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Cougars win 3,200 relay at regional

Cougars win 3,200 relay at regional
Cougars win 3,200 relay at regional
North Harrison’s Jonathan Reynolds takes the baton from teammate Johnnie Guy to begin the anchor leg of the 3,200 relay. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The North Harrison boys’ distance team had a big night Thursday at the Bloomington North track regional, winning three events to move on to the Indiana State Final at Indiana University on Saturday. Floyd Central also had a good night, finishing third in the team standings and also sending a field of runners to the biggest meet of the year.
North Harrison’s first win came in the 3,200-meter relay where the Cougars knew their biggest threat would be the team from Bloomington South. Josh Guy took the baton on the first leg with his main job keeping in close contact with the lead pack.
‘Most teams put their faster guys first, and I’m the weakest link on the team, which is a little bit different strategy,’ Guy said. ‘I tried to just latch on and stick to them because I knew they’d pull me to a fast pace. I was going to stay on and latch on to their butts and follow it all the way in, especially on the last lap.’
On the second leg, Bloomington South began to pull away and that’s when second-leg runner, Kyle Chesser, knew he had to make his move.
‘He got caught up in traffic, so he could have been up there a little bit farther if he wouldn’t have been so congested,’ Chesser said of Guy. ‘He gave me good position. He gave me enough room to catch him at the end. I just did what my team needed me to do.’
‘We had a few teams whisper to us, ‘Go get Bloomington South’,’ Chesser said. ‘The pressure was on. We definitely wanted a regional championship. We wanted the record, too, but I guess it wasn’t right today.’
Chesser handed the baton off to Johnnie Guy, who tucked right in behind Bloomington South’s Curtis Banks on the first lap. At the end of the second lap, Johnnie Guy took the lead from Banks then handed off to anchor Jonathan Reynolds.
‘Kyle did a really good job getting us up right there right at the exchange,’ Johnnie Guy said. ‘We got to the exchange dead even. I let him (Banks) take the lead but, around the turn, I took him on the straight away. I wanted to lead on that last lap and, hopefully, open up a little bit of a gap. I gave it all I had. I wanted to give Jonathan the lead because I knew he would run a fast time, too.’
Reynolds took the baton just three steps ahead of Bloomington South anchor Jordan Huntoon. Huntoon, whose legs were about six inches longer than Reynolds, tried to chase Reynolds down, but the Cougar junior’s strong kick kept Huntoon from even breaking by. The Cougars won the race in a time of 8:00.02.
‘I heard him coming on me that whole race,’ Reynolds said. ‘I got a little motivation, though, that I had to lead and knowing my teammates had already done their part. I couldn’t let them down. I was glad I could hold them off.’
‘It feels good,’ he said. ‘Halfway through the season our 4×800 time wasn’t really that competitive, so we focused on it in some meets and got our time down. It feels good to come out here and win regionals.’
Across the way at the discus throw, Floyd Central’s Codie Hamsley used his final throw of the night to launch his way into second place, nailing 176 feet, 9 inches, which also met the state standard. Hamsley’s teammate Andrew Archer threw a personal best 151 feet even, good for fifth; however, he did earn a spot at state by finishing second in the shot put with a distance of 52-1.
In the 1,600-meter run, Reynolds found himself in a major traffic jam at the start needing two laps to dig his way out.
‘They didn’t do anything wrong,’ Reynolds said. ‘Those races just get crowded when you have that many good people.’
Reynolds finally got to the outside and pushed to the front on lap three. The final lap, however, saw the North Harrison junior pushed back to third as Bloomington South’s Mark Chandler and Aaron Tincher of Martinsville took the two front spots.
In the 800, Crawford County’s Chase Broughton also found himself in a traffic jam through the first lap, trying to keep from stepping on anybody and also not to be stepped on. Just before the end of the first lap, Broughton broke through the lead group, not having anything to lose, and led through the next two turns and down the back straightway.
In the final two turns, however, the leaders began their kick and pushed by Broughton. The Crawford senior eventually fell back to finish sixth but earned the respect of each runner in the event.
‘My ultimate goal was to make it to the state meet,’ he said. ‘But I am proud of what I was able to accomplish this season; I’m happy with some of the things I was able to do.’
In the 3,200, North Harrison’s Johnnie Guy played cat and mouse with Bloomington South’s Carl Smith for the first six laps. With two laps to go, Guy finally decided it was time to go and checked out, winning (9:25.50) by just more than eight seconds for North Harrison’s third win of the night.
‘I was hoping he would take out quick, but he told me before the race he was going to sit on me,’ Johnnie Guy said. ‘I was like, ‘Aaaw, man!’ So, I went out with nothing too hard. I wanted to get a little faster and those first two laps to be a little quicker. They were, so he took it. He tried to stay up on it, but I stayed in behind him … The time was not good though. I wanted to run a lot faster than that.’
Corydon Central’s Levi Taylor finished in that dreaded spot of fourth place, missing the state finals by just one position.
‘It was all right,’ Taylor said. ‘I didn’t feel real good after the third or fourth lap, and I knew I was going to have a hard time. As I was coming around the last lap, I was like, ‘I’m going for state; I might as well give it everything I’ve got.’ I didn’t want to hold back, even if I was tired as it gets.’
‘I was like, ‘If you fall back, you’re not even going to get a shot at it’,’ he said. ‘You’ve just got to ignore the pain and go. It’s kind of disappointing, but I’ll be back next year.’
Others scoring included Springs Valley’s Jacob McCormick finishing fourth (23.59) in the 200 meters and Seth Jenkins was seventh (24.05). The Highlanders were fourth (44.02) in the 400 relay, and Corydon Central finished seventh (45.43). Crawford County’s Travis Banet finished fifth (42.67) in the 300-meter hurdles, and Floyd Central’s Grant Foster scored with a seventh-place finish (43.31).
McCormick gave the Blackhawks a fourth place in the long jump (21-1), and Johnny Schwartz just missed in the discus finishing ninth with a distance of 143 feet, 6 inches. South Central’s Kyle Pease finished tied for sixth in the high jump, clearing 6-2. Crawford County’s Brayden Barron was well back in the high jump at 13th (5-10), and Floyd Central’s Jacob Maguet finish sixth in the pole vault at 12 feet.