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Like kissin’ the sister: NA, FC tie for sectional title

With the shot put and 1,600-meter relay left to score, the Corydon Panthers held a 110-104 edge over Floyd Central in the track sectional at Corydon Thursday night. Following the final two events, however, Corydon was pushed back to third and Floyd Central and New Albany shared a 119-119 tie for the championship.
‘We pretty much knew we were done,’ Corydon coach Kerry Zimmerman said. ‘We were really just out of people because we went with one of our alternates in the 4×400. The only thing we could count on was, we had to have that type of meet and hope that Floyd or New Albany would have a disaster somewhere.’
‘We had some really good performances and we just kept scoring and scoring here and there,’ Floyd Central coach Lane Oxley said. ‘We scored in every single event. We never went dry. We weren’t expected to do anything in the hundred, and our kid got fifth. He was seeded 10th. It was just little things, and those things add up. It was amazing it came down to 119 to 119 and one team couldn’t get one more point.’
Corydon got a strong start in the field events, going 1-2 in both the high jump and pole vault. In the high jump Shaun Walker and Chad Backherms turned that event into a jump off going back and fourth. Both jumpers finally went out at 6-5 with Walker getting the win on fewer misses.
After a technical error kept him out the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference meet in the shot put, Crawford County’s Joey Speece came to the sectional on a mission to get to the regional. While the shot put is his better event, Speece powered up a distance of 140 feet, 10 inches in the discus to finish fourth, more than nine feet over his best. Speece had to settle for seventh in the shot.
‘That’s what I can here for,’ he said. ‘Since I got messed up in conference, I wanted to show here that I could get out. I wanted to take (coach Lance) Stroud to the regional. Now, I’ve done it.
‘I was just in that state of mind that I wanted to get out. I didn’t care. I just got up there and was loose and let it fly. If I feel like I’m in practice, then everything goes together. When I get in a meet and start thinking about it and technique, it just goes crazy. It’s definitely better than last week.’
Floyd’s Brad Robertson stunned everybody in the first of the distance events, the 1,600-meter run. Robertson got a big jump on the field at the gun while Floyd’s and New Albany’s number ones, Ben Draper and Eric Schulz, respectively, were left back in the pack. Robertson eventually gained a 40-meter lead. With a lap to go, Schulz made a charge at Robertson but ran out of room, Robertson getting a one-second win.
Robertson knew Schulz was coming at the end.
‘I heard everybody yelling, ‘Brad go!’ ‘ Robertson said. ‘I was scared. I wanted to win this bad. I’ve never beat Eric in a race before, and I’ve never won a sectional championship. This is just a great blessing, opportunity. It’s crazy.’
In the 400-meter relay, Corydon’s Billy Saulman had to hold off a charging Jeffrey Lane of New Albany in the final hundred meter sprint. With 30 meters to go, Lane was two steps behind. At the finish, however, it took a big-time lean out of Saulman to get the win. The difference between the two runners was just 0.01 of a second. Saulman’s dive at the end left him with a saucer-sized strawberry on his shoulder as he hit the asphalt.
Saulman also finished fourth in the long jump, fourth in the 100 meters and second in the 200 meters.
In the 800-meter run, Crawford County’s Chris Humphrey had his sights on a regional spot and took the early lead. Humphrey held the advantage till about a hundred meters to go, with South Central’s Craig Blackman seeing a door open when Humphrey faded. Blackman charged to the front bringing runners with him. The Rebel senior went on to win in a time of 2:06.40.
The 3,200-meter run began as a battle between Schulz and Draper. The pair swapped the front position back and forth in the early laps while Floyd senior Mark Hamilton watched the pair a few steps back. At just over halfway, Hamilton moved around Schulz for second and closed on Draper. The pair ran together for several meters, then Hamilton went out in front for good. Hamilton kicked at the end to get a three-second win over Draper, with Schulz a distant third, 25 seconds back.
‘I knew it was going to be the three of us,’ said Hamilton, who covered the distance in a personal best of 9:52.57. ‘We’re the only ones that’s broken 10 (minutes) all year. I wanted to go a little faster. I came back with a good time for the second mile.’
Hamilton said he just ran patiently and waited for his chance to get by Schulz and Draper.
‘I was behind Schulz, and by lap five, he was beginning to slow down,’ Hamilton said. ‘I had to go around him. Ben had been leading for a while, so I thought I’d go ahead and pass him, then we swapped off. It was like an ego battle ‘ who has enough energy to lead the last lap. Unfortunately, Ben had been leading all the other laps. I’ve never beaten Schulz in track before. One of my coaches said he’s having a bad day. As soon as we were done with the first mile, I could see it.’
‘The distance events, it was our night,’ Oxley said. ‘Eric Schulz was a lot better runner than what he showed tonight. I think they’ve got a shot to win regional. They’ve got five athletes we don’t have that are going to go big.’
Corydon failed to score in the shot put. Meanwhile Corey Reece and Bryan Chamberlain picked up a third and fifth, respectively, for some valuable points for the Highlanders. That left the 1,600-meter relay to make the final determination.
The Panthers held the edge during the first leg, just in front of Floyd. South Central then made a move by Floyd, and then Corydon, to lead. On the second leg, the Rebels had the best hand-off and gained some ground, but Borden was making a charge, sending both Corydon and Floyd backwards.
On the third leg, Floyd began to fall further behind while Corydon challenged for third. That lasted only briefly, however, as Floyd charged by Corydon and back into fourth. Borden went on to win the event with New Albany coming in second. South Central finished third and Floyd finished two seconds ahead of Corydon for fourth place.
Oxley and Zimmerman both sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the final scores while the New Albany team listened intently as well, thinking it, too, were in the running. At the end Corydon had been pushed back to third while Floyd and New Albany finished in a tie.
‘We had first and second in the high jump and one-two in the pole vault and one and four in the hurdles, and I knew we had a track meet then,’ Zimmerman said. ‘We had a chance. Somewhere along the line I kept waiting for New Albany to mess up, but it just didn’t happen. I didn’t know Floyd was hanging in there that well.’
Team Scores – Floyd Central 119, New Albany 119, Corydon 114, Borden 82, South Central 82, Salem 39.5, North Harrison 32.5, West Washington 29, Lanesville 20, Crawford County 18, Pekin Eastern 4, Christian Academy 2
Individual Results (Top 4 to Regional) – 100-meter Dash-1. Jeffrey Lane (NA) 10.86, 2. Billy Saulman (Co) 11.22, 3. James Henderson (Co) 11.45, 4. Jaren Kinnaird (NA)11.70; 2. 200-meter Dash-1. Jeffrey Lane (NA) 22.33, 2. Billy Saulman (Co) 22.87, 3. Zach Sharp (NA) 23.47, 4. Russell Farris (SoCent) 23.77; 400-meter Dash-1. Zach Sharp (NA) 50.83, 2. Alex Kleinke (NH) 53.43, 3. Russel Farris (SoCent) 53.53, 4. Brandon Johnson (FC) 53.76; 800-meter Run-1. Craig Blackman (SoCent) 2:06.40, 2. Joshua Vaughn (WW) 2:07.69, 3. Aris Brown (NA) 2:08.28, 4. Garret Blackman (FC) 2:08.34; 1600-meter Run-1. Brad Robertson (FC) 4:39.04, 2. Eric Schulz (NA) 4:40.04, 3. Ben Draper (FC) 4:45.62, 4. Robert Hagest (Bor) 4:45.72; 3200-meter Run-1. Mark Hamilton (FC) 9:52.57, 2. Ben Draper (FC) 9:56.07, 3. Eric Schulz (NA) 10:17.34, 4. Alexander Rice (NA) 10:19.25; 110-meter H. Hurdles-1. Kyle White (Co) 15.35, 2. Daniel Hoskins (FC) 15.41, 3. Brad Coats (Bor) 15.55, 4. Matt Karnes (Co) 15.62; 300-meter I. Hurdles-1. Brad Coats (Bor) 40.69, 2. Clayton Welbourn 41.01, 3. Kyle White (Co) 41.99, 4. Stephen Cooke (SoCent) 43.34; 400-meter Relay-1. Corydon 43.97, 2. New Albany 43.98, 3. Floyd Central 46.57, 4. Salem 46.65; 1,600-meter Relay-1. Borden 3:32.00, 2. New Albany 3:38.21, 3. South Central 3:39.22, 4. Floyd Central 3:41.16; 3,200m Relay-1. Floyd Central 8:31.22, 2. Borden 8:35.82, 3. South Central 8:47.10, 4. Corydon 8:54.36; High Jump-1. Shaun Walker (Co) 6-4, 2. Chad Backherms (Co) 6-4, 3. Ben Leatherby (Sa) 6-0, 4. Marty Hill (NH) 6-0; Pole Vault-1. Matt Karnes (Co) 11-0, 2. Pat Lasher (Co) 11-0, 3. Kyle Boling (Bor) 10-0, 4. Mitch Montoux (FC) 10-0; Long Jump-1. Clay Welbourn (Bor) 21-1, 2. Bryan Schroeder (NH) 21-1/2, 3. Daniel Hoskins (FC) 20-6-1/2, 4. Billy Saulman 20-1; Shot Put-1. Josh Wells (NA) 55-9, 2. Tom Richmer (Lnsvl) 50-4, 3. Corey Reece (FC) 49-7, 4. Brentt Zelivetz (WW) 47-2; Discus-1. Josh Wells (NA) 173-2, 2. Tom Richmer (Lnsvl) 151-1, 3. Logan Chanley (Bor) 149-7, 4. Joey Speece (CC) 140-10