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Depth improving at Corydon and North

Several regional qualifiers, along with two state qualifiers, return this season in girls’ track and field. Corydon Central High School’s Meghan Bussabarger and Gretchen Zimmerman made appearances at state and both aspire to get there again. Several freshmen at Lanesville, South Central and North Harrison are expected to boost the talent level of those teams as the season is set to begin.
Corydon Central
The Lady Panthers return a pair of state qualifiers in senior Gretchen Zimmerman (long jump) and junior Meghan Bussabarger (high jump, hurdles). Coach Kyle Jones said Zimmerman has improved even more in the offseason. Nerves got the best of her at the state meet, and with the experience of the state’s biggest stage out of the way, expect a strong senior campaign out of Zimmerman.
Claire Hardsaw gives Corydon Central another shot at a state contender in the pole vault. Jones said he is very hopeful the senior can make it. Overall in the field events, Jones said the team is looking solid. The addition of several throwers helps give overall team depth in a spot that was lacking in previous years.
There are about 25 to 27 girls out this season for track, giving the team several options in running events. There are several improving freshmen and sophomores who will figure out their best distances come midway through the season.
‘We’ll treat the early meets as practice and conditioning, then compete at our best come conference and sectional,’ Jones said.
Brittney Gayhart returns for her final run as a senior for the Lady Eagles, hoping to continuously improve in throwing events.
‘With her work ethic and her drive, I expect good things to happen with her,’ coach Brian Book said. ‘She really came along at the end of last season.’
Gayhart has been working with assistant coach Bob Winstead in throwing events. Also in field events, Ashley Wright and Chelsea Parsons will throw for the Lady Eagles.
Newcomer Rachel Butler, a freshman, is a distance runner Book expects to run anywhere from the 800-meter run to the 2-mile race.
‘She’s up for anything,’ he said.
Lanesville doesn’t have the numbers to compete as a team, but Book said each individual is putting out the effort thus far to improve.
North Harrison
Overall, the girls’ track team has a solid mixture of athletes who are willing to take on whichever event they are placed in.
Last season, the Lady Cats concluded the season with seven athletes. This year, coach Karen Rothrock currently has 15 girls on the squad. Filling events was impossible last season, but with twice the team members, it should be more applicable.
‘We have a lot of new talent,’ Rothrock said. ‘Our freshmen look good in practice. We’ll get to see soon at meets where they stand.’
The second-year coach likes the dedication of the team, which is elevating the excitement level for the upcoming meets.
A pair of regional qualifiers ‘ Ramona Taylor and Laurinda Cockerham ‘ return, both in field events. Taylor performed well in the high jump and Cockerham in the discus throw.
With a majority of field events featuring solid returners, Rothrock will sort out the runners according to their preferred distances when the season unfolds. Cross-country runner Amber Gresham, a regional qualifier in the fall, returns to the track as a distance runner.
South Central
Overall numbers are a bit down for coach Virgil Casper, but the six individuals who make up the Lady Rebels’ track team are eager to get going.
Abby Day returns for her sophomore season after qualifying for regionals as a freshman last year in the shot put. Casper said he hopes Day can continue where she left off last season and return to regionals.
Annette Reas is an experienced returnee in the hurdles. She will be joined by talented freshman Shelby Miller, who Casper expects to have a great year. Danyale Libka is another freshman on the team who will compete in the hurdles and the high jump.
Rounding out the team is Anna Day, Abby’s sister, who also competes in the discus and shot put along with Caitlin Hasty. Hasty is a sprinter who excels in the 100- and 200-meter runs.
‘Our freshmen will be a nice surprise,’ Casper said. ‘Miller is a tremendous athlete. I think the 300 hurdles were made for her especially if she gets it down.’