Panthers dominate conference
There may come a time when a team in the Mid-Southern Conference can unseat Corydon Central in boys track, but this year definitely does not qualify.
Extraordinary depth powered the Panthers to their eighth-straight Mid-Southern Conference championship Thursday night and tenth title overall. North Harrison, which hosted the event, wound up fourth.
Only one hand-held timing record was established ‘ by a Panther, no less ‘ as senior Quentin Combs whipped the field by two seconds in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.6.
Of the 16 events, Corydon won just six but had top finishes throughout the meet.
Among the winners, Combs had three wins, taking the 300m hurdles, the 110m hurdles (15.2) and the long jump (20-11).
Billy Saulman, a freshman, won the 400 in a personal best time of 50.9, and senior Jon Windell provided one of the most memorable moments of the meet when he cleared 13-0 in the vault for the first time in competition.
Clearing the bar was just part of the scene: a throng of his Panther teammates lined one side of the runway and started a slow, rhythmic clapping that progressed as he prepared to make his attempt.
‘That was pretty awesome,’ Windell said. ‘We did that yesterday at the end of practice, and it really got me pumped up. I’m not sure I could have cleared it today if they hadn’t started doing that. It’s always great when you have your teammates and people cheering for you. It gets your adrenaline pumping and everything.
‘Considering I cleared it yesterday in practice when they did that, I would have been really upset if I didn’t get over the bar today. This is pretty awesome.’
Corydon coach Kerry Zimmerman said the spectacle was one he’ll remember for a long time.
‘That was just really neat because when they started that clapping, there were people in the stands that started watching, people at the discus and shot started watching, and people who don’t normally pay attention to the vault started watching. It brought a lot of attention to that sport,’ Zimmerman said. ‘As a coach, you like to see that team participation, too.’
Corydon’s 3200 relay was second in 8:25.9 to North Harrison’s quartet, which won in 8:22.9.
The race was close throughout, with Corydon’s Corey Thatcher challenging North’s Ryan Byrne for 500 meters in the final leg. In the last 300, however, Byrne had enough gas in the tank to pull away to the narrow victory.
‘We’ve just got so much depth this year, it’s hard for other teams to match us up and down the line,’ Zimmerman said. ‘There were a lot of good people there, but our depth just wears people down. A lot of teams have one or two or three good kids, but in a meet that size, there are a lot of points available, and you need more athletes who can score for you. Even if you go fourth and fifth, that’s nine points, and it’s just like winning an event.’
Zimmerman said the entire team has made the turn toward more speed work thanks to a heavy week of practice.
‘Our 3200 team had its second best time ever and ran 10 seconds faster than in the previous week. I think they have a shot at the school record. Sean Kravitz was the key in that race. I think he ran a 2:02 and stayed up front early, and we challenged the whole way,’ Zimmerman said.
Corydon’s Brandon Wood was second in the 100 in 11.4, and Corey Thatcher was third in the 800 in 2:08.1.
North Harrison failed to win any other event but had several other top finishes.
Ryan Byrne was second to Austin’s Carl Roberts in 4:34, with Scott Robertson third in 4:34.2. Also, Jordan Waiz came home third in the 400 in 52.0.
‘We were just hoping to get second place in the meet,’ said North coach Dana Striegel. ‘I just tell my guys to go out there every meet and do their best and let the points take care of themselves. The 3200 was a personal best, Waiz had a personal best in the 400, and that’s what we are after.
‘We’ve only got 12 guys competing, and probably five or six are the ones doing the scoring. We’ve got some youth, so things are looking up. We didn’t have any hurdlers to start the season, and now we have two young guys.’
The boys sectional is Thursday night at Corydon Central. Field events start at 6 p.m., the 3200 relay at 6:30, running event trials start at 6:45, and finals at 7:30.
South Central wins seventh-straight SAC track championship
The Rebels won their seventh-straight Southern Athletic Conference title on Saturday in Charlestown, with the Lady Rebels finishing third to Borden and New Washington.
Lanesville was fourth in both the boys and girls team races.
Aaron Vaught set a new conference standard in the 400 after turning in a win in 50.78. He also won the 200 in 23.54.
South’s 3200 relay team won in 8:57.78 and its mile relay took the top spot in 3:42.53.
Daniel Newman blazed the 110m hurdles course in 16.27 for the win and followed the effort up with a first in the 300m hurdles as well in 43.82. Newman’s abilities led him to victory in the long jump with a leap of 17-9 3/4.
Ben Hanus had a throw of 129-5 in the discus for the victory.
The Eagles were not shut out on the day’s events, with Brian Hambley winning the half-mile in 2:11.88 and David Barr zipped the 100-meter dash coursein 11.2.
Lanesville’s Shelby Acton picked up two wins on the afternoon, winning the 100 in 13.56 and the long jump at 15-1/2.
South freshman Sarah Pease was also a double-winner, taking the 100m hurdles in 19.06 and the two-mile in 12:41.60.
Jamie Babcock also had a win for the Lady Rebels with a put of 33-1 1/4.