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Cougars send two to state

Cougars send two to state
Cougars send two to state
North Harrison junior Tyler Byrne, left, passes ProvidenceÂ’s Oliver Book at the end of the third lap to take the lead and go on to win the 1,600-meter run. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The North Harrison Cougars and Floyd Central Highlanders will be well represented this weekend at the boys’ state finals with the Cougars sending two in three events and the Highlanders sending a host of runners in five events.
North Harrison’s Alan Austin and Floyd’s Ryan Lowery will compete in the field events for the two schools. Austin snapped a school record with a throw of 168 feet, 8 inches in the discus. Despite being fifth overall, Austin’s distance met the state standard for an automatic state finals bid. Six throwers met the standard. Austin missed a spot in the shot put, finishing fourth with a throw of 52 feet, 6-1/4 inches.
The North Harrison senior scratched on his first two throws of both the discus preliminaries and the finals, making for some nervous moments.
‘I was kind of thinking what I’d feel a few years from now,’ Austin said. ‘I’d be pretty depressed if I had scratched all three. I would never know if I could place at state. Now I can see if I place in state.’
It will be Austin’s second trip to state, and he hopes for a better performance than last year.
‘Last year, I choked up, so this year I’ll just do the same thing I’ve been doing,’ he said. ‘There’s no point of screwing something up by accident. You might as well stick to the same thing.’
Lowery finished third in the high jump with a height of 6-4. He also finished third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.95 seconds, just missing the state standard.
Corydon Central’s Sean Ettinger was hoping to put the Panthers in the state meet in the long jump but had to settle for sixth with a leap of 20-6.
‘That’s not where I wanted to be,’ Ettinger said after the event. ‘I’m still a little tired, but I can’t use that as an excuse. I just feel I wasn’t getting a good pop off the board on all my jumps. That’s what (coach) Kerry (Zimmerman) and my dad kept saying. ‘Pop up! Pop up!’ I was like, ‘I’m trying.’ It just didn’t feel the same. Some days you’re on, and some days you’re off.’
Just as it was in the sectional in the 1,600 meters, it was the same this time in the regional race as North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne and Providence’s Oliver Book put on another Byrne-and-Book show. Book led through nearly the first three laps then, just before the last lap, Byrne took over the front spot. From there, it was all Byrne who put up the fastest time in the state at 4 minutes, 16.99 seconds.
‘That’s been my game plan up to this point so far,’ Byrne said. ‘I tried to start kicking a little bit sooner than normal. My time improved a little bit, so I guess it works. (Book’s) a great runner and he’s really consistent. I just try to stay with him and then start kicking. He had a really good race, too.’
Logan Eberle gave the Highlanders a win in the 400-meter dash with a fast time of 49.96 seconds, more than a second and a half ahead of Scottsburg’s Patrick Bulington, who was second.
‘I was just more relaxed on the back,’ Eberle said. ‘At sectional, I was really tense. I was just trying to relax and stride out. I actually felt like I was going slower.’
Byrne had a bad start in the 3,200 meters and found himself boxed in and nearly at the back of the pack. Not one to panic, however, the North Harrison junior slowly picked his way back up front. Byrne didn’t get back to the lead but did manage second place to take a state berth.
‘They started out quicker than I anticipated,’ Byrne said. ‘I kind of just laid back. The first lap was still slow, but I just sat back until I could get to a straight-away and then try to work my way up instead of wasting energy on the corners.’
‘I felt I could reel them in coming through the second mile,’ he said. ‘My kick wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be today in the two-mile, but, once state gets here, there’ll be more time in between races to get a little more energy back in my legs.’
Byrne said he will have to look at the other times he’ll be up against before seeing if he has to make any strategy changes.
‘I’m going to have to think about it,’ he said. ‘There’s some really fast times (in the 1,600) going into state, but anything can happen up there. I’ll probably just try to get in the top pack and see how the kick works at the end. It’s going to be a lot more competitive the last lap or 200 meters.’
Boys’ scores ‘ Bloomington South 111, Bloomington North 85, Floyd Central 52, Jeffersonville 39, North Harrison 32, Martinsville 28, Seymour 26, Silver Creek 20, New Albany 20, Brownstown 18.5, Edgewood 18, Charlestown 18, Scottsburg 14, Clarksville 14, Providence 13, Bedford 12, Mooresville 12, Owen Valley 11.5, Jennings County 11, Cloverdale 10.5, Mitchell 10, Paoli 8.5, Salem 8, Brown County 7, Borden 7, Corydon 7, Orleans 5, Austin 3, Madison 1.5, Christian Academy 0.5
Boys’ results (top 3 to state) ‘ 3,200 relay ‘ 1. Bloomington South 8:11.47, 2. Floyd Central, 3. Edgewood; 100 ‘ 1. Morris (BS) 10.78*, 2. Baxtron (Chrlstn), 3. Hill (BN); 110 hurdles ‘ 1. Bird (BN) 14.41*, 2. Tuttle (BN)*, 3. Lowery (FC); 200 ‘ 1. Morris (BS) 22.22, 2. Baxtron (Chrlstn), 3. Hill (BN); 1,600 ‘ 1. Byrne (NH) 4:16.99*, 2. Book (Prov)*, 3. Lowry (Mart); 400 relay ‘ 1. Bloomington North 43.63, 2. Bloomington South, 3. Mooresville; 400 ‘ 1. Eberle (FC) 49.96, 2. Bulington (Sctbg), 3. Ertel (JC); 300 hurdles ‘ 1. Tuttle (BN) 38.00**, 2. Edwards (Edg), 3. Eckert (SilCk); 800 ‘ 1. Holahan (BS) 1:55.86, 2. Crossman (Brntn), 3. Fife (Sey); 3,200 ‘ 1. Buzzelli (BN) 9:17.31*, 2. Byrne (NH), 3. Lowry (Mart); 1,600 relay ‘ 1. Bloomington North 3:25.22, 2. Floyd Central, 3. Bloomington South; Long jump ‘ 1. Hinton (Clvdl) 22-3-1/2*, 2. Morris (BS), 3. Martin (Jeff); High jump ‘ 1. Lientz (OV) 6-6*, 2. Wehmiller (NA) 6-4, 3. Lowery (FC); Discus ‘ 1. Hull (BS) 182-5*, 2. Stancombe (BS)*, 3. Applegate (Mart)*, 4. Royalty (Sey)*, 5. Austin (NH)*, 6. Omotinugbon (Jeff)*; Shot put ‘ 1. Stancombe (BS) 60-4*, 2. Sanders (Mtchl), 3. Baker (Brntn); Pole vault ‘ 1. Eckert (SilCk) 15-0*, 2. Volz (BS) 14-0, 3. Snider (Sal) 14-0.
*State Standard, **Regional Record