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Allgeier 19th in hurdles; Uesseler 25th in high jump

Allgeier 19th in hurdles; Uesseler 25th in high jump
Allgeier 19th in hurdles; Uesseler 25th in high jump
Corydon CentralÂ’s Danielle Uesseler slides over the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches to finish 25th in SaturdayÂ’s girlsÂ’ state finals. Photos by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

With an air temperature in the mid 90s and the track temperature nearing 120 degrees, runners from throughout Indiana did their best to stay hydrated Saturday afternoon at this year’s girls’ state track finals at the Indiana University track in Bloomington. Just trying to stay cool was as big of chore as trying to perform during competition.
‘It was very hot,’ said Northeast Dubois junior Keina Lanman, who was competing in the high jump. ‘I think I drank three things of water trying to keep myself cool.’
Both Lanman and Corydon Central’s Danielle Uesseler kept their umbrellas close to create enough shade to hide from the direct sunlight. Both jumpers had to start out big with the opening height at 5 feet, 2 inches.
Lanman easily cleared the opening height while a very tight Uesseler had to fight a little harder. The Corydon Central freshman clipped the bar with her heel on the second attempt then finally flew over the bar on her third attempt.
‘I’ve never started out at 5-2 before, so that’s an experience,’ Uesseler said. ‘I’m mad at myself.’
‘I attacked the curve harder and that was pretty much it,’ said Uesseler. ‘I was going too slow. It might have been the pressure. I need to arch more. That’s what I’m going to do next year, practice arching.’
The bar was then moved up to 5 feet, 4 inches. Lanman again showed her strength, sailing over the bar. Uesseler, who had jumped 5-4 in practice, missed her first two attempts. In the third attempt, however, she had her planting foot slip from under her and she went to the ground, ending her day.
‘I was running, and I don’t have high jump shoes,’ Uesseler said. ‘I just have spikes, and it just slipped. I slid with them.’
Uesseler admitted to some nerves and a little intimidation as the meet began.
‘It was scary because there were some girls that were like, ‘Yeah, I jumped 5-8’, ‘ Uesseler said. ‘And I’ve never jumped 5-4 before, so it was kind of scary but at least I got my first jump.’
Lanman’s next step up the ladder would be 5 feet, 5 inches. The Jeep junior missed on her first attempt but sailed over on her second, coming off the mat beaming with a big smile.
‘It was probably one of my better jumps that I’ve jumped all year,’ she said. ‘I’ve cleared 5-6 before in a regular meet, but I haven’t since then. I actually haven’t got over 5-2 in over a month. So, coming up here and jumping up here is awesome for me.’
The height was a spot on the podium for Lanman as she finished eighth in the competition for a medal.
In the pole vault, Silver Creek’s Molly Voyles and Floyd Central’s Rachael Kavgazoff also had to deal with the hot sun. Both vaulters were tight at the beginning, missing on their first attempts at 10 feet.
‘My first attempt, I didn’t even know I was up,’ said Voyles, a senior. ‘I couldn’t hear them say my name, so I didn’t even loosen up for it. I kind of just went with it. I’ve been having difficulty getting in on my bigger pole. I just can’t drive far enough in. That’s what’s really holding me back.’
‘I’ve never come in at 10 (feet) before,’ said Kavgazoff. ‘I usually come in at 8-6. That was a big difference, so I just had to get things figured out the first couple of jumps. From there on, I was doing good.’
Both vaulters cleared 10-6, but it took Voyles all three attempts while Kavgazoff flew over the ball on her first attempt. At 10-9, however, the end came for both. Because Kavgazoff had few misses, she was placed 14th while Voyles finished in 19th.
‘I’m very satisfied with everything that’s happened this year,’ said Voyles, who was also part of the Lady Dragons basketball sectional championship team.
Kavgazoff, however, still has three more years to do better things.
‘Next season, I want to try to get at least 11-6,’ she said. ‘I’m really looking forward to it. I want to come back to state too again.’
The first race at finals came at the heat of the day with the 3,200 meters under a clear sky and a beating sun. The squad of Floyd Central’s Kaitlin Hein, Jamie Bierman, Alyssa Moore, and Hannah Watkins took to the track in the first heat.
‘We tried to stay hydrated all week,’ said Moore, a sophomore, when asked about preparing for the meet. ‘We pushed fluids a lot, but there’s not much really you can do to prepare for this except be mentally tough.’
The heat had an affect on everybody in the race, but Carmel came out the winner in a time of 9:13.01. The Lady Highlanders team pushed through the race, finishing 25th in a time of 10:06.97.
‘We really wanted to get the school record this meet,’ Moore said. ‘It was Hannah Watkins’ last meet, and we wanted it for her. We just couldn’t get it today, but we did our best. I’m so proud of our team.’
Watkins, the squad’s only senior, said she usually doesn’t think about a race beforehand but, this time, she did, knowing it was her last.
‘I didn’t feel too good at all, a lot of nerves and knowing it was my last race as a high school runner,’ she said. ‘It was a lot harder. I think I thought about it too much. … ‘
Watkins said she didn’t feel the heat or much else.
‘I couldn’t feel anything,’ said Watkins, who hopes to run for the University of Southern Indiana this fall. ‘I didn’t feel the heat. I was so focused, trying to get the girl in front of me and not letting a girl pass me. I just didn’t pay attention as much.’
The day was important in more ways than one for North Harrison’s Mallory Allgeier. The North Harrison senior first had to graduate then make her way to the IU track in time for her 100-meter hurdle preliminary heat.
Allgeier’s graduation ceremony was an abbreviated one as she was the first to get her diploma so she could leave early for the trip to Bloomington.
‘I graduated then left,’ she smiled. ‘We walked in, sat down, Mr. (Kelly) Simpson talked for a couple of seconds, gave me my diploma and I left. It was the first time they’ve ever done it.’
Allgeier had a near-perfect race to finish in a time of 15.75 seconds. That was a personal best as well as a personal goal.
‘I three-stepped the entire thing, and I’ve done that maybe twice this season,’ she said. ‘If I didn’t get a PR, I don’t think I’ll ever get one. The second one, I nipped it but it was OK and I kept going.’
‘All I wanted was PR,’ Allgeier said. ‘Actually, I wanted to break 15.8 because I’ve never dropped into the 15’s in the 30-inch record. I have the 33-inch record. This is the best season I’ve ever had.’
Allgeier’s time was the 19th fastest of the day. While the North Harrison senior had her best time of the year, it was bittersweet because it was the last race of her high school career. Allgeier plans to go to the University of Louisville for an engineering degree.
‘It’s everybody’s last race,’ she said. ‘I’m sad because track is one of those sports you can go out and do on your own. You can play soccer with your friends but you can’t jump a hurdle, and I love jumping the hurdles so it’s kind of sad. Maybe I’ll find some college that wants me to run.’