May 22, 2019The New Albany Bulldogs won nine of the 16 events in the boys' track sectional at Corydon Central Thursday night to edge county rival Floyd Central by an 11-point margin, 159-148. The Highlanders lost points they were expected to get in a few events, allowing the Bulldogs to get their foot in the door and take home the hardware.
The first real battle of the day came in the discus between Floyd Central's Cameron Sturgeon and Crawford County's Nick Stroud. Both throwers made it into the finals, with Sturgeon leading Stroud by about 11 feet. In the finals, Stroud, on his last throw, punched out his biggest of the competition, 144 feet, 1 inch. That put the senior in the lead with Sturgeon having one remaining throw.
Crawford County senior Nick Stroud has to settle for second place in the discus with a distance of 141 feet, 1 inch. Photos By Wade Bell
At that point, Sturgeon thought, "Not today."
"I felt a chip on my shoulder, so I was like, 'That's not happening. This is not how it's going to finish,' " he said. "I almost laughed. I was not going to get beat. That was just not how it was going to happen."
"In my own head, I had a throw to compete with (Stroud)," Sturgeon said. "I decided I was not going to lose. I'm not keen on losing sectional, and I just set my mind on letting not anything happen but a win on that last throw."
The Floyd Central senior then launched his best throw of the day — 153 feet, 3 inches — to seal the deal.
"The first four weren't that good, but I did what I could and finished it out. I'm happy with it, I guess," Sturgeon said. "I'll just come out and have a bigger day at regional."
"My spinning wasn't working for me, so I just went with a power throw," Stroud said. "My power throws are always better for some reason … It felt good (to be in front), but I knew he had one throw left and (he) was going to throw a big one. He's a good thrower."
The shot put also came down to Sturgeon and Stroud, and the results were close again. Stroud's best throw was just under 50 feet, at 49-8. Sturgeon, however, got one to fly eight inches farther, winning with a distance of 50 feet, 4 inches.
"In shot, I won with a (personal record)," Sturgeon said. "My previous was a 49-3. I had a 50-foot, 3 (inch). I had a 51-4 in a try one time, so it's technically a PR. So, I was pretty happy with that. I had a couple of other throws where I was almost there. I feel like I have more in it."
"I'm just looking forward to regional, to compete against other guys," he said. "Nothing is guaranteed at regional. It's going to be big competition. I'm going to use that to my advantage to win discus and then come out of nowhere to win that shot. I know I have it in me. I know it's in there."
The high jump and long jump both belonged to New Albany. Eze Ndubisi cleared 6-6 to win the high jump over Corydon Central's Jacob Eve, whose best effort was 6 feet. In the long jump, Ja'raylan Johnson won with a distance of 21 feet, 10 inches right after Floyd Central's Wenkers Wright jumped 21 feet, 6 inches to briefly take the lead. Eve was third again at 21-1-1/2.
Corydon Central's Camden Marshall, left, surprises Floyd Central's Ross Ellis at the finish of the 800-meter run to win the event.
"I tried to get out of the pit at the last jump, but my hand got in there," Wright said. "The 21-6, I jumped it, then I saw the New Albany guy jump and I go, 'Coach, I think I made him mad.' So, that guy jumped a 21-10, and I said, 'Yeah, I made him a little mad.' "
"I'm happy with second place," he said. "That's a pretty good PR. I think I PRed that by about a foot, so I'm happy. I'm happy for that. That was good. I'm going to be in Floyd top-10 history after that jump, so I'm very happy about that."
In the pole vault, Borden's Eric Wheatley tied the sectional record of 15 feet to win the event. Floyd Central got some much needed points when Devon Montgomery finished second, flying over 14 feet, 6 inches. North Harrison's Colby Whittaker also made the regional cut with a height of 11 feet, 6 inches.
In the first of the running events, New Albany battled with the Highlanders in the 3,200-meter relay, and the Bulldogs (8:17.51) edged Floyd Central (8:21.31) by just over four seconds to get the win, with Christian Academy of Indiana finishing third (8:24.62).
In the 100-meter dash, the Highlanders suffered a loss of two much needed points when Lanesville's Luke Collins leaned out past Floyd Central's Jon Gunn to win. Collins finished in a personal best time of 10.99 seconds. School officials from all of the Harrison County schools are looking to see if that time is also a county record. Collins' previous best was 11.2. The Lanesville freshman also finished second in the 200-meter dash, just 0.15 of a second behind New Albany's Samuel Tunsil, who won in 22.73.
"I got a really good block start," Collins said after the 100 meters. "It was really hard right here (near the finish), so I had to push really hard. I just had to outrun him (Gunn). He did really good. I felt like I could win. I knew my potential."
In the first of the distance events, Christian Academy of Indiana's Caleb Futter was an easy winner with a time of 4:29.93. Corydon Central's Camden Marshall was second in 4:34.43, and Floyd Central's Hunter Griffin made the regional cut, finishing third in 4:39.99. Futter also won the 3,200-meter run in a time of 9:26.35. Floyd Central's Griffin was second in 10:06.63, with teammate Weston Naville right behind in 10:06.87.
The 400-meter dash saw a sectional record fall, with New Albany going 1-2 in the event. Micah Campbell won the event in a record time of 48.32 seconds, and teammate Brayden Cosby also finished under the sectional record, in 49.43, for second place.
In the 800-meter run, it first appeared Floyd Central's Ross Ellis was going to get the win, but, in the final 25 meters, Corydon Central's Marshall had something to say, as the sophomore made a last-ditch charge. With two steps to go, Marshall edged Ellis by a step, leaving a stunned Ellis in second. Marshall finished in 2:00.22, while Ellis finished in 2:00.30. South Central's Jude Baker made the regional cut, finishing third in 2:02.43.
"I went out a little slow, but I was able to kick it in at the end and just barely got it," Marshal said. "It was a tough race, but it felt really good. I was just going to try to run right behind first place and then just see if I had enough at the end to kick. I just gave it all I had, hoping to win."
New Albany scored big in both hurdles events, with Ndubisi Eve winning the 110 high hurdles in 14.52 seconds and DeAndre Stroud third in 15.70 seconds. In the 300 intermediate hurdles, New Albany's Stroud won in 40.19 seconds, with Floyd Central's Talon Hutto third in 41.04.The Bulldogs got extra points when Xzavier Pruitt finished fourth in 42.28.
In the relays, New Albany completed the sweep. In the 400-meter relay, the Bulldogs finished first in 43.71, with Floyd Central second in 44.49. Providence rounded out the top three at 45.30.
"We had a few guys down in that one," Floyd Central's Wright said. "One of our guys was out with an ear infection, so we replaced him. Then, Jon Gunn just hurt his hamstring, I'm pretty sure, (in the 100). That handoff needed some help. It could have been a lot worse. I'm pretty satisfied with what we did, and we'll see what happens from here."
In the final event, the 1,600-meter relay, it was the Bulldogs getting the win in a sectional record time of 3:26.10. Floyd Central was second in 3:30.63, with Corydon Central third in 3:31.97.
The Evansville Regional will be tomorrow (Thursday).
Team scores: New Albany 159, Floyd Central 148, Corydon Central 64, Borden 63.5, Providence 57, Christian Academy of Indiana 47, North Harrison 27, Lanesville 18, Crawford County 17, South Central 11.5, Clarksville 7
Individual results (Top 3 to Regional): 100 - 1. L. Collins (Lnsvl) 10.99, 2. J. Gunn (FC) 11.03, 3. C. Heselschwerdt (Prov) 11.21; 200 - 1. S. Tunsil (NA) 22.72, 2. L. Collins (Lnsvl) 22.88, 3. B. Barron (Prov) 23.13; 400 - 1. M. Camble (NA) 48.32*, 2. B. Cosby (NA) 49.43, 3. I. Hyde (FC) 50.79; 800 - 1. C. Marshall (Cory) 2:00.22, 2. R. Ellis (FC) 2:00.30, 3. J. Baker (SCent) 2:02.43; 1600 - 1. C. Futter (CAI) 4:29.93, 2. C. Marshall (Cory) 4:34.43, 3. H. Griffin (FC) 4:39.90; 3200 - 1. C. Futter (CAI) 9:26.35, 2. H. Griffin (FC) 10:06.63, 3. W. Naville (FC) 10:06.87; 100 hurdles - 1. N. Eze (NA) 14.52, 2. E. Wheatley (Bor) 14.68, 3. D. Stroud (NA) 15.70; 300 hurdles - 1. D. Stroud (NA) 40.19, 2. E. Wheatley (Bor) 40.39, 3. T. Hutto (FC) 41.04; 400 relay - 1. New Albany 43.71, 2. Floyd Central 44.49, 3. Providence 45.30; 1600 relay - 1. New Albany 3:26.10*, 2. Floyd Central 3:30.64, 3. Corydon Central 3:31.97; 3200 relay - 1. New Albany 8:17.51, 2. Floyd Central 8:21.31, 3. Christian Academy of Indiana 8:24.62; High jump - 1. N. Eze (NA) 6-6, 2. J. Eve (Cory) 6-0, 3. H. Burke (Prov) 6-0; Pole vault - 1. E. Wheatley (Bor) 15-0, 2. D. Montgomery (FC) 14-6, 3. C. Whittaker (NH) 11-6; Long jump - 1. J. Johnson (NA) 21-10, 2. W. Wright (FC) 21-6, 3. J. Eve (Cory) 21-1-1/2; Shot put - 1. C. Sturgeon (FC) 50-4, 2. N. Stroud (CC) 49-8, 3. B. Montgomery (NA) 47-1; Discus - 1. C. Sturgeon (FC) 153-3, 2. N. Stroud (CC) 144-1, 3. M. Harmes (Bor) 130-1