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Highlanders dominate boys’ track sectional

Highlanders dominate boys’ track sectional
Highlanders dominate boys’ track sectional
Corydon Central's Blaze Abner leads the field early in the 3,200-meter relay at the sectional. The Panthers relay team finished second to advance to this week's regional. Photo by Wade Bell

After the Corydon Central girls’ track sectional was run in wet and cold conditions on Tuesday, the boys had a much better day, with sun and warmth on Thursday at Floyd Central, as the host Highlanders dominated with a 51-point win over second-place New Albany. The Highlanders scored a lot of points early in the meet for their overwhelming win.
The Highlanders grabbed a lot of points early in the meet, first winning the long jump with a new sectional record of 23 feet, 6-1/4 inches by Antonio Villegas on his first attempt. The junior would have had a longer jump on his second try if his trail leg hadn’t brushed the sand coming down. The Highlander flew well over 22 feet on this third attempt. Lanesville’s Caleb Clifton finished fourth with a best distance of 20 feet, 4-1/2 inches.
‘I was just fortunate that first jump was really good,’ Villegas said. ‘I’ve been feeling better these past few weeks. We started with that injury at the beginning (of the season), but now I keep working on it and trying to perfect my approach.
Crawford County’s Ty Nickelson fell a little short of defending his high jump sectional championship from last year as the junior had to settle for second with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches, behind Eastern (Pekin) winner Brandon Eberle, who cleared 6-6. Crawford County’s Zach Faith finished fourth at 6 feet, 2 inches.
‘I didn’t feel tired,’ Nickelson said. ‘I think I got out of rhythm a little bit. I didn’t slow down enough. I didn’t take my time. I rushed a little. I really want to make it out to Bloomington after Evansville. I really want to go to state. If I go 6-4 at Evansville, that’s the state standard, and I’ll automatically get it. That’s the hope right now. I’ll just focus on that.’
Floyd Central’s Kyle Zimmerman won the pole vault with a height of 13 feet, 6 inches, while North Harrison’s Austin Spencer made the regional cut at 11 feet, 6 inches in third place. In the shot put, Corydon Central senior Curtis Miller came out on top with a distance of 46 feet, 9-1/2 inches, with Floyd Central’s Cody Bennett and Seth Cordial finishing second and third, respectively, with distances of 45-8-1/2, and 44-5.
A roar went up from the crowd at the discus area as Crawford County’s Cameron Marples punched out a throw of 132 feet, 7 inches to beat Floyd Central’s Seth Cordial by just more than a foot, as Cordial’s best finished at 131-4. Marples had been sitting in fourth place before his sectional best throw.
‘I was placed fourth going into the last throw, and I was trying to relax as much as I could,’ Marples said. ‘I walked over to my mom, and she had some orange mints. I popped one of those in my mouth and just walked over to the discus ring and took a deep breath.’
‘I was pretty nervous,’ he said. ‘That’s why I went over to my mom and my grandpa and my girlfriend. I just walked back to the ring and threw it. I felt very relaxed after talking to them. It was just joking around. That’s what I like to do before I throw. You can’t be too serious.’
This will be Marples’ first trip to a regional track meet.
‘I’m ready to see what it’s like,’ he said. ‘I’ve just progressed. I’ve went from throwing a 117 to that 132 I just threw, and I’ve definitely learned along the way. At the Tell City Invitational, I had my PR there with 127, and, at the North Harrison Invitational, I had a 129, and I’ve bumped it up to 132 this meet.’
Villegas came back from the long jump to get his second win of the night in the 100-meter dash, covering the distance in 11.10 seconds, with Corydon Central’s Austin Kopp fourth in 11.75 seconds. Villegas also won the 200-meter dash in 22.39 seconds.
‘It felt good,’ Villegas said of his 100-meter run. ‘I was a little slow on the start. I was in second for about the first 30 meters. I didn’t want to lose, so I put my body forward and then was working my arms to make me faster. The last 50 or 60 meters, I gave whatever I had left. That made up for the start, but I’ve got to work on it, too. If I can get that start down, I can go under 11 (seconds), hopefully.’
Crawford County’s Faith gave the Wolfpack some solid points in the 200-meter run by finishing second in 23.25 seconds.
‘It was a new PR,’ he said. ‘The school record was previously 23.3, and I ran 23.25. So, it felt good. It could have been cleaner at the start. Other than that, it wasn’t bad at all.’
‘It’s all about that curve,’ Faith said. ‘I’m used to kicking midway through it into the straight stretch. As you run it more and more, you learn to stay on the inside. At 6-4, it’s not that easy to stay on the inside.’
Floyd Central’s Connor Sturgeon gave the Highlanders a win in the 400-meter dash, covering the one full lap in 51.17 seconds. Teammate Luke Canter finished second in 52.39, while Corydon Central’s Logan Lee was third (52.73) and Lanesville’s Riley Cook fourth (53.24).
‘I’ve been practicing with distance most of this year, so, if I was close with about 250 left, I knew I had enough gas left in the tank to beat about anybody in this field,’ Sturgeon said. ‘We had some fast guys in that heat obviously.’
In the distance events, Floyd Central’s Billy Pierce finished fourth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2;02.80, a close race won by New Albany’s Jonathan Martinez in 2:02.31. Pierce qualified for the regional in the 1,600 meters with a second-place finish in 4:32.44. In the 3,200-meter run, Floyd Central’s Chance Schickel’s was fourth in 10:09.34.
In the 110-meter high hurdles, Floyd Central’s Brad Foster finished third in 15.99 seconds, edging Crawford County’s Ty Nickelson, who was fourth in 16.03 seconds. Providence’s Tyler Ettel won in 15.45 seconds.
‘We were all really close,’ Nickelson said. ‘Tyler ran a pretty good race right there. It felt good. I had a good start; no bumps. It was good. I didn’t touch any hurdles. I just gotta stay healthy for next week.’
Nickelson came back later, however, to win the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 41.03 seconds, with Floyd Central’s Foster fourth in 43.03. Nickelson said his losses in the high jump and 110-meter hurdles gave him more motivation in the latter run.
‘I was running with a vengeance,’ he said. ‘That’s what we’ve been working on, attacking over the hurdles. Don’t get up, and stay over it, get over it. The more time you spend in the air, the slower you are. The first hurdle sets the tone. You get the first one out of the way, the rest of them comes easier.’
The Wolfpack grabbed a regional spot in the 400-meter relay with a third-place finish in 45.20 seconds, with Floyd Central fourth in 46.35 seconds. The Highlanders won the 1,600-meter relay event in 3:32.14, with Corydon Central grabbing the third spot in 3:39.97. Floyd Central easily won the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 8:32.75. Corydon Central was second in 8:42.32, and Lanesville was fourth in 8:49.66.

Boys’ team scores: 1. Floyd Central 154, 2. New Albany 103, 3. Providence 91, 4. Crawford County 68, 5. Eastern (Pekin) 49, 6. Corydon Central 45, 7. Lanesville 37, 8. North Harrison 27, 9. Borden 20, 10. Christian Academy of Indiana 17, 11. Clarksville 11.
Boys’ individual results (Top 3 to regional): 100 ‘ 1. Antonio Villegas (FC) 11.10, 2. Rondale Moore (NA) 11.24, 3 Micah Oberhausen (Prov) 11.32; 200 ‘ 1. Antonio Villegas (FC) 22.39, 2. Zach Faith (CrCo) 23.25, 3. Micah Oberhausen (Prov) 23.30; 400 ‘ 1. Connor Sturgeon (FC) 51.17, 2. Luke Canter (FC) 52.39, 3. Logan Lee (Cory) 52.73; 800 ‘ 1. Jonathan Martinez (NA) 2:02.31, 2. Shon Taylor (NA) 2:02.66, 3. Luke Schroering (Prov) 2:02.76; 1,600 ‘ 1. Julien Magallanes (Bor) 4:29.77, 2. Billy Pierce (FC) 4:32.44, 3. James Haller (NA) 4:33.18; 3,200 ‘ 1. Skylar Stidham (CAI) 9:28.71, 2. Julien Magallanes (Bor) 9:47.24, 3. Caleb Futter (EP) 10:03.41; 110 hurdles ‘ 1. Tyler Ettel (Prov) 15.43, 2. Aaron Mosley (NA) 15.86, 3. Brad Foster (FC) 15.99; 300 hurdles ‘ 1. Ty Nickelson (CrCo) 41.03, 2. Aaron Mosley (NA) 42.38, 3. Brandon Eberle (EP) 42.72; 400 relay ‘ 1. Providence 44.39, 2. New Albany 44.57, 3. Crawford County 45.20; 1,600 relay ‘ 1. Floyd Central 3:32.14, 2. Providence 3:35.00, 3. Corydon Central 3:39.97; 3,200 relay ‘ 1. Floyd Central 8:32.75, 2. Corydon Central 8:42.32, 3. Eastern Pekin 8:46.62; High jump ‘ 1. Brandon Eberle (EP) 6-6, 2. Ty Nickelson (CrCo) 6-4, 3. Victor Dailey (NA) 6-4; Pole vault ‘ 1. Kyle Zeinemann (FC) 13-6, 2. Caleb Futter (EP) 11-6, 3. Austin Spencer (NH) 11-0; Long jump ‘ 1. Antonio Villegas (FC) 23-6 1/4*, 2. Micah Oberhausen (Prov) 21-9, 3. Darquan Richardson (NA) 21-0 1/4; Shot put ‘ 1. Curtis Miller (Cory) 46-9 1/2, 2. Cody Bennett (FC) 45-8 1/2, 3. Seth Cordial (FC) 44-5; Discus ‘ 1. Cameron Marples (CC) 132-7, 2. Seth Cordial (FC) 131-4, 3. Jonathan Tolentino (Prov) 131-0
*Sectional record