NH, FC runners fall short of podium
Runners from North Harrison and Floyd Central came into this year boys’ state track finals at the Indiana University track in Bloomington hoping to for a spot on the podium but found this year’s meet to be a tough customer, falling short of that goal. For New Albany’s Brett Wehmiller, however, it was a big day with medals in all three of his events.
In the 100-meter dash trials, Floyd Central junior Kyle Bramble had four sub-11-second sprinters with him in the same heat. Bramble managed an 11.26-second run, but that was only 14th best, keeping him out of the finals.
‘I was just trying to beat them,’ said Bramble. ‘You can’t really do much. You just concentrate on yourself and hope to lean, and lean in good, and get a good start.’
North Harrison sophomore Jonathon Reynolds didn’t have any special placing in mind going into the 1,600-meter run but, instead, ran his own race and let the chips fall where they may. While Reynolds didn’t make the podium, he did finish in a respectable 14th position in a time of 4:20.13.
‘The fans don’t think you’re doing it but, in your head, you know what you’re doing, so that was perfectly my plan,’ Reynolds said. ‘Coming in today, I knew that if I could keep people in touch, my speed can get them in the last 800 and it worked out … I didn’t know what place I’d be so, basically, it was just getting as many guys as I could. I’m pretty happy with the season. It was a good way to end it.’
The Floyd Central 400-meter relay team was seeded 19th going into its race and bettered that by four spots, finishing 15th in a time of 43.21 seconds. The team was made up of Taylor Lessig, Matt Rue, Brock Slavens and Bramble.
‘We got our best time of the year,’ said senior anchor Slavens. ‘We missed the school record by a .09 this afternoon. We’re well ahead of where we were seeded, so we’re happy with that. We’re definitely not feeling bad about it. We’ve improved constantly over the year, so we had our best race at state meet.’
Wehmiller was wearing one of the biggest smiles at this year’s state finals, after coming away with three medals. Wehmiller, a senior, first pulled out a sixth-place in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches. In the 110-meter high hurdles, he was posted in lane seven but ran to finish third in a time of 14.21 seconds. Wehmiller later came back in lane nine to finish fifth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 38.66 seconds.
‘It’s a great day,’ said Wehmiller, who walked around in disbelief after his 110-hurdles run. ‘That was a really fast time. I just ran the perfect race. I just ran the best race I could.’
‘I wanted to come in and get three medals,’ he said. ‘I knew I had the ability to. It was just how I could handle the pressure at the state meet and running with the best in the state.’
Futsum Zeinasellassie defended his 3,200-meter title that he earned last year after passing North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne on the final lap. This year, Zeinasellassie blew by Carmel’s Chris Walden for a six-second win in a time of 8:56.73.
North Harrison’s Johnny Guy took nearly two seconds off his personal best in the run with a time of 9:28.89 for 21st while his brother, Josh, finished 25th in a time of 10:03.66.
‘I was trying to break 9:20, but they were going so fast,’ Johnny said. ‘I was planning on hooking up with somebody, but I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to stay in contact. I didn’t want to get too far back and I’d be out of reach.’
‘I expected it to be fast, especially after seeing the mile and Jonathon run,’ he said. ‘I didn’t expect to be at the front. I thought it would be a little bit easier after the first mile. I felt like I was pushing it a little hard. I just didn’t have anything left.’
‘I’ve still got another year to figure it out,’ he added. ‘A little more work, and I hope I do better next year.’
In the 1,600-meter relay, the Floyd Central squad of Cory Portwood, Quinton Miller, Bramble and Slavens finished 22nd in a time of 3:25.77. While it wasn’t a podium finish, the group still felt good about the season.
‘Our team was really nervous, and we ran good,’ said anchor Slavens. ‘We ran it faster than at regionals, but that was the one we wanted. I’m proud of it. We won conference, won sectional, was second at regional. We’re pretty happy with that.’