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County girls hit track’s regional ball

The competition at the Bedford Girls’ Track Regional was the toughest in many years, and both Crawford and Harrison counties saw themselves shut out of the state finals in Indianapolis Saturday.
Crawford and Corydon both competed in the 3,200m relay, with the Lady Pack in the faster heat and seeded seventh overall. It was not a good run for Crawford, however, which finished out of the top eight.
In the 400-meter run, only 1.1 seconds separated the first seven seeds, with Corydon’s Colleen Merk seeded in the sixth spot. In the end, however, Merk found herself out of the top eight and out of the points.
‘It did (increase the pressure), because we were so close,’ she said. ‘We started off so quick, at least I did. Where usually I feel OK, at the end I felt just lost and locked up.’
Merk’s seeding also put the senior on a farther lane she wasn’t used to.
‘You think you’re in the lead all the way,’ Merk said, ‘then the stagger makes up and you realize you’re not. I hadn’t run that far out in the stagger the entire year, so it was different. I’m disappointed, but I ran for four years and I’m running college, so it’s not really over yet. I’m still in my prime.’
South Central’s Sarah Pease was looking for a good race in the 3,200m run, and got a good start running, with the first three places through the first 800 meters. On the third lap, however, Pease began to fall back, and Floyd Central’s Uhl began to move up to third. With a thousand meters to go, Uhl battled Silver Creek’s Brittany Book for second and took the position.
South Central’s Pease said she wanted a good start and that helped her get a good result, even though it was out of the top eight.
‘It’s harder to come from behind than keep going,’ Pease said. ‘I was kind of nervous, but I was excited to see how I could do. That was the fastest first mile I’ve ever run. I probably needed more miles during the season, but I was still happy with how I did. I was seeded next to last. I think I got under 12:32, and that’s my personal best. I’m happy with it.’
Corydon coach Mike Uhl won’t take any of his runners to the state finals this year to compete, but the Lady Panther coach said the team improved during the season in a year of tough competition.
‘If you had seen us at the beginning of the season, we’ve improved tremendously over the year,’ Uhl said. ‘We weren’t very good at the beginning of the year. In certain things, we ran about was well as (we) could run all year or a little bit better.’
‘Our goal at the beginning of the year was to at least finish in the top two in the conference and sectional. We did that in the conference. At the sectional, we tried to get as many people as we could here.’
Uhl said his runners still had good things happen despite the adversities.
‘The 4×400, that’s the best time they’ve ever ran,’ said the Corydon coach. ‘I had a 4:23, and they ran a 4:24 at the sectional. Jackie (Melton) had two really bad hurdles and still had a 52.3. That last one she almost came to a stop.
‘Colleen was in the low 63’s again, so we had some good things happen. The competition was just a little bit better than we were tonight. We had a good year, and it’s been a pretty good time.’