Don’t forget the 3/8 of an inch when talking with the girls pole vault record-holder at Seymour High School.

Seymour’s Mikaela Grout pays attention to the details, and every bit matters.

This past girls track and field season, the senior set the Owls’ new mark for the pole vault at 10 feet, 3/8 inches.

However, pole vaulting was only the beginning duty at each of her meets.

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Grout also did the long jump and ran in the 400-meter dash and 4×400-meter relay.

Not only did she compete in those events, but she won quite often to push the Owls toward a victory.

With all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Grout the 2016 Jackson County Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

“Not just this season, but every season, she was an athlete we could count on,” Owls coach Bob Sexton said. “When you’re in a situation and you know the score is close, especially in the sectional, you could tell her we were behind, and she would win. She made sure it happened — bottom line. She’s a young lady who loves to compete. If she’s competing, she wants to win.”

For the pole vault, Grout won three times in the 2016 season.

Most notably, she finished on top in the event at the Jennings County Sectional — in miserable, rainy conditions — by clearing 8 feet.

At regional, she finished in a four-way tie for third place with her school-record vault.

Unfortunately, she was bumped down to a fifth-place finish, just short of the state top-three cut due to the number of jumps.

“I enjoyed pole vaulting a lot this year,” Grout said. “I was kind of stuck at 9-6 all season. I feel like I really improved. I’m glad I could get it (over 10 feet).”

The season didn’t start off as smoothly as Grout had hoped.

Johnnie Spivey took over as pole vaulting coach in 2016 for former coach Aaron Floyd.

While there were difficulties at first, the vault came together by the season’s end.

“There was a coaching change, and I think she struggled a little bit at the beginning,” Sexton said. “It did end up working out. She knew that (Spivey) would help her get better. They worked on their form and was able to make it all happen.”

Grout won the 400-meter dash four times, including a fourth-place finish at the sectional and 15th in the Bloomington North Regional.

As the anchor in the 4×400 relay, Grout crossed the finish line first three times.

The relay team of Grout, Claire Loebker, Alexis Gross and Oriana Morales placed seventh in the regional with a time of 4:21.89 after getting second at sectional.

By a slim margin of 1½ points, the Owls won the sectional.

It was the fifth-straight title for Seymour.

That made it four team sectional championships for Grout.

Grout, who plans on studying business management, will continue her track and field career at Taylor University in Upland this fall.

She said the coach will send her workouts in August before she dives head-in.

“I’m going to miss my friends the most,” Grout said. “I got to know a lot of people this year, especially in the younger grades. I think in college, it will be the same.

“I’m looking forward to continue pole vaulting. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it again. My freshman year, I want to clear at least 9-6. I want to be able to one day beat the record of over 11 feet.”

Pull Quote

“She made sure it happened — bottom line. She’s a young lady who loves to compete. If she’s competing, she wants to win.” — Seymour High School girls track and field coach Bob Sexton on senior Mikaela Grout

All-County team

Trentity Vaught, Brownstown Central, junior

Accomplishments: State qualifier for discus, sectional champion (discus), second at regional (discus).

Brooklyn Snodgrass, Brownstown Central, freshman

Accomplishments: State qualifier for the 100-meter dash, second place at regional (100), broke the school record for the 100 (12.5).

Kristen Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central, sophomore

Accomplishments: Mid-Southern Conference runner-up (400-meter dash), regional qualifier (400).

Mallory Nierman, Brownstown Central, sophomore

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier for pole vault, runner-up finish at sectional (pole vault).

Breanna Barger, Crothersville, junior

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier (400), broke school record in 400 (1:01.71), All-Southern Athletic Conference (400).

Lillie Hatfield, Medora, junior

Accomplishments: Set school records in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs

Ashton Chase, Seymour, freshman

Accomplishments: Hoosier Hills Conference champion in 1,600 and 3,200, double sectional champion (1,600, 3,200).

Oriana Morales, Seymour, sophomore

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay, sectional champion (4×800 relay).

Claire Loebker, Seymour, sophomore

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay, sectional champion (4×800 relay).

Megan Winter, Seymour, senior

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in 4×800 relay and 1,600, sectional champion (4×800 relay).

Abby Voss, Seymour, sophomore

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay and 800, sectional champion (4×800 relay).

Emma Brock, Seymour, sophomore

Accomplishments: Regional qualifier in 800, sectional champion (800).

Hailley Peters, Trinity Lutheran, junior

Accomplishments: State qualifier for high jump, set school record at 5-3 (high jump).

Honorable mention

Kaelyn Johnson, Brownstown Central, freshman

Maddy Pace, Brownstown Central, senior

Sophie Kries, Brownstown Central, sophomore

Madison Klinge, Brownstown Central, sophomore

Chasta Lamb, Crothersville, sophomore

Piper Hensley, Crothersville, freshman

Maddie Bell, Trinity Lutheran, freshman

Miranda Murphy, Trinity Lutheran, senior

Lexi Schneider, Trinity Lutheran, junior

Alexis Gross, Seymour, junior

Morgan Ritz, Seymour, senior

Jessica Blevins, Seymour, freshman

Avery DeHart, Seymour, freshman

Maya Hauersperger, Seymour, senior

Cecily Coffman, Seymour, junior

Megan Ritz, Seymour, freshman

At a glance

2016 Jackson County Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year

Mikaela Grout, Seymour, senior

  • Pole vault: Finished first three times during the season, first at sectional and fifth at regional, set school record.
  • 400: Finished first four times during the season, fourth at sectional and 15th at regional.

  • 4×400 relay: Team finished first three times during the season, second at sectional and seventh at regional.

  • Long jump: Finished first twice during the season.
  • 4-time team sectional champion
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7069.