Panthers send hosts of athletes to Thursday’s regional in Bedford
Going into the final event, the 1600-meter relay, the Floyd Central Highlanders had a four-point edge Friday over county-rival New Albany at the boys’ track sectional at Corydon Central. One mistake would mean the difference in going home with a sectional championship or going home empty-handed.
That mistake almost happened, sending a gasp among the Highlander team, but Floyd hung on for its sixth straight championship.
‘We got it done,’ Floyd coach Lane Oxley said. ‘I thought we’d be top three going in there. If we could get the kids running, we were going to be fine.’
Floyd actually got things going the day before when the Highlanders’ 3,200-meter relay team beat out New Albany by just over three seconds to win the event. Heavy rains eventually caused the meet to be suspended until the next day, but Floyd’s win still counted, giving the Highlanders a good start to the meet.
‘It was good,’ anchor Will Naville said. ‘It was kind of nasty weather out here today. It was a good race. New Albany is always good competition in the 4-by-800. Our team just came together today and won.’
Naville said his team likes it when Mother Nature makes things interesting.
‘We like to run in the rain a lot,’ he said. ‘We do it at school in practice, so we’re used to this kind of stuff. We’re mudders, I guess, as Oxley calls us.’
Floyd had only one other win in the meet, and that came in the shot put as junior Corey Reece upset favorite Eean Huffman of Providence by six inches, with a distance of 50-1 over Huffman’s 49-7.
Corydon’s Ryan Eichmiller grabbed both of the hurdle events with wins to take into tomorrow’s regional meet at Bloomington. Eichmiller ran a 15.81-second 110-meter highs to Floyd’s Brock Slavens 16.87.
Eichmiller’s main competition, Clarksville’s Brent Lewellen, false started in the highs, but Lewellen came back in the 300-meter event to push Eichmiller harder. The Corydon sophomore, however, held on to win by just over a half-second margin.
North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne handily won the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:27.07 to take into tomorrow regional.
‘I ran it a little bit different this race,’ the Cougar sophomore said. ‘My first lap was a little bit quicker than I liked, and my last lap wasn’t as quick, so they kind of substituted each other. The first lap was 63 (seconds), and I usually want about 67 or 68.
‘I knew they were close. I was hoping that if I pushed the pace, they wouldn’t be able to hang. There at about the 800, I could tell they were falling back, and I tried to listen for my splits and work on it. I’m still doing it, so it’s working.’
North Harrison’s Corey Isaac finished second in the 100-meter dash to advance. Teammate Jared Richards finished third in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle events for regional berths, and the Cougars also finished fourth in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays. Matt Bruderle was third in the long jump for the Cougars, and Alan Austin finished second in the discus.
Crawford County’s 400-meter relay team finished fourth for the school’s only regional spot, and Lanesville’s Asher Pursell was third in the discus. The top four of each event qualify for the regional.
Corydon’s Sean Ettinger was a two-event winner, in the long jump and 400-meter dash. Ettinger got a push in the 400 by teammate and defending champion Casey Priddy, as the pair completed a 1-2 sweep. Ettinger won the long jump with a distance of 20-5.75.
Mason Kimmel helped Floyd’s cause with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run, won by New Albany’s Adam Lutz.
In the 200-meter dash, Floyd’s Logan Eberle was neck and neck with New Albany’s Melvin Posey with 40 meters to go. In the end, however, Posey hung on for the win, just two-tenths of a second over the Floyd junior.
‘I was just wore out,’ Eberle said. ‘I felt like I had a good start. Toward the end of the curve, I kind of slowed down. I felt like if I had 10 more meters, I would have had him.’
North Harrison’s Byrne found himself pushed a little harder in the 3200 meters, followed by Floyd’s Justin Hodge and Will Cox and Clarksville’s Billy Wink. Byrne finally pulled away in the last 600 meters to earn a three-second win over Hodge, with Wink third and Cox fourth.
‘They were right by me, and I just tried to make a surge on one lap,’ he said. ‘It made a little more distance. They were gaining on me the last couple of laps. The first mile I felt great, then the last mile I was just tired. I knew they were pretty close. It definitely helps knowing somebody’s there.’
Hodge said his coach, Tim Korte, had him run a more strategic race, holding back in the first half then picking up the pace.
‘I was just supposed to sit back, and coach told me at the mile I needed to go,’ Hodge said. ‘I’m just doing what they told me.’
Then came the final event, the 1600-meter relay, with Floyd leading by just four points. Just as the gun was getting ready to be fired by starter Ray Oppel, Floyd junior Ben Todd began to rock forward. The movement, very close to being a false start, wasn’t spotted, however, and the gun went off to begin the race. Floyd finished second in the event, with New Albany fifth, to seal the Highlanders’ sectional title.
‘We were trying to get two good athletes, two competitive kids in every event,’ Oxley said. ‘We finished behind Tyler. We finished behind the Lutz boy. We got second there. We got two kids to score in the pole vault. When you score two in a lot of events, you’re going to start racking up points.’
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Boys’ scores ‘ Floyd Central 122, New Albany 114, Corydon 94, North Harrison, Clarksville 63, Providence 53, Borden 39, Crawford County 14, South Central 12, Lanesville 10, Christian Academy 8
Boys’ results (Top 4 to regional) ‘ 100 ‘ 1. Melvin Posey (NA) 11.38, 2. Corey Isaac (NH) 11.47, 3. Emery Steele (Co) 11.61, 4. Lucas Wilson (Clkvl) 11.62; 200 ‘ 1. Melvin Posey (NA) 23.22, 2. Logan Eberle (FC) 23.42, 3. Dominique Southers (NA) 23.96, 4. Lucas Wilson (Clkvl) 24.10; 400 ‘ 1. Sean Ettinger (Co) 52.07, 2. Casey Priddy (Co) 52.90, 3. Nick Spencer (FC) 53.98, 4. William Young (NA) 54.16; 800 ‘ 1. Adam Lutz (NA) 2:00.5, 2. Bradley Strack (Prov) 2:03.12, 3. Mason Kimmel (FC) 2:03.12, 4. Adam Schocke (NA) 2:04.41; 1600 ‘ 1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 4:27.07, 2. Oliver Book (Prov) 4:32.59, 3. Will Naville (FC) 4:34.70, 4. Justin Hodge (FC) 4:38.48; 3200 ‘ 1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 9:55.10, 2. Justin Hodge (FC) 9:58.01, 3. Billy Wink (Clkvl) 10:02.55, 4. Will Cox (FC) 10:06.87; 110 Hurdles ‘ 1. Ryan Eichmiller (Co) 15.81, 2. Brock Slavens (FC) 16.87, 3. Jared Richards (NH) 16.93, 4. Brian Wagner (FC) 17.76; 300 Hurdles ‘ 1. Ryan Eichmiller (Co) 42.58, 2. Brent Lewellen (Clkvl) 43.17, 3. Jared Richards (NH) 43.49, 4. Brent Wehmiller (NA) 43.77; 400 Relay ‘ 1. New Albany 45.39, 2. Floyd Central 46.21, 3. Clarksville 48.07, 4. Crawford County 48.20; 1600 Relay ‘ 1. Corydon 3:33.92, 2. Floyd Central 3:35.35, 3. Clarksville 3:38.12, 4. North Harrison 3:38.72; 3200 Relay ‘ 1. Floyd Central 8:21.05, 2. New Albany 8:25.89, 3. Providence 8:30.82, 4. North Harrison 8:47.64; High Jump ‘ 1. Brett Wehmiller (NA) 6-2, 2. Chad Conrad (Co) 6-2, 3. Chad Salomon (Co) 6-2, 4. Austin Hammer (CA) 6-1; Pole Vault ‘ 1. Kyle Boling (Bor) 13-0, 2. Mitch Montoux (FC) 11-6, 3. Timmy Herchenrader (Clkvl) 11-0, 4. Vlad Bursue (FC) 11-0; Long Jump ‘ 1. Sean Ettinger (Co) 20-5-3/4, 2. Kyle Boling (Bor) 20-5, 3. Matt Bruderle (NH) 19-1, 4. Michael Beauchamp (Co) 18-9; Shot Put ‘ 1. Corey Reece (FC) 50-1, 2. Eean Huffman (Prov) 49-7, 3. Kyle Ratliff (NA) 48-4, 4. Caleb Reeves (Clkvl) 48-3; Discus ‘ 1. Eean Huffman (Prov) 149-5, 2. Alan Austin (NH) 146-3, 3. Asher Pursell (Lnsvl) 124-4, 4. Michael Short (NA) 122-4.