Zimmerman, Bussabarger off to state meet in field events
The Corydon Lady Panthers and Crawford County Lady Pack will send runners to the girls state track finals Saturday at the Indiana University track in Bloomington after qualifying at last Tuesday’s regional meet in Bloomington.
Corydon put two qualifiers in the field events. In the long jump, junior Gretchen Zimmerman flew 16 feet, 5 inches on her second attempt in the preliminary rounds. Zimmerman tried to better that distance in the finals but came up short. The Corydon junior was second after the prelims but then had to play a waiting game because of jumpers that were running finals in other events.
‘I was disappointed,’ Zimmerman said nervously while waiting. ‘I was going for 17, but I guess it wasn’t to happen. There was a 16-8.5 above me and that was a girl from Bloomington South. I was second in the finals but right now I’m third and anybody over 16-5 and I’m fourth. I’m sitting here closing my eyes thinking, ‘Please don’t jump over 16-5. I want to go to state.’ ‘
Zimmerman had to wait more than a half hour for the final results and got a scare from one jumper, but then breathed again when she found out her distance held up for third place.
‘I was sitting there watching all the girls and I was, ‘Oh my gosh.’ ‘ Zimmerman said. ‘The Brownstown girl (Ashley Allen), I watched her jump. She’s pretty good. She’s jumped like 17-2 last week, and the board was pretty close, and it was going to be close but it was 15-11. I was like, ‘Thank God.’ I was nervous.’
‘That’s about as nervous as I can be … I don’t know why,’ said Zimmerman’s coach and father, Kerry. ‘I think it’s because she works so hard for us. She wanted it real bad. As parents we want that also. It’s a nerve-wracking experience. I can feel it.’
It will be the junior’s first state finals competition. Zimmerman’s goal will be at least 17-4.
‘The only thing I’m thinking about at state is to better myself,’ she said, ‘Beat my own record.’
‘At state it’s more of a motivating,’ Kerry said. ‘Her landing we can get some more out of that. As far as the meet goes we’re about topped out. But you never know … You get some emotions going, and the track just feels good to you and you don’t know what can happen. It’s possible. I still think she can jump in the mid-17s.’
In the high jump there were four jumpers left after the 5-4 height and Corydon’s Meghan Bussabarger was one of them. The bar then went to 5-6, an inch over Bussabarger’s best and that made for some nerves for the sophomore.
‘What happened was we had four girls left,’ Bussabarger said. ‘Me, (Orleans’ Jessica Smith) and the Jeffersonville girl (Austina Smith)’ we all wanted to go to 5-5. But the rule is you can only move up an inch if one person is left.
Smith was the only one of the foursome to clear the height, coming on her final attempt. Bussabarger’s 5-4 on her first attempt earned the second spot.
‘The chick that wanted to move to 5-6, she didn’t clear 5-6,’ Bussabarger said. ‘Me and the Orleans girl both missed 5-6. So we started a jump-off. They left it at 5-6 so if we both missed it at 5-6 then they’d go down. I didn’t get 5-6 on my fourth jump. She (Smith) hit it, and it just landed back on perfectly. So she got it. She’s a nice girl and I’m happy for her but I’m just happy I’m going to state in the high jump.’
‘Meghan, she had the best jump I think I’ve seen her take at 5-4,’ Kerry Zimmerman said. ‘From where I stood she could have cleared 5-7 easy. She was three, three and a half inches over it. She got all caught up in the competition and the moment. The other three girls cleared it, they hit it and wiggled it and I could tell she was going to nail that one because there’s that competition and she got that adrenaline rush. As an athlete you have to be able to put yourself in that spot.’
Zimmerman said Bussabarger can not be ruled out for the top spot at the Bloomington state meet.
‘If she can get that, I told her 5-7 or 5-8 could win (at state),’ he said. ‘She can get that if she gets caught up in the competition, she could easily do that. You see that every year at the state meet. Somewhere in that meet there’s going to be that kid that’s a 15 seed and they’re going to come up and win because there’s that prize and they’re entitled and the competition itself.’
Bussabarger also qualified the state finals 100-meter hurdles event finishing second but will scratch out so she can focus on the high jump.
‘Me and him both agreed that I’ve excelled in high jump this year a lot more than last year,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to take a chance at state of falling and messing up the high jump. I just really want to do good in high jump this year.’
In another field event Corydon juniors Claire Hardaw and Kelly Eberle tied for fifth spot in the pole vault with heights of 9-feet even.
In the first of the running events, Crawford County’s 3200-meter relay team of Ashley Satterfield, Renee Darland, Morgan Kenner and Lauren Schaftlein were seeded fifth going into the regional event. They did a whole lot better.
Satterfield kept Crawford in their seeded position in her opening leg then Renee Darland moved the team up to fifth during her run on leg two. Morgan Kenner moved in closer on the fourth spot but didn’t improve the team standing. One thing she did do however, was close the ground between her and Edgewood to give Schaftlein someone to go after.
Schaftlein took the baton in fifth spot about 40 meters behind a battle going on for third between Madison and Edgewood. With 300 meters to go in the race the Madison and Edgewood runners began to slow from their battle and Schaftlein saw the door open. With 200 to go Schaftlein made the pass in the turn to take over third to the surprise of the runners in front of her. From there the Crawford junior pushed to give the Lady Pack a spot at the state finals. Crawford’s time was 10 minutes, 12 seconds, 14 seconds off the team’s own school record set the week before.
‘I can’t believe it!’ yelled Schaftlein after the race. ‘We’re going to state. Oh my gosh!’
Kenner said the team worked out their game plan after looking at the other seeded times.
‘We sat here and figured up the times and thought, ‘If everybody runs PR’s we can get a 10:10 and obliterate the school record,’ said Kenner. ‘That will get us in good position with Floyd.’ But I didn’t really think the race would happen like that.’
Schaftlein said seeing the two runners in front of her gave her that extra push to make the pass for third.
Schaftein’s night of surprises wasn’t done yet. The Crawford junior was seeded fifth in the 800 meter run but as before in the 3200-meter relay Schaftlein made a late pass with 200 meters to go to move into second place. Schaftlein fell one position behind on the stretch behind Bloomington North’s Maggie Wagner but held on to third for another state berth and another school record of 2:23.
Girls Scores – Bloomington South 95.5, Bloomington North 84, Madison 47.5, Jeffersonville 47, New Albany 38, Corydon 29, Brownstown 26, Floyd Central 21, Henryville 20, Monrovia 19, Bedford 17, Eastern Greene 16.5, Orleans 16, Silver Creek 15, Crawford County 14, Paoli 14, Martinsville 9, Seymour 9, Southwestern 8, Edgewood 8, Salem 7, Eastern (Pekin) 7, Mooresville 6, Scottsburg 6, White River Valley 5.5, Austin 5.5, Clarksville 5, Cloverdale 4, Providence 4, Owen Valley 4, Borden 4, Christian Academy 3, Brown County 3, Mitchell 2.5, New Washington 1, Crothersville 1, Bloomfield 1
Girls Results (Top 3 to State) – 100 ‘ 1. Shanice Gholson (Jeff) 12.65, 2. Heather White (Mad) 12.89, 3. Kersten Zorn (BS) 12.92; 200 ‘ 1. Kersten Zorn (BS) 25.94, 2. Heather White (Mad) 26.51, 3. Becky Kennedy (FC) 26.81; 400 ‘ 1. Maggie Gilstrap (Hryvl) 58.78, 2. Becky Kennedy (FC) 58.98, 3. Estee Outcalt (Mrsvl) 59.30; 800 ‘ 1. Autumn Hawkins (BS) 2:20.73, 2. Maggie Wagner (BN) 2:22, 3. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 2:23; 1600 ‘ 1. Kassie Kovert (Brntn) 5:11.61, 2. Molly Hirt (BN) 5:12, 3. Kristi Vest (EP) 5:16; 3200 ‘ 1. Audrey Thill (Pa) 11:39, 2. Zoe Withered (BN) 11:42, 3. Carly Derheimer (BS) 11:46; 100 hurdles ‘ 1. Alexander Hali (NA) 15.51, 2. Meghan Bussabarger (Co) 15.91, 3. Jessica Smith (O) 16.01; 300 Hurdles ‘ 1. Alexander Hali (NA) 46.01, 2. Lindsey Stevens (EG) 47.18, 3. Heather Stacey (SilCk) 48.25; 400 Relay ‘ 1. Bloomington South 50.16, 2. Jeffersonville 50.63, 3. Bloomington North 50.79; 1600 Relay ‘ 1. Bloomington South 4:06.67, 2. New Albany 4:08.00, 3. Bloomington North 4:11; 3200 Relay ‘ 1. Bloomington South 9:41, 2. Bloomington North 9:58, 3. Crawford County 10:12; High Jump ‘ 1. Jessica Smith (O) 5-6, 2. Meghan Bussabarger (Co) 5-4, 3. Betsy Head (BS) 5-4; Pole Vault ‘ 1. Stephanie Chin (BS) 12-0, 2. Andrea Newcom (Jeff) 10-0, 3. Kayla Held (WRV) 9-6; Long Jump ‘ 1. Maggie Gilstrap (Hryvl) 16-9, 2. Rachel Robertson (BS) 16-8 1/2, 3. Gretchen Zimmerman (Co) 16-5; Shot Put ‘ 1. Rachel Deloney (BN) 44-9, 2. Sabrina Johnson (Jeff) 39-3 1/2, 3. Tia Deaton (Sctbg) 38-0; Discus ‘ 1. Rachel Deloney (BN) 149-5, 2. Sabrina Johnson (Jeff) 148-8, 3. Sarah Baker (Brntn) 119-2.