for the Tribune
At a cold and windy Hoosier Hills Conference meet Tuesday night, Floyd Central was too tough for the rest of the field, but each school had some impressive efforts.
The Highlanders won the meet with 133 points. Seymour, on the back of some distance success, placed fifth with 69.
Seymour’s positive showing revolved mostly around success in distance events. Abby Voss finished fourth in the 3200 (12:21.80), Oriana Morales was second in the 800 (2:27.40). Megan Winter won the 1600 with a time of 5:29.76.
“Two days ago, Winter said, ‘I’d like to get a conference championship,’ and on the way over here, she came up to the front of the bus and asked, ‘What do I need to do?’” Seymour coach Bob Sexton said. “’What do my splits need to be?’
“We switched some things up for her, and it just worked out for her to get that conference championship. That’s what she was after tonight.”
“I was really excited for conference,” Winter said. “I’ve never been this excited. I was waiting for a big drop in times just because we haven’t had a lot of competition.”
Winter was thrilled as well.
“This meet is really important,” she said. “When we’re just running dual meets with other schools, it was hard for me to run my best without having someone in front of me or behind me pushing me. I used this to prove to myself how much I have in the tank and how hard I’ve been working in training. The times are there, I just need to go out and dig deep and find it.”
Seymour set a pole vault school record of its own, as well. Mikaela Grout’s 9-0 effort was good enough for a second place tie with Floyd Central’s Rylie Smith.
“I wanted to do a little bit better, but we always know it’s going to be a tight one,” Sexton said. “Our distance runners came through, our throwers came through with some PRs, and it really was exciting for us. Some girls really stepped up and did some neat things.”
Jennings County had a solid meet finishing fourth.
“We ran really well,” Jennings County coach Leah McLeod said. “We were hoping to place higher than fourth, but at the end of the day, I think everybody ran their best. Right now, we’re a little closer to Seymour and Bedford than we would’ve liked, but that’s good. Now we know where we stand in a big meet.”
Jennings County’s Keri Ertel was up to her usual high standards Tuesday, winning the 100-meter hurdles in 15.09 seconds, and the 300 meter hurdles in 45.06 seconds. Ertel also anchored the Panthers’ victorious 4×100-meter relay (50.59) and the fourth place finishing 4×400-meter relay (4:17.03).
“It’s really special, especially because it’s conference,” Ertel said. “I’m really proud of our team as a whole. We placed where we did last year, but we really came together as a team and tried to do our best.”
Columbus East, dealing with the injury to Katie Mack, was unable to sustain much team success.
“As a whole, we were pretty successful, but the score’s not going to say that,” Olympians’ coach Glen Brown said.
“Emily Clancy came through with another school record in the pole vault and our distance people dropped time like you wouldn’t believe. I’m disappointed for the team that we didn’t show better, but we had a great effort.”
“We wanted to do very well, but there were circumstances we couldn’t control, and that’s what happens,” he said.
Clancy ran away with the pole vault victory, increasing the East school record to 10 feet, 3 inches.
East freshman Addy Galarno was forced to step into Mack’s 400 spot, and finished seventh in 1:05.46.
“It was pretty tough. Coach (Brown) kind of talked me through it and told me what I needed to do, but I was feeling pressured,” Galarno said.
Galarno also anchored the Olympians’ 4×400 relay team which finished eighth in 4:32.23.