May 29, 2019The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders didn't quite have the stuff they needed at the Evansville Central girls' track regional last Tuesday afternoon, finishing in third place, behind Evansville Reitz Memorial and meet winner New Albany. Meanwhile, Crawford County's Haylea Crandall will compete in her third straight state finals in the high jump this weekend, after finishing second.
"Hats off to New Albany," Floyd Central coach Courtney Bardach said. "It's exciting for them. We still had some good performances. We got out in the 4-by-800, 4-by-400, two two-milers, two pole vaulters, so we had a good group going to state. Some things didn't go our way, but that's track and field."
Crawford County's Haylea Crandall advances to her third straight state finals last Tuesday night when she clears 5-5 to finish second in the high jump at the Evansville Central Regional. Photos By Wade Bell
There was a lot of action in the field events. In the high jump, the last battle came down to Crandall and South Spencer's Kelsey Bowlds. After both easily cleared 5-4, Bowlds cleared on her first attempt at 5-5, while Crandall missed on hers. At 5-6, both jumpers just missed the height, with Bowlds getting the win on misses.
"It was close," said Crandall, who also finished fourth in the long jump. "I'm really proud of myself today. I've come a long way. It's still a process and I've still got state. I can prove to myself that I know I can. I've just got to keep practicing. I've worked really hard for all of this, and I'm just really proud of myself today."
Crandall said she still has to work on her kick as she goes over the bar.
"I was focusing on my legs, but, when I came in, I knew the only problem this year was my legs and kicking them on the right time," she said. "I knew it would be tougher because there's a lot of competitors who are jumping the same height I was in the competition. I'm happy it turned out the way it did because it could have been worse. I've just got to think positive about it. Second is good, really good. I'm proud of myself."
Floyd Central's Spencer Freiberger was hoping for a better day, but it just wasn't meant to be. Freiberger, who set a personal best at the sectional with a 5-4 jump, could only manage 5 feet and a tie for seventh place.
"It definitely wasn't the outcome I was expecting," she said. "I probably should have prepared a lot better, hydrated, stretched, stayed warm, but it's all right. After the 4-10 jump, my hamstring started bothering me. Then, my back started bothering me because I had had back problems during sectionals, but I can't really use that as an excuse."
"I thought they were doing all right, but my arch hadn't reached where the bar was," she said. "My butt kept hitting it, and Courtney kept telling me to scoot back and scoot back, and it was just getting into my head."
In the pole vault, it was two Floyd Central freshmen who owned the event, with Annalise Zeinemann and Reece Davis going 1-2 for the sweep. Zeinemann battled an east wind to finish first at a height of 10-10, while Davis set a new person best of 10-2 for second place.
"In the beginning, I was really nervous," Zeinemann said after the win. "I could see myself doing awful, and I know it's awful to say, but, after I made the opening height, I could feel a little better. My last two jumps were not the best."
Zeinemann is hoping for better conditions when she goes to Bloomington for the state finals.
Floyd Central junior Sydney Liddle, right, paces in behind Christian Academy of Indiana's McKenna Cavanaugh in the 3,200 meters. Cavanaugh went on to win with Liddle second.
"I'm really hoping this time I won't have a headwind, that it will be a nice day and it won't be so late at night. In the beginning, I was a little nervous because of the headwinds, but then I was doing poles a lot in the beginning, which that's kind of weird," she said. "After it got to bigger heights, the headwind, I definitely felt it affecting me. It's hard to go with a bunch of wind hitting me."
"I didn't really think I was going to make it to state at the beginning of the season, and it was getting closer and closer to state and I was going, 'Well, maybe,' " Zeinemann said. "Then, a bunch of friends were telling me I may make it to state, and I didn't really like that. I felt, if I didn't go to state, I totally let them down."
Davis was beaming with a big smile after her second-place finish at 10-2.
"I was proud because I got 10-2 for the very first time, a new PR," she said. "It's really exciting, because now we have two pole vaulters going to state. That will help the team. I'm really happy about that. I'll just try to go in (to state) and do my best every meet. I'm competing against myself, trying to do the best I can do."
In the first running event, the 3,200-meter relay, the Lady Highlanders had a tough battle through the second half of the race with Evansville Reitz. Floyd Central finished second just a little over three seconds behind Reitz (9:34.76) in a time of 9 minutes, 38.32 seconds. Corydon Central was fifth in a time of 10:21.56.
Floyd Central freshman McKenna Kruer scored in the 100-meter dash with an eighth-place finish in 13.53 seconds. Sydney Baxter gave Floyd Central two points with a seventh-place finish in the 800-meter run in 2:27.42, while teammate Natalie Claire finished one spot out of the points in ninth.
In the 1,600-meter run, Floyd Central's Jaydon Cirincione finished in the sixth spot in a time of 5:23.90, with Corydon Central's Marcie Stewart finishing 15th in 5:55.74. In the 100-meter hurdles, the Lady Highlanders had the door shut on them as Keegan Kaiser finished 11th in 17.61 and Haven Enlow placed 13th in 17.79. Keegan and teammate Racquel Semer came back in the 300 hurdles to finish fifth (47.99) and sixth (48.28), respectively, to score. The Lady Highlanders finished sixth in the 400-meter relay with a time of 51.34.
Just as they did at the sectional, the battle for the top spot in the 3,200-meter run came down to Christian Academy of Indiana's Mc-
Kenna Cavanaugh and Floyd Central's Sydney Liddle. Unlike last time, when Cavanaugh drafted off Liddle for most of the race, Liddle was doing the drafting behind Cavanaugh for the first four laps.
Liddle then made the pass and had a gap of about five to six seconds over the CAI senior. But that soon disappeared. On the last lap, Cavanaugh picked up the pace to pass Liddle with 200 meters to go. Cavanaugh got the win in a time of 11:12.81, while Liddle finished second in 11:16.22.
"I didn't expect her to go ahead of me (at the start)," Liddle said. "I had a plan if she did. I was going to stay behind her till I needed to go. But I was expecting to go out and lead pretty much the whole way. I knew McKenna was going to be right there and that it was going to be close.
Liddle has high hopes of standing on the podium at Bloomington.
"I'm really blessed and happy to be able to do that," she said. "I'd really like to get a PR there, and it should be easier since I'll have so many more girls to run with. So, I'd really like to PR there, and I'd really like to place all-state. The last time I looked I was ranked sixth with my 10:57 at Zionsville."
"She gapped it and she was looking, but then she had some slow laps in there," Bardach said of Liddle. "That's the danger of taking the lead and not continue to push the pace."
Chloe Loftus will make the trip to Bloomington for the Lady Highlanders, after finishing third in a time of 11:44.06.
"I've never been before in track, so this is exciting," she said.
Loftus also used the drafting technique to save energy by staying right behind Forest Park's Claire Mehling, who finished fourth.
"My goal was to stay on her if she was going to go out at a fast pace," the Floyd Central junior said. "I was going to let her go out and fall back to me. I just wanted to focus on the lap I was running and approach it as only a 400 and go eight time and go from there and help my race from that."
"We just told her to sit on third place," Bardach said. "With a lap and a half to go, she felt good. So, she just took the third spot."
Floyd Central also qualified for the state finals in the final event of the night, finishing third in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:10.64.
"The 4-by-400, they were excited for that because that's a season best for them," Bardach said. "Even though they only got third, they were all excited to qualify with a season best. You can't ask for more than that."
Bardach said between now and this weekend it will just be a few tune-ups and keeping her team healthy.
"Keeping them healthy and getting ready mentally for that big-stage event," she said. "We definitely have all-state contention in the pole vault and the 4-by-800 and the two-mile. So, with all of our events, just potentially having all-state and continue to run our best PRs and try to get season best."
Team Scores: New Albany 84, Evansville Reitz Memorial 78.5, Floyd Central 71.5, Southridge 42.5, Evansville Mater Dei 40, Jasper 38, Evansville Bosse 36, Gibson Southern 30, Heritage Hills 26, Princeton 17, North Knox 16, Forest Park 15, Crawford County 13, Northeast Dubois 10.5, Christian Academy of Indiana 10, South Spencer 10, Evansville North 9, Barr Reeve 9, Boonville 7, Loogootee 5, Castle 5, Tell City 5, Washington 5, Evansville F.J. Reitz 5, Evansville Day 4, Evansville Central 4, Vincennes Lincoln 4, Corydon Central 4, Providence 4, Pike Central 2, Borden 2, Mt. Vernon 2, North Posey 1
Individual results (Top 3 Advance to State): 100 - 1. T. Brigham (EB) 12.58, 2. M. Grant (NA) 12.90, 3. M. Lander (EB) 13.06; 200 - 1. M. Muerer (NK) 25.50, 2. K. Neukam (SR) 26.10, 3. M. Grant (NA) 26.27; 400 - 1. A. Jones-Taylor (Prnctn) 58.34, 2. J. Burns (HH) 59.02, 3. R. Winslow (NA) 59.11; 800 - 1. A. Morphew (ER) 2:17.61, 2. C. Sievern (ER) 2:18.50, 3. O. Hawkins (NA) 2:21.01; 1600 - 1. A. Skorge (Jspr) 5:08.83, 2. A. VanMeter (Jspr) 5:16.64, 3. Jacqueline (ER) 5:18.64; 3200 - 1. M. Cavanaugh (CAI) 11:21.81, 2. S. Liddle (FC) 11:16.22, 3. C. Loftus (FC) 11:44.06; 100 hurdles - 1. G. Sickbert (SR) 15.53, 2. V. Zigenfus (EM) 15.81, 3. R. Wilder (Bnvl) 15.91; 300 hurdles - 1. V. Zigenfus (EM) 46.37, 2. J. Frederick (NA) 47.28, 3. G. Sickbert (SR) 47.69; 400 relay - 1. Evansville Bosse 49.07, 2. Southridge 49.54, 3. New Albany 49.83; 1600 relay - 1. Evansville Reitz 4:04.08, 2. New Albany 4:08.48, 3. Floyd Central 4:10.64; 3200 relay - 1. Evansville Reitz 9:34.76, 2. Floyd Central 9:38.32, 3. New Albany 10:02.70; High jump - 1. K. Bowlds (SS) 5-5, 2. H. Crandall (CC) 5-5, 3. K. Pogue (EN) 5-3; Pole vault - 1. A. Zeinemann (FC) 10-10, 2. R. Davis (FC) 10-2, 3. M. Meuer (NK) 9-10; Long jump - 1. M. Grant (NA) 18-0, 2. Shalandria White (NA) 17-5, 3. T. Brigham (EB) 17-3-1/2; Shot put - 1. M. Hillyard (GS) 38-6, 2. R. Gordan (HH) 37-11-1/2, 3. M. Dickerson (EM) 37-10-1/2; Discus - 1. M. Hillyard (GS) 123-6-1/2, 3. M. Dickerson (EM) 119-0, 3. A. Prok (NED) 118-4-1/2