For The Tribune
Brownstown Central’s Joe Barnes could have used Saturday’s rainy conditions as an excuse.
To the junior’s credit, he didn’t.
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Looking to earn a top-nine finish in either the shot put or discus, Barnes finished 15th and 24th, respectively, at Saturday’s boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
He entered the shot put competition seeded sixth.
“I didn’t throw what I was capable of throwing. I don’t think I was physically or mentally prepared. We had a lot of things going on (at school) this last week-and-a-half, and I think it just hit me too hard, really,” Barnes said. “But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.
“Just to come to these facilities … I would rather come here in a blizzard or in a rainstorm like we did (discus) than throw anywhere else in perfect weather.”
Mother Nature impacted two other field event athletes — albeit indirectly.
Meet officials elected to move the pole-vault and high-jump competitions indoors to IU’s Gladstein Fieldhouse.
Brownstown Central junior Jacob Bollinger finished in a five-way tie for 15th in the pole vault after clearing a best of 13 feet, 6 inches. Another junior, Seymour’s Seth Ragon, failed to make the opening height in the high jump.
“I know Seth was disappointed, but it really doesn’t take away from what he accomplished this season,” said Owls coach Randy Fife, who saw Ragon jump 6-5 to come in second at the Bloomington North Regional on May 26.
“Seth had a great season, but it just didn’t finish the way he wanted. He qualified last year for state, but being indoors it was all new again.”
Brownstown Central senior Jake McCullough closed out his high school career with a 26th-place finish in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:01.02.
With a student enrollment of approximately 600, Brownstown Central, despite not scoring any points at state, put the finishing touches on a memorable boys track and field season.
“Any time you can send a kid to state from your program is great. But to send three athletes in four events, wow,” Braves coach Sam Terrell said. “We just had some really good athletes this year.
“Next season Barnes and Bollinger should both have the goal to medal next season at state.”