to time the season out, plan the season out to peak at the right time. You’ve got to be careful about how much running you do. Racing is hard and gets hard on your body so you’ve got to be careful how much of that you do.’
Silver Creek’s Kelsey Page destroyed the competition in the 1,600m run with a 25 second win over South Central freshman Sarah Pease, who had a strong second place finish. Crawford’s Sara Rothrock tried to hold on third but fell to fourth late in the race getting passed by Pekin Eastern’s Angie Sells.
Pease said as long as she could see Page she felt she could hang on to second place with a strong kick at the end.
‘I knew at the end if I didn’t kick at the 200 mark, they would beat me with their one hundred kick,’ said Pease. ‘I knew somebody was there because people starting yelling. I just knew I had to go, and if I went, then I would get it. If I could see Kelsey, I could get second because I concentrated with my eyes. My goal was to be in the top three, so I did exactly what I wanted.’
Pease also scored a third in the 300m hurdles.
The North Harrison Ladycats brought in a young team with new faces that finished seventh overall in the meet. Clara Rickman scored in the 100m and 200m dashes and long jump. Gayla Schmelz placed in the 300m hurdles. In other field events Jennifer Hulsebus scored in the high jump and Angela Collard scored in the discus. Brittany Grut was second in the shotput with a 34 feet, 4 inch throw.
‘We have a lot of underclassmen,’ said coach Traci Kerns. ‘We only have two seniors and two juniors. Our freshmen are inexperienced. They’re pretty good but they need a few meets to break them in.’
Jessi Rhodes of Corydon was second in the 100 and third in the 200 and Alecia Forbes was third in the 100m hurdles.
Amanda Hornickel was third in the discus for South Central with a toss of 103-11 and Lanesville Shelby Acton got up for second in the long jump with a leap of 15-10 1/2.
In the girls’ 800m run, Crawford’s Meghan Kelly and Chelsea Hollis tried to hold on to second and third only to see that slip away at the hands of Corydon’s Sarah Carver, who pushed up to second at the end.
North Harrison’s boys’ team finished third behind Floyd Central. Coach Dana Streigel said while the team’s strength is in distance events, the team needs help in other areas.
‘The distance guys doubled in everything last year and are trying to repeat it,’ said Streigel. ‘They’re tough. They’re tough in cross country and they work hard. They can do what they want to pretty much when they want to.’
‘Nobody is going to beat Corydon with the all the field event strength they have. They get 50 points before the track starts running. Everybody else has to try to catch up from 50 points behind.’
In the girls’ 3,200m run, Floyd Central’s Megan Uhl followed Silver Creek’s Brittany Book for much of the race then saw Book slow down. Uhl then pushed on to run a personal best of 11 minutes, 54.8 seconds.
Some information in this story by Alan Stewart, The Corydon Democrat.