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Perry sweeps in PLAC three-peat

May 14, 2008
For the third year in a row, the Perry Central boys' and girls' track teams swept the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference meet Friday night at Mitchell.

Perry Central's Nick Huber had a big night at the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference track meet with 32-1/2 points for MVP honors to lead the Commodores to a third straight conference title. (Photo by Wade Bell)
The Lady Commodores, who have now won 14 straight PLAC meets, dominated with a 31-point decision over runner-up Mitchell, with the Commodore boys' team edging Paoli by 11 points.

"I've had nine seniors this year, and they've stuck with me," girls' coach Becky Genet said. "Usually, they don't do that in track. I've come with 12 or 13 girls and do it."

Genet said, however, her best runners weren't able to compete.

"We've had bad luck this year," she said. "My top runner, Rachel Rayford, is still out, and Jessica Huber got released this past week. In the 300 hurdles, she got her best time. I thought we'd really be able to compete more in the sectional this year, but since I've lost those two girls, it's tougher."

"On paper, by seedings, we only win by three points (over Paoli)," Commodores coach Jason Barnett said of the boys' meet. "They've got the speed and we've got the distance, so we kind of balance each other out. Distance was definitely the key. Everybody has done what they were supposed to do place-wise where we thought."

There was plenty of drama during the meet, and the first of it came in the girls' high jump. Orleans standout Jessica Smith struggled in the lower heights while opponent Devon Hardman, of Mitchell, was jumping well. When it came to the higher heights, however, Smith came through smoothly, clearing 5 feet, 4 inches for the win.

"I don't know what my problem was today," Smith said, who has jumped 5-6 this season. "Maybe it was because of the long jump or the cold weather. I was blessed to get it out there in the end. … When I scratched earlier, I was surprised. I was like, 'Where did that come from?' Then, I jumped a few more times and got rolling."

The boys' high jump came down to Jessica's brother, Jacob, and Perry Central's Nick Huber in a jump-off. Huber, who's jumped 6-6 this season, finished with a win at 6 feet, 3 inches.

"The high jump was what was rough on me," Huber said. "We were tied after we both got out. We kept it at the height and got one more try to get it. He missed, but I got it."

More drama came in the girls' 100-meter hurdles preliminaries with Smith and Perry Central's Dani Esarey. Midway through the preliminary race, Smith hit a hurdle, which then spun into Esarey's lane, causing Esarey to take a hard fall. Though it wasn't intentional, because Smith's hurdle fell into an opponent's lane, Smith was disqualified from the event and not able to run in the final.

"I knew it fell down," Smith said. "I knew I hit it, but I didn't know the girl fell down because of my hurdle. I didn't know it till I got till the end."

Huber won the 110-meter high hurdles and did it from the second lane away from what is normally faster runners.

"What happened was there was only four people in our heat and all we had to do was finish the race and make the finals," Huber said. "I took it easy and didn't want to aggravate the ankle or anything, so I ended up in lane two. It's not a good lane assignment, but I'll take it."

Huber said a runner has to think differently from that position.

"You're not there with the guys you're going to be racing," he said. "They're three lanes away from you. I could feel them on me still. They weren't too far away. I know what I had to do. I think after the fourth hurdle, I was ahead pretty good."

Paoli dominated the sprinting events, with Tyler Dillard and Kiaya Kameda running to wins in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Kameda also won the long jump and was named the girls Most Valuable Performer.

"Actually, I felt like I was going pretty slow," Kameda said after winning the 100 meters. "It's just running hard. I'm always focused. I don't hear anyone. I'm just like in a zone. … I'm always thinking 12.8 (seconds), but I didn't get it today, though. I've already run the hundred, two hundred (trials) and the long jump, so my legs are pretty tired."

"I just keep going," Dillard said after his 100-meter win. "If I hear anyone coming up on me, I run harder than what I did before. I can hear them coming. I can see some of their shadows catching up. I just kind of focus in on who is the closest. Then, I try to go as fast as I can to make sure I stay ahead. It's not as easy as it looks."

In the 1,600 meters, Crawford County's Lauren Schaftlein found herself chased by Paoli's Audrey Thill through the first three laps. In the end Schaftlein outlegged Thill in a time of 5 minutes, 34.1 seconds, just four seconds off the school record.

"I feel like that could be made up somewhere, maybe next race," she said. "I was trying to focus on that to see if I could get close to it. Now would be the best time to do it before a real big race. Four seconds off is not bad."

"She came in pretty close," Schaftlein said of Thill. "When I heard her splits, at 1:25 I was like, 'Urg!' I needed to get 1:18, 1:19 splits to get close to (the record). I just tried to pick it up as much as I could to see how close I could get to it. I wasn't going to get it with the splits I was having."

Perry Central's Corey Kimball had some help in the boys' 1,600 event as he was chased by teammate Eric Scheiber the entire distance. Kimball pulled away on the last lap with a winning time of 4:46.7, three seconds ahead of his running mate. Crawford County's Daniel Allen had a good race, finishing third in the event in 5:05.7.

"It helped me a lot actually," said Kimball, who also won the 3,200 meters. "I didn't want to lose, and he was running good. It kind of scared me. It's nice having people there to run against."

It looked like Smith was going to redeem herself in the 300-meter hurdles, blasting out to a good start and smoothly clearing each hurdle as she charged through the first 250 meters. Hardman, however, started gaining ground with 50 meters to go and outleaned Smith at the end to get the win.

"I was pretty tired out, but I just wanted to try my best I could, because I didn't get to do my best in the 100 hurdles," Smith said. "I knew she was coming up behind me. I tried to go, but sometimes my legs don't cooperate with my head. I was just happy to be able to get in there a good time, which was school record. I'm happy about that."

As it has been in several meets this season, it was a 1-2 finish for Schaftlein and her Lady Pack teammate, Morgan Kenner, in the girls' 800 meters. Kenner kept closer this time, but Schaftlein had the better kick in the end.

"We can run together all we want, but she keeps in front of me and I just pace off her," Kenner said. "I'm not putting anybody down, but there's really nobody behind me. When you need that extra boost in the finish stretch, I don't have that. I can't give it to Lauren yet, so both of our times are not where we want them to be tonight. We would have preferred under 2:30."

In the girls' 3,200 meters, Paoli's Audrey Thill was solid, finishing with a 57-second win over runner-up LaVina Schwartz of Perry Central.

"Most of the time I've been with the guys," Thill said. "I've used the guys to gauge myself to pace myself."

Thill said she had to work to get her strength back after an injury during cross country season.

"It's been tough," she said. "My weight went up not running. Just getting back into the mindset of racing, I've just been think about getting back to where I was. I'm close, but I'm not there yet. I'm wanting to run in the elevens. This is my best this year, so I'm happy with that."

In the boys' 1,600-meter relay, Perry Central's Nick Huber came from behind in the last 30 meters to sprint past Paoli's Ben White for the win. Barnett credited a large part of the team win to Huber.

"Nick's got it done," Barnett said. "We didn't know what to expect with his ankle. He hurt it last Friday at Dubois, and he hasn't run any hurdles since a week ago. He still ran pretty good considering. He did his job."

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Girls' Scores - Perry Central 132, Mitchell 101, Paoli 65, Crawford County 62, Orleans 57, Springs Valley 35, West Washington 19

Girls' Results - 3,200-Meter Relay-1. Crawford County 10:40.8, 2. Perry Central 11:20.6, 3. Paoli 12:09.0; 100-Meter Dash-1. Kiaya Kameda (P) 13.1, 2. Arica Kemp (PC) 13.3; 3. Allison Ragsdale (SV) 13.7; 100-Meter Hurdles-1. Taylor Blackburn (M) 17.2, 2. Laura Cessna (M) 17.2, 3. Rebecca Taylor (PC) 17.8; 200-Meter Dash-1. Kiaya Kameda (P) 27.9, 2. Devon Hardman (M) 28.3, 3. Arica Kemp (PC); 1,600-Meter Run-1. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 5:34.1, 2. Audrey Thill (P) 5:37.03, 3. LaVina Schwartz (PC) 5:55.2; 400-Meter Relay-1. Perry Central 54.5, 2. Mitchell 55.4, 3. Orleans 57.06; 400-Meter Dash-1. Allison Ragsdale (SV) 1:07.4, 2. Olivia Smith (O) 1:08.1, 3. Rachel Darland (CC) 1:08.2; 300-Meter Hurdles-1. Devon Hardman (M) 48.03, 2. Jessica Smith (O) 2:07.0, 3. Jessica Huber (PC) 51.9; 800-Meter Run-1. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 2:32.1, 2. Morgan Kenner (CC) 2:33.2, 3. Amanda Brickman (M) 2:42.2; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Audrey Thill (P) 12:04.9, 2. LaVina Schwartz (PC) 13:02.1, 3. Audra Gehlhausen (PC) 13:10.5; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. Perry Central 4:31.3, 2. Crawford County 4:32.3, 3. Mitchell 4:50.2; Long Jump-1. Kiaya Kameda (P) 15-5-1/4, 2. Jessica Smith (O) 15-1-3/4, 3. Allison Ragsdale (SV) 14-7-3/4; High Jump-1. Jessica Smith (O) 5-4, 2. Devon Hardman (M) 5-3, 3. Amanda Allen (PC) 4-10; Discus-1. Sarah Jenkins (M) 93-7, 2. Brittany Bedwell (WW) 86-6-1/2, 3. Kyla Edwards (PC) 83-6-1/2; Shot Put-1. Alie Schroeder (PC) 34-0, 2. Kylee James (PC) 31-5-1/2, 3. Courtney Beasley (O) 30-4-1/2

Boys' Scores - Perry Central 143, Paoli 132, Mitchell 86, Orleans 36, Crawford County 32, West Washington 31, Springs Valley 5

Boys' Results - 3,200-Meter Relay-1. Perry Central 8:27.8, 2. Paoli 9:04.6, 3. Mitchell 9:11.2; 100-Meter Dash-1. Tyler Dillard (P) 11.09, 2. David Morris (M) 11.4, 3. Nate Smith (P) 11.7; 110-Meter H. Hurdles-1. Nick Huber (PC) 15.1, 2. Kyle Cessna (M) 16.3, 3. Ben White (P) 16.4; 200-Meter Dash-1. Tyler Dillard (P) 23.3, 2. Dylan Long (P) 23.5, 3. Jeremy Hudson (M) 24.08; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Corey Kimball (PC) 4:46.7, 2. Eric Scheiber (PC) 4:49.5, 3. Daniel Allen (CC) 5:05.7; 400-Meter Relay-1. Paoli 45.8, 2. Mitchell 46.03, 3. Perry Central 47.2; 400-Meter Dash-1. Michael Ernst (PC) 52.1, 2. Tyler Dillard (P) 53.1, 3. Max Andis (P)54.03; 300-Meter I. Hurdles-1. Nick Huber (PC) 40.5, 2. Kyle Cessna (M) 41.4, 3. Ben White (P) 41.9; 800-Meter Run-1. Jacob Smith (O) 2:06.1, 2. David Burger (M) 2:07.0, 3. Eric Hanners (P) 2:08.4; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Corey Kimball (PC) 10:42.3, 2. Eric Scheiber (PC) 10:49.0, 3. Ben Warren (P) 10:57.7; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. Perry Central 3:32.2, 2. Paoli 3:33.2, 3. Mitchell 3:42.04; Long Jump-1. Ben White (P) 19-2-3/4, 2. Michael Henry (CC) 18-5-3/4, 3. T.J. Hall (PC) 18-1-3/4; High Jump-1. Nick Huber (PC) 6-3, 2. Jacob Smith (O) 6-2, Tate Smith (P) 5-10; Discus-1. Evan Sanders (M) 151-7-1/2, 2. Dustin Howard (WW) 130-0, 3. Jake Pauline (PC) 123-3; Shot Put-1. Evan Sanders (M) 50-8, 2. Robbie Piper (PC) 50-1, 3. Jake Paulin (PC) 47-5

Boys' MVP - Nick Huber (PC) 32.5 Pts.

Girls' MVP - Kiaya Kameda (P) 33 Pts.

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