Joe Barnes certainly wasn’t intimidated going up against some throwers from bigger schools in Friday’s Boys Track and Field State Finals.
The Brownstown Central senior uncorked a 56-foot, 3½-inch toss to finish third in the shot put.
“I tried to leave an impression,” Barnes said. “I tried to represent Brownstown. All these big schools come in here and have 15-20 kids here. I’ll do whatever I can to put Brownstown on the map.”
Barnes, who threw a school-record 57-10 at the conference meet, was seeded ninth coming into state, based on his regional throw of 53-7½. Friday, he was fourth after the three preliminary throws, his best of which was a 54-8 on his initial effort.
The Indiana State recruit bumped that up to 56-3½ on his second of three throws in the finals to move up to third. West Lafayette sophomore George Karlaftas was the winner at 59-5½, and Bloomington North senior Logan Calvin took second at 56-8½.
“My mindset this whole week, was, ‘Come here and have fun,’” Barnes said. “I wasn’t going to pressure myself. I didn’t freak out. I was promised three throws the rest of my high school career. Why not have fun with it?”
The Braves’ other state qualifier, junior Colton Ritz, tied for 20th in the pole vault at 13-0. He was making his first state-meet appearance.
Ritz made the opening height of 13-0 on his second attempt before missing three times at 13-6.
“You like confidence going over that first vault, but it can change in an instant,” Ritz said. “I’m already thinking about next year.”
Meanwhile, Seymour senior Seth Ragon was making his third appearance at the state meet. He finished 15th in the high jump at 6-2.
Ragon cleared the opening height of 6-0 and also 6-2 on his first tries before missing his three tries at 6-4.
“I would have liked to do better,” said Ragon, who said he may try to walk on at University of Indianapolis. “But it feels really good clearing the opening height and the second height on my first attempts.”