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Dedicated Panthers tops in MSC

Dedicated Panthers tops in MSC
Dedicated Panthers tops in MSC
The Corydon Central boys' track and field team gathers with the Mid-Southern Conference trophy Friday night after winning the league title. Photos by Brian Smith
Brian Smith, Sports Editor

Corydon Central senior Noah Phillips characterized the Panthers’ track and field team as dedicated and strong-bonded.
Friday, Corydon Central added talented depth to its arsenal as well, pulling out a Mid-Southern Conference championship in boys’ track and field. It was a sweet victory lap around the Corydon Central track for the squad. After a group run with the hardware, Corydon Central coach Nathan McAfee took on the ice cold Gatorade cooler bath with a smile on a rather chilly night.
‘Depth across the board,’ McAfee said of the team’s success. ‘We have some very quality athletes across the board. It’s a nice group of kids to work with. (Assistant coach) Alex Zimmerman and I talked about when these current juniors were freshmen, we saw their ability. I told them this date was circled with a big red marker because we knew we’d have a shot to win conference. We set that as an expectation, and they’ve met it.’
Phillips was one of the seniors to grab hold of the trophy on the parade lap as well.
‘It’s very emotional,’ he said. ‘I started my sophomore year and never expected to be part of a team like this.’
When he started track, Phillips admitted he couldn’t beat Jessie Johnson, a standout on the girls’ side, in the 400.
‘I couldn’t go 60 seconds at the time,’ he said. ‘I’ve improved a lot since then. I’ve met a lot of these kids in classes and through soccer, so we’ve formed a good bond. I’ve taken on a leader role too.’
Corydon Central closed the night with 108 points, holding off a tight bunch behind them with Austin (91), Silver Creek (86) and Scottsburg (82) in the mix.
Individually, the Panthers had two wins, both from sophomore Camden Marshall. Using similar tactics in both the 800-meter and 1,600 runs, Marshall stalked the pace-setters before making a move for the front.
Going around Eastern (Pekin) harrier Uriah Guthrie, Marshall took the 1,600 in 4:42.10. Again in the 800, Marshall approached the hip of Austin’s Josiah White at the final 300 mark and blew by for a one-second win in 2:04.49.
Corydon Central had a bit of a scare in the 400 relay when the Panthers missed an exchange in the first hand-off, prompting a disqualification. Shaking it off, the Panthers went and found points elsewhere.
‘I had expectations for them but, when we talked about our plan, I told them some may not happen, but we have to overcome it,’ McAfee said. ‘There were also things that happened we weren’t expecting that went our way … There were some places where we made points up and then some. I was very pleased with the way they responded.’
In seven individual events, Corydon Central managed to score two athletes.
In throws, Corydon Central’s Jesse Wolfe picked up second place with a mark of 45 feet, 8-1/2-inches in the shot put. Prior to action at the shot, Corydon Central’s Dakota Jones was second in the discus (137-8-1/2).
In jumps, Corydon Central added to its point total with Jacob Eve reaching out to 20-6 in the long jump for second place. Behind him was teammate Austin Mattingly with a fourth-place jump of 18-10-1/2.
‘Camden got a couple wins, and Dakota Jones is a kid that went from throwing 110 in the discus to 122 two meets ago to 125 in our last meet then 137 tonight for second place,’ McAfee said. ‘Even though he didn’t win, he put up some big numbers as a freshman in the discus. Jacob Eve broke the 20-feet mark, which was a goal for him. There were several individual performances across the board.’
Eve came back to place third in the 400, going in 52.02 seconds, with Phillips behind him in 52.61.
‘Jacob Eve, last year he stepped up and took a senior’s spot and ended up being a super addition to our relay team,’ Phillips said of his teammate. ‘We’ve gotten super close, and I see his competitive side of willing to just about kill himself to try and get first place. He’s dedicated. He goes from track to competitive club basketball all the time. He’s a dedicated kid.’
Phillips also finished fifth in the 200 (24.49) with Corydon Central’s Bruce Todd (24.83) in sixth. Todd picked up a fourth-place finish in the 100 (11.99) as well with Corydon Central freshman Noah Denbo (12.22) in eighth.
At hurdles, Corydon Central’s Christopher Garrow aided the Panthers’ total with a second place in the 110 (17.31) and sixth in the 300 (47.23). The 3,200 saw Corydon Central’s Zach Hoagland (11:03.42) finish fifth and teammate Dylan Lawson (11:30.77) eighth.
The best relay finish for Corydon Central came in the meet-ending 1,600, turning in a time of 3:36.88 for second.
‘The dedication of the team,’ Phillips said of the team title. ‘We have very few kids who miss. The kids who do miss, they don’t participate. The kids who participate every single day and put in the work, they compete and do well. You can see they care about each one of us. We are a very strong-bonded team.’
For North Harrison, the Cougars placed eighth with 31 points. Luke Robertson had North Harrison’s best finish with a runner-up in the high jump, clearing 6-0. At the pole vault, North Harrison’s Colby Whittaker (11-6) was tied for second while teammate Jacob Wenning (10-6) was fifth. Wesley Harmon was fifth for the Cougars in the discus; his best distance at 117-09.

Team scores: 1. Corydon Central 108, 2. Austin 91, 3. Silver Creek 86, 4. Scottsburg 82, 5t. Eastern (Pekin) 65, 5t. Charlestown 65, 7. Brownstown Central 63, 8. North Harrison 31, 9. Salem 26, 10. Clarksville 6.
Individual results: 100 ‘ 1. Sparkman (Scot) 11.15, 2. Messer (SiCr), 3. Tandy (EP); 200 ‘ 1. Sparkman (Scot) 22.61, 2. Thompson (BC), 3. Messer (SiCr); 400 ‘ 1. Lincoln (Scot) 51.19, 2. Rowland (Scot), 3. Eve (Cory); 800 ‘ 1. Marshall (Cory) 2:04.49, 2. Smith (SiCr), 3. White (A); 1600 ‘ 1. Marshall (Cory) 4:42.10, 2. Guthrie (EP), 3. White (A); 3200 ‘ 1. Guthrie (EP) 10:00.73, 2. Fugate (A), 3. Beck (A); 110 hurdles ‘ 1. Duncan (Char) 16.69, 2. Garrow (Cory), 3. Cummings (Salem); 300 hurdles ‘ 1. McCoy (Char) 44.39, 2. Cummings (Salem), 3. Branaman (BC); 400 relay ‘ 1. Scottsburg 45.38, 2. Brownstown Central, 3. Eastern Pekin; 1600 relay ‘ 1. Scottsburg 3:31.10, 2. Corydon Central, 3. Silver Creek; 3200 relay ‘ 1. Austin 8:31.23, 2. Silver Creek, 3. Eastern Pekin); High jump ‘ 1. Lucas (SiCr) 6-2, 2. Robertson (NH), 3. Thompson (BC); Pole vault ‘ 1. Bollinger (BC) 12-0, 2. Hagan (SiCr), 3. Whittaker (NH); Long jump ‘ 1. Cruz (Char) 20-11.5, 2. Eve (CC), 3. Jeter (EP); Shot put ‘ 1. McIntosh (A) 46-10, 2. Wolfe (Cory), 3. Knox (SiCr); Discus ‘ 1. Braunecker (Char) 150-9.5, 2. Jones (Cory), 3. McIntosh (A).