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Bulldogs edge Highlanders

Boys’ Track and Field Sectional
Bulldogs edge Highlanders
Bulldogs edge Highlanders
File photo
Wade Bell, Sports Writer

There was no clear favorite going into the Floyd Central boys’ track sectional Thursday night at Ron Weigleb Stadium with the host school, New Albany, and Corydon Central all having a chance to win the title. The championship had to be decided by the final event, and it was the New Albany Bulldogs who took home the hardware by a 5.5-point margin over the Highlanders with the Corydon Central Panthers third.

Points in the field events were spread around. Borden’s Nolan Flispart won the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 10 inches with Corydon Central’s Jagger Holton second at 5-8 to advance to regional tomorrow (Thursday).

The pole vault was a battle between four vaulters, but it was North Harrison’s Jacob Wenning winning on his final attempt at 12 feet to secure the win. Borden’s Lody Cheatham was second at 11-6, and Corydon Central’s Sean Woods third at the same height. Woods’ teammate, Lukas Faith, was fourth at 11-6 as well.

“I was just thinking to drive as hard as I can, run fast and try to get over it with everything,” said Wenning. “I was really close my attempt before that, but I let go too late, so I just let go in time. I just cleared my thoughts and everything and did what I needed to do like I do in practice all of the time.

“I knew it would be really close between me and Sean (Woods) from Corydon. … I didn’t really expect to end up winning it. We’ve battled all year. He beat me in conference where he cleared on his last attempt, and I scratched out on everything. It’s been fun.”

In the long jump, four jumpers went over 20 feet. New Albany swept the event with Ja’raylan Johnson winning with a distance of 23 feet, 1/2 inch. Johnson’s teammate, Kohl Brown, finished second with a jump of 22 feet, 1/2 inch and Floyd Central’s Kaden Kruer was third at 21-9. Teammate Wenkers Wright just missed a spot, finishing fourth at 20-7.

Floyd Central’s Issac Hatfield won the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 7 inches, and teammate Brandon Fessel was third at 43-2-1/2. North Harrison’s Wesley Harmon was fourth at 42-7. Hatfield also won the discus with a throw of 147 feet, and Corydon Central’s Dakota Jones was second at 128 feet. Harmon was again just out of a regional spot, finishing fourth at 122 feet, 6 inches.

The sprints belonged to New Albany with the Bulldogs winning the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. Floyd Central’s Matthew Medlock was second in both the 100 (11.44) and 200 (23.05) to qualify for the regional. The Highlanders were without their best sprinters, Luke Collins and Zach Hutslar; both were out with injuries. Floyd Central’s Grant Popp was second in the 400 (51.88) to become a regional qualifier.

Also getting out to the regional in the 200 was Corydon Central’s Jacob Torbet, who finished third in a time of 23.05 seconds.

“I wasn’t going to give it to them,” Torbet said. “I knew if I worked that curve the right way, I could do whatever I wanted with it, I could make a move. That’s probably the best lap I’ve ever run. That’s more than half a second PR. I haven’t run against that big of competition for a while, but I knew I had a chance. I’ve just got to work hard enough.”

Both of the hurdles events went to New Albany. In the 110-meter high hurdles, Brown won a close race in 14.82 seconds with Floyd Central’s Wright second in 14.92 and Corydon Central’s Chris Garrow third in 15.07 seconds.

New Albany also won the 300 hurdles with Xzavier Pruitt winning in 40.18 seconds with Brown second. Floyd Central’s Max Grangier was third in 41.77.

Corydon Central senior Camden Marshall was favored to win the longer distance events, and there were no surprises. In the 1,600-meter run, Marshall got a challenge from Floyd Central freshman Will Conway but Marshall kept control, finishing first in 4:22.68 with Conway 2-1/2 seconds behind.

“I thought it was going to be a harder race than it was, but a bunch of guys ended up dropping out,” said Marshall. “Coming in, I thought I was going to take it out pretty hot. Once I saw one of the Lord twins drop out then the Christian Academy (of Indiana) kid drop out, I was wanting to take it out pretty decent and just kind of gauge it rest of the race.”

Marshall said the focus was on points with the Panthers in the three-horse race for the championship with Floyd Central and New Albany.

“Definitely just focus on points because I want to get those 20 points in the 1,600 and 3,200 and then come back strong in the 4 by 400,” said Marshall. “Normally, it’s Floyd or New Albany, but this year it’s close enough to where our coaches are wanting us to go for it tonight.”

Floyd Central’s Weston Naville won the second distance event, racing to a win in the 800-meter run. There were four runners who finished under two minutes, Naville finishing in 1:57.83. North Harrison’s Wenning was fourth in 1:59.75, and South Central’s Maddox Baker was just over two minutes in fifth in 2:00.22.

Marshall came back to win the final distance event, the 3,200-meter run, in a time of 9:34.90. Conway was again second in 9:39.49 and Christian Aademy’s Alexander Pinckney was third at 9:40.60.

Marshall said he and Griffin took turns going back and forth early in the race but the gloves came off in the final laps.

“We had kind of planned to share the load early pacing wise,” said Marshall. “He made it interesting for sure. I was trying to feel how he was breathing, how his stride looked and everything and then just slowly pick up the pace a little bit. The fifth lap of the 3,200 never feels good. I thought that was a pretty good time to pick it up a little bit and make it hurt a little bit more. I’m nowhere near perfectly tapered or anything. I think once I decrease the mileage and open up a bit I should be pretty good for regionals and state.”

In the relays, the Highlanders won the 3,200 meter to start the meet in a time of 8 minutes, 16.11 seconds. New Albany won the 400-meter relay in 43.02 with Floyd Central second in 44.04 and Corydon Central third in 45.52. The 1,600-meter relay, which determined the meet championship, was also won by the Bulldogs in a time of 3:28.69. Floyd Central was second in 3:29.97 and Corydon Central was third in 3:30.18.

Boys’ scores – New Albany 174, Floyd Central 168.5, Corydon Central 111.5, Borden 45.5, North Harrison 42, Providence 36, South Central 21, Clarksville 8.5, Crawford County 7, Christian Academy 7, Lanesville 2.

Boys’ results (Top 3 to regionals) – 100-Meter Dash-1. Dejon Winburn (NA) 11.27, 2. Matthew Medlock (FC) 11.44, 3. Derell Simmons (NA) 11.45; 200-Meter Dash-1. Ja’raylan Johnson (NA) 22.71, 2. Matthew Medlock (FC) 23.05, 3. Jacob Torbet (Cory) 23.49; 400-Meter Dash-1. Asius Miles (NA) 49.59, 2. Grant Popp (FC) 51.88, 3. Myles Johnson (NA) 52.28; 800-Meter Run-1.Weston Naville (FC) 1:57.83, 2. Gavin Just (Bor) 1:59.03, 3. Aidan Lord (NA) 1:59.22; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Camden Marshall (Cory) 4:22.68, 2. Will Conway (FC) 4:24.21, 3. Aaron Lord (NA) 4:39.21; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Camden Marshall (Cory) 9:34.90, 2. Will Conway (FC) 9:39.49, 3. Alexander Pinckney (CAI) 9:40.60; 110 High Hurdles-1. Khol Brown (NA) 14.82, 2. Wenkers Wright (FC) 14.92, 3. Chris Garrow (Cory) 15.07; 300-Meter Hurdles-1. Xzavier Pruitt (NA) 40.18, 2. Khol Brown (NA) 40.97, 3. Max Grangier (FC) 41.77; 400-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 43.02, 2. Floyd Central 44.04, 3. Corydon Central 45.52; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 3:28.69, 2. Floyd Central 3:29.97, 3. Corydon Central 3:30.18; 3,200 Meter Relay-1. Floyd Central 8:16.11, 2. New Albany 8:17.51, 3. Borden 8:23.37; High Jump-1. Nolan Flispart (Bor) 5-10, 2. Jagger Holton (Cory) 5-8, 3. Michael Kleer (NA) 5-8; Pole Vault-1. Jacob Wenning (NH) 12-0, 2. Lody Cheatham (Bor) 11-6, 3. Sean Woods (Cory) 11-6; Long Jump-1. Ja’raylan Johnson (NA) 23-0-1/2, 2. Khol Brown (NA) 22-0-1/2, 3. Kaden Kruer (FC) 21-9-1/2; Shot Put-1. Isaac Hatfield (FC) 50-7, 2. Christopher Cosby (NA) 50-0, 3. Brandon Fessel (FC) 43.2-1/2; Discus-1. Issac Hatfield (FC) 147-0, 2. Dakota Jones (Cory) 128-0, 3. Phillip Haag (NA) 124-3.