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NH’s Byrne rockets into another state final

North Harrison senior Ryan Byrne ran a personal best 4:17.58 in the 1,600-meter run and then came back to post a new school record in the 3,200 meters of 9 minutes, 25.04 seconds Thursday night at the boys’ track regional at Edgewood High School in Ellettsville.
His time in the mile stands as the best mark of the season in the entire state, and there are only two other competitors who have a faster time in the 3200.
‘I think dropping out of the 800 helped me a lot,’ said Byrne. ‘I’m glad I made that decision. I like to run the 800, but I think it was better for me to drop it.’
The 1,600-meter event began with Orleans freshman Jacob Smith getting about a 50-meter jump on the field in the opening lap.
‘I wasn’t worried,’ Byrne said. ‘I knew it was going to happen. I knew what he was doing.’
Smith began to fold on lap two, and Byrne moved up from the fourth position. The Cougar senior quickly made his way toward the front and pulled away from the lead group. Byrne’s pace increased through the last two laps, to put him under the 4:21 state standard.
A scoreboard was on the north end of the Edgewood track, but Byrne said he didn’t think to look early in the race. The senior was looking, however, after crossing the finish line.
‘I wasn’t looking at it until the end of my third lap,’ he said. ‘I was listening to my splits and I didn’t think about looking at the scoreboard. I’m really happy with my splits. They were right on for 4:20. That’s what I was going for. That last lap I just pushed it as hard as I could.’
Later in the 3,200 meters, Byrne played a different game. The North Harrison runner found himself boxed in at the start and pushed back to about 12th. Meanwhile, closer to the front, Floyd Central’s Ben Draper was in seventh, following New Albany’s Eric Schulz. By the third lap, New Albany’s Schulz was up to fifth, with Draper in fourth.
Byrne briefly made a move on the outside on lap four, but was shuffled back to eighth once again. At the halfway point, he began a frontal attack, as Draper took the lead. Byrne picked up his pace dramatically on the backstretch, passing three runners, then Draper, to take the lead. With three to go, Byrne started gapping the field, with Schulz moving up, as well.
‘I think he was trying to test his legs a little bit,’ said Byrne’s coach, Dana Striegel of Byrne’s early laps. ‘He knew the rest of those guys would fade a little bit toward the end. He let them pace, and it was a pretty quick pace. He thought, ‘That’s great. I’ll just stay here and let them take me a little bit.’ ‘
With two to go, Byrne’s lead was 50 meters and increasing. The North Harrison senior went on to win by a 14-second margin over Schulz, who nosed out Martinsville’s Adrien Dannemiller by one-hundredth of second for the runner-up spot.
‘On lap six, I told him to go,’ Striegel said. ‘I said, ‘Just go, if you’ve got anything left.’ He took off. That’s what he wanted. That’s the school record right there.’
Byrne’s 9 minute, 25.05 second run bettered the old school mark by 11 seconds.
‘I was going for both of them really,’ said Byrne, who also owns the 1,600-meter record. ‘I was very pleased with my time in the two-mile, as well. I couldn’t have wished for anything better. I always live by the rule, ‘It’s not how you start, but how you finish.’ ‘
In other events, Byrne’s teammate Bryan Schroeder had to deal with a shoe problem and finished seventh in the long jump, after being seeded fourth. Schroeder’s best jump of the night was 19 feet, 9-3/4 inches.
‘I don’t have the spikes I’ve been jumping with in the sectional,’ he said. ‘My spikes in these shoes are smaller. It’s two feet for me. It knocked my steps off. My best jump was 21-5.’
Floyd Central’s Steven Hnat had to settle for second in both the discus and shot put events behind Seymour’s Eric Werskey. Lanesville’s Tom Richmer produced a throw of 146 feet, 5 inches to finish fifth in the discus.
Corydon’s Shaun Walker finished fifth in the high jump for the Panthers at 6 feet, 2 inches. Walker’s teammate, Brandon Wood, scored one place in front of Schroeder in the long jump at 19 feet, 10-3/4 inches. South Central’s Russell Farris scored in the 200-meter dash with a seventh-place finish.
Crawford County freshman Chris Humphrey got his first taste of regional competition in the 800-meter run. Humphrey put himself up with the lead pack at the start of the race and briefly moved up to fifth in the first 200 meters. From there, however, he began to slip back as the more experienced runners took over. Humphrey would not score, finishing 10th, but he got a big education about the regional competition.
‘I pushed myself about as hard as I could go,’ he said. ‘I was ready for them to come out hard. I kind of figured they would have more of a kick than I did. It was either get up there and hold them off or let them go. I couldn’t do it. I’ll come out next year and improve my time.’
Crawford coach Lance Stroud said Humphrey’s time of 2:06.94 was exceptional for his first year in high school competition.
‘The first lap, he got real good position right in the pack,’ Stroud said. ‘The second lap coming into the third and fourth turn, he began losing quite a bit of ground. I think he had a 0:58 on his first lap. He was three seconds off what he had coming up here.
‘He had all that stiff competition breathing on his neck, so we saw what he could really do as a freshman. He ended his season wonderful. We’re real tickled with him and looking forward to next year.’
Team Scores ‘ Jeffersonville 82.5, Bloomington South 68, Bloomington North 59, Floyd Central 48, Seymour 43, Edgewood 38, New Albany 33.5, Clarksville 26, Mooresville 25, Charlestown 22, North Harrison 22, Orleans 18, Brownstown 17, Borden 17, Providence 16, Corydon 12, Mitchell 11, Owen Valley 10, Brown County 10, Madison 8, Pekin Eastern 5, Jennings County 4, Cloverdale 4, Lanesville 4, South Central 2, Monrovia 2, Loogootee 1, Bedford-NL 1.
Individual Results (Top three to state) – 100-meter Dash-1. Jeramie Gray (Jeff) 11.17, 2. Luke Arnold (Edg) 11.19, 3. Ryan Masters (Clkvl) 11.33; 200-meter Dash-1. Jeramie Gray (Jeff) 22.36, 2. Ryan Masters (Clkvl) 22.56, 3. Trey McCoy (Clkvl) 22.61, (7) Russell Farris (SCent) 223.71; 400-meter Dash-1. Johnte Potts (Sey) 49.38, 2. Zachary Scaggs (Mrsvl) 50.45, 3. Isiah Roberts (Edg) 50.65, (5) Brandon Wood (Co) 51.19, (6) Doug Bostock (FC) 51.85, (8) Brandon Johnson (FC) 52.90; 800-meter Run-1. Jeremy Brown (Ctwn) 1:57.40, 2. Adam Petersohn (BlmSo) 1:58.50, 3. Dustin Fuller (Jeff) 1:58.51, (7) Matt Riley (FC) 2:04.80; 1,600-meter Run-1. Ryan Byrne (NH) 4:17.58, 2. Max Gustaitis (BlmNo) 4:26.43, 3. Ryan Chastain (Mtcl) 4:28.42, (8) Brad Robertson (FC) 4:42.95; 3,200-meter Run-1. Ryan Byrne (NH) 9:25.04, 2. Eric Schulz (NA) 9:39.39, 3. Adrien Dannemiller (Mart) 9:39.40, (6) Ben Draper (FC) 9:53.77; 110-meter Hurdles-1. Josh Smith (O) 15.25, 2. Zach Koetter (FC) 15.26, 3. Brian Baker (Ctwn) 15.60; 300-meter Hurdles-1. Ryan Chapman (BlmSo) 39.59, 2. Brad Coats (Bor) 40.12, 3. Brian Baker (Ctwn) 40.42, (8) Zach Koetter (FC) 41.41; 400-meter Relay-1. Jeffersonville 43.13, 2. Martinsville 43.95, 3. Bloomington North 43.98, (5) Floyd Central 44.46; 1,600-meter Relay-1. Edgewood 3:23.47, 2. Jeffersonville 3:23.87, 3. Bloomington South 3:26.54, (5) Floyd Central 3:32.84; 3,200-meter Relay-1. Mooresville 8:07.22, 2. Bloomington South 8:10.26, 3. Brown County 8:17.73, (7) Floyd Central 8:38.67; High Jump-1. Donte Thomas (BlmNo) 6-4-1/2, 2. Dustin Fullerton (Jeff) 6-2, 3. Brandon Crockett (Brntn) 6-2, (5) Shaun Walker (Co) 6-2, (8) Adam Melton (Co) 6-0; Pole Vault-1. Trey Lockerbie (BlmSo) 15-0, 2. Jordan Enzinger (BlmNo) 14-9, 3. Dane Fox (BlmNo) 13-10, (7) Mitch Anderson (FC) 13-0; Long Jump-1. Josh Henson (OV) 22-1-3/4, 2. Dustin Fullerton (Jeff) 21-4-3/4, 3. Johnte Potts (Sey) 20-8-1/4, (6) Brandon Wood (Co) 19-10-3/4, (7) Brian Schroeder (NH) 19-9-3/4, (8) James Renton (FC) 19-8-3/4; Shot put-1. Eric Werskey (Sey) 59-8, 2. Steven Hnat (FC) 58-11, 3. Tommy Smith (BlmSo) 53-10; Discus-1. Eric Werskey (Sey) 186-3, 2. Steven Hnat (FC) 175-10, 3. Joshua Wells (NA) 153-8, (5) Tom Richmer (Lnvl) 146-5.
State final will lack county girls
While they put forth strong efforts, Harrison County girls were shut out of the state final after the Bedford-N.L. Regional last week.
Taking a trip through the schools: Corydon Central’s Jessi Rhodes was fourth in the 100 in 13.15 and 12th in the long jump (15-1/2); Kate Jones tied for sixth in the high jump (4-10); Stannye Wolfe was ninth in the discus (117-3) and 10th in the shot (32-8); freshman C.J. Reed was 11th in the mile in 5:52; Miranda Melton was 12th in the vault (8-0); and in the relay events, Corydon was 12th in the 400 (54.25), 12th in the 3200 (11:00.0) and 13th in the 1600 (4:25.93). For Lanesville, Erin Smith was 11th in the shot (31.5). For North Harrison, senior Clara Rickman was fourth in the long jump (16-2); freshman Amber Gresham was ninth in the 400 (1:03.48) and 13th in the long jump (15 1/4); Angela Collard was 11th in the discus (97-10); and the Lady Cats’ mile relay team was 10th in 4:19.17. South Central’s lone representative was Sarah Pease, who wound up eighth in both the mile (5:44) and two-mile (12:11) events. Crawford County’s Anna Bush came home 15th in the shot (30-1/2).