Floyd Central girls win big
Wade Bell, Sports Writer
The Floyd Central girls’ track team dominated the Corydon Central girls’ track sectional last Tuesday afternoon, scoring 199 points to finish 29 points ahead of runner-up New Albany. Each Lady Highlander who competed scored at one place or another, making it a tough day for rest of the teams trying to get to this week’s regional competition.
“We scored two kids in every event, which makes us so difficult to beat in big meets like this,” said Floyd Central coach Courtney Bardach. “In the 16 events, when you score two kids in every event, that’s all you can ask for as a coach. Across the board they outperformed. Every event we were getting one or two here, seven there; we outscored what we were projected to get.
“Hats off to New Albany, obviously, they’re ranked 15th in the state for a reason. They’re very good and very talented but, whenever we do better than what we’re seeded to do, it’s hard to beat a team. If they did the same, it would be tough to beat them. Tonight was our night.”
The Lady Highlanders scored big in the field events, sweeping the pole vault, going 2-3 in the high jump with Jenna Nolot in second and Keegan Kaiser in third, scoring a second (Shelby Hardin, 16 feet, 8 inches) and sixth in the long jump, going first (Bella Barney (39-2) and seventh in the shot put and second (Barney 115-4) and fifth in the discus.
In the pole vault, Floyd Central juniors Reece Davis and Annalise Zeinemann were flying at a level well above rest of the field. Both set new personal bests, but Davis also set a new sectional record, clearing the 12-foot mark. Zeinemann’s best was six inches behind at 11 feet, six inches for second.
“I was really just thinking that I needed to stay back on my pole because that’s what coaches have been preaching to me all week and every week, for that matter,” said Davis. “I was just telling myself that I need to look backwards whenever I was jumping.”
Following her sectional record, Davis tried for a school record of 12 feet, 3-1/2 inches. Davis’ best attempt came on the first vault but saw the bar fall. Her final two attempts didn’t fare as well. Being juniors, both Davis and Zeinemann have time to reach that goal.
In the shot put, Corydon Central’s Emma Goss earned a regional spot, finishing third with a distance of 31-6. Crawford County’s Natalie Stroud was fourth (30-10) and Emma Schneider was fifth (30-3).
In the first running event, Floyd Central easily won the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 9 minutes, 42.56 seconds with Corydon Central second in 10:16.60. South Central scored with a fifth-place finish in 13:26.00. In the first sprint, New Albany swept the 100-meter dash with Corydon Central’s Madison Schilmiller third in a time of 13.43 seconds. Schilmiller also placed third in the 200-meter dash and helped her team place third in the 400-meter relay.
“I feel really good,” the Corydon Central junior said after the 200 meters. “The curve was a little rocky. I was sixth place, but the straightaways are always kicking. So third place, that’s really good.”
Floyd Central’s Shelby Hardin just missed a regional spot in the 100 meters but came back to finish second in the 200-meter dash and helped the Lady Highlanders finished second in the 400-meter relay.
“There’s several events our kids did really well in: the short sprints, the 100 hurdles, the 100 dash, the 200,” said Bardach. “We got more points than we were expected to get, and those are, obviously, New Albany’s strong events. When we pick up points there, and you come to our stronger events, the throws and the distance and the pole vault, then we feel much more confident. Early on when I saw the short sprints doing really well, then I feel more confident going in than when it could go either way.”
In the 300 hurdles, Floyd Central’s Racquel Semer advanced to regional, finishing third in 48.88 seconds. Meredith Bielefeld was fifth for the Lady Highlanders in 53.15. Floyd Central also got a 1-2 finish in the 400-meter dash with Kylee Lewellen winning in 1:00.22 and Payton Hall finishing second in 1:02.87. Corydon Central’s Olivia Martin and Emma Bailey finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Lady Highlanders owned the distance events. Jaydon Cirincione and Natalie Clare went 1-3 in the 1,600-meter run with Providence’s Lilly Kaiser splitting the two runners late in the race. Cirincione covered the distance in a time of 5:19.18 with Clare finishing in 5:26.19. Corydon Central’s Erika Valdivieso was just out of a regional spot in fourth (5:42.72), and Emily Armstrong was sixth in 6:02.92.
Cirincione also won the 3,200 meters in 11:21.03 with teammate Kaitlyn Stewart second in 11:59.27. Addison Applegate gave the Lady Panthers a regional spot in the event with a third-place finish in 12:39.17 with Valdivieso fourth in 12:45.21.
In the 800-meter run, Floyd Central senior Sydney Baxter had to battle Providence’s freshman Kaiser and Corydon Central’s Applegate. Applegate passed Baxter midway through the race, but Baxter surged on the last lap to win in a time of 2:21.76. Kaiser finished second in 2:21.83 and Floyd Central sophomore Savanna Liddle was third in 2:22.61. Applegate was fourth in 2:24.20.
“The first lap was pretty good,” Baxter said. “I wanted to be around a :35 at the 200 then I wanted to be a 70 here, but I saw (Applegate) getting around me and then I saw another girl (from Providence) coming up and I was like, ‘OK, I’d rather hurt now than be upset later.’ There were two other girls behind, and I knew top three was going to advance … so I started sprinting at 300 left, and it was killer.”
Baxter said she knows the regional will be much tougher.
“It’s very different,” she said. “It’s a lot more competition. You’ve got to get out way faster. The pace has picked up a little bit. We didn’t have track last season, but my sophomore season wasn’t the best at regional. We didn’t end up making it to state, me and Natalie. I’m hoping this year I can qualify for state in the 800 and in the 4 by 800.”
Bardach said she knows the Lady Highlanders have the tools to win the regional but it will her team’s best performances to reach that goal.
“You just want to get as many kids as you can through (to state),” she said. “We want to get a lot of kids through but, if we take care of points again in every event, we’re going for that team title. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be New Albany as well as Evansville Memorial and Evansville North but really the same as sectional between us and New Albany. I’ve told the kids all along, we’re the two strongest teams and that it’s going to be us and them.”
Girls’ scores – Floyd Central 199, New Albany 170, Corydon Central 83, Providence 58, Borden 45, North Harrison 16, Lanesville 14, Crawford County 13, South Central 8, Christian Academy 6, Clarksville 4.
Girls’ results (Top 3 to regional) – 100-Meter Dash-1. Brianna Brown (NA) 12.84, 2. Cayla Frierson (NA) 12.94, 3. Madison Schilmiller (Cory) 13.06; 200-Meter Dash-1. Shalandria White (NA) 16.63, 2. Shelby Hardin (FC) 27.28, 3. Madison Schilmiller (Cory) 27.60; 400-Meter Dash-1. Kylee Lewellen (FC) 1:00.22, 2. Payton Hall (FC) 1:02.87, 3. Alaina Walker (NA) 1:06.53; 800-Meter Run-1. Sydney Baxter (FC) 2:21.76, 2. Lilly Kaiser (Prov) 2:21.83, 3. Savanna Liddle (FC) 2:22.61; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Jaydon Cirincione (FC) 5:19.18, 2. Maci Hoskins (Prov) 5:24.49, 3. Natalie Clare (FC) 5:26.19; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Jaydon Cirincione (FC) 11:21.03, 2. Kaitlyn Stewart (FC) 11:59.27, 3. Addison Applegate (Cory) 12:39.17; 100-Meter Hurdles-1. Elise Gordon (NA) 15.62, 2. Journey Howard (NA) 16.15, 3. Sarah Boehm (Prov) 17.42; 300 Hurdles-1. Journey Howard (NA) 47.84, 2. Elise Gordon (NA) 48.26, 3. Racquel Semer (FC) 48.88; 400-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 49.57, 2. Floyd Central 51.41, Corydon Central 52.48; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 4:11.07, 2. Floyd Central 4:11.57, 3. Providence 4:16.29; 3,200-Meter Relay-1. Floyd Central 9:48.62, 2. Corydon Central 10:35.41, 3. New Albany 10:55.16; High Jump-1. Journey Howard (NA) 5-0, 2. Jenna Nolot (FC) 4-10, 3. Keegan Kaiser (FC) 4-10; Pole Vault-1. Reece Davis (FC) 12-0, 2. Annalise Zeinemann (FC) 11-6, 3. Lanie Scharlow (NA) 9-6; Long Jump-1. Elise Gordon (NA) 17-2, 2. Shalandria White (NA) 16-8, 3. Shelby Hardin (FC) 15-11; Shot Put-1. Bella Barney (FC) 39-2, 2. Amelia Tandy (NA) 38.9, 3. Emma Goss (Cory) 31-6; Discus-1. Josey Cheatham (Bor) 115-4, 2. Bella Barney (FC) 115-4, 3. Amelia Tandy 111-7.