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NA’s mudders cruise; Merk champ in 400

NA’s mudders cruise; Merk champ in 400
NA’s mudders cruise; Merk champ in 400
Corydon Central senior Colleen Merk leads the field down the stretch for home during last night's second heat of the 400 dash. (Photos by Alan Stewart)

New Albany’s girls set the tone early for last night’s wet and wild Corydon Central Track Sectional by winning the 3200 relay in record-breaking fashion.
The success in that event snowballed into the team’s seventh straight sectional title, and sent sophomores Lyndsay Overton and Sarah Bielski into a celebration that included several slides in the mud in the track’s infield area.
The Lady Bulldogs won all but five events in turning in a total of 159 points, which was 62 better than the night’s most surprising team, Borden. The Lady Braves, with just 12 athletes, scored 97 points, followed by Corydon Central (89), Floyd Central (74), Crawford County (36), Eastern (30), Salem (26), South Central (22), North Harrison (21), Lanesville (13), Graceland Christian (9) and West Washington (4).
On the local front, Corydon Central’s Colleen Merk was the only individual champion as she brought home the gold in the 400 dash in a time of 1:02.
‘This was definitely a goal of mine,’ Merk said. ‘Winning sectional and winning conference was what I set out to do. I’ve been thinking about it all day and all week.’
Merk used starting blocks in the event for the first time.
‘It just helps my starts, so my dad and I came out here and worked on them and it paid off. I think if I can get in the fast heat at the regional next week, I have a shot at making it to state. Since I already reached my other goals, that’s my new one: making it to state.’
The top four finishers in each event advance to next Tuesday night’s Bedford-North Lawrence Regional.
South Central freshman Sarah Pease was fifth in the two-mile, but because New Albany’s Melissa Burgin scratched out of the regionals, will still advance.
In the 3200 relay, which NA set a record time of 9:57.56 to shatter the old mark of 10:00.70 set in 1999, Crawford County was third and Corydon was fourth.
The 400 relay saw the Lady Panthers finish runner up to New Albany.
Sophomore Lady Panther Jessi Rhodes, competing in her first meet in several weeks because of injury, was second in the long jump, third in the 100 and fourth in the 200.
Lanesville’s Shelby Acton came through for fourth in the 100 as well.
Alecia Forbes nosed out Corydon teammate by .02 second for fourth place in the 100 hurdles.
South Central’s Ashley Koons, who pulled a hip flexor muscle at Saturday’s Southern Athletic Conference meet, was beat out down the stretch by Borden’s Lisa Heiny by a heart-breaking .84 second for fifth place in the 400.
Corydon’s Jackie Melton was runner up in the 300m hurdles, South Central’s Amanda Hornickle was third in the discus, North Harrison’s Angela Collard was fourth (the only Lady Cat to advance) and Jamie Babcock was fourth in the shot put for the Lady Rebels.
Corydon’s Sarah Esarey jumped 15-3 in the long jump for third place and a spot in the regionals, Crawford County’s Jessica Benham was fourth and Lanesville’s Acton was fifth by just 1/2-inch.
The Lady Panther quartet was second in the mile relay in 4:24.17, with Crawford fourth.
‘I thought we ran really good tonight,’ Corydon coach Michael Uhl said. ‘It was nice to have Jessi (Rhodes) back after she was out for so long. Of course, Colleen’s win was good for us and for her, all three relay teams made it out. It was just a good night.
‘We wanted to try to be in the top two at conference and sectional and we fell a little bit short here. Borden had an incredible meet and New Albany was New Albany. Borden just ate up the world in the field events and sprinkled in some other high finishes, too.’
— Jeffersonville’s girls track sectional was postponed last night due to rain. No results were available from other meets that feed into Bedford.