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New Albany wins girls' title

Track and Field Sectional

May 21, 2008
It was a day of both lows and highs at the girls' sectional track meet at Corydon Central last Tuesday night, with New Albany dominating the meet with a 37-point win over runner-up Floyd Central. Corydon finished third and North Harrison finished fourth.

Floyd Central's Becky Kennedy flies to a win in the 400-meter dash, above, and finished second in the 100 meters at last Tuesday's Corydon Central Sectional. (Photos by Wade Bell)
The low of the day came as Corydon senior Gretchen Zimmerman hobbled in on crutches. Zimmerman, one of the favorites to win the long jump, saw her season come to an end just days before when she tore a ligament in her foot during a long jump drill.

"It's surreal right now," Zimmerman said as she watched with disappointment while others jumped in the competition.

Zimmerman, however, is already looking forward to her freshman year at Indiana University, where she will try out for the track team as a walk-on.

"Not only does it want to motivate me to do better, because I'm going to be on a track team with state champions and runners-up, it makes me want to work harder," she said.

The points were spread around in the field events, but New Albany swept the long jump and was third in the high jump. Corydon won the high jump and the pole vault, and Lanesville's Brittney Gayhart won the discus throw.

South Central's Abigail was second in the shot put, with North Harrison's Amanda Hartley third. Floyd Central's Kelsie Bristol was second in the pole vault, and teammate Nikki Roberts grabbed the fourth and final regional berth in the long jump.

Meghan Bussabarger grabbed the top spot in the high jump, but would have preferred a better performance.

"In the high jump I'd have rather got 5-4 for a better seed, but I'll take a win," said Bussabarger, who also won the 100-meter hurdles.

Corydon Central's Meghan Bussabarger looks for her landing spot as she flies over the bar in the high jump at the Corydon Central Sectional. Bussabarger won the event at 5 feet, 2 inches.
Crawford County's Lauren Schaftlein knew she wouldn't be able to catch New Albany's Carissa Martin in the 1,600 meters and focused on keeping the second position.

"It was just trying to stay up there," Schaftlein said. "I didn't want to get caught behind anyone, so I tried to stay in second throughout the whole race. I know what times (Martin) has been running recently, so I tried to stick where I was and stay in that position. I held it out to try to see how much closer I could get to the (school) record. I was three seconds off this time."

Floyd Central's Hannah Keehn edged out New Albany's Saisha Rairdon to finish third.

"I know that Saisha's been just a little bit ahead of me the whole year," she said, "so I just wanted to get this last one on her because I'm not really expecting to make it out of the regional. I wanted to get a PR (personal record), and that's what I did."

Floyd swept the 400-meter run with a 1-2 finish by Becky Kennedy and Meghan Jones, respectively. Jones got her second-place finish running in the slower heat, but in a time of 1 minute, 2.6 seconds.

"I'm thinking about going faster than I usually do," Kennedy said after her win. "I just think about going. I don't think about who's behind me. I'm just trying to beat the time. I place people along the side to tell me my time so I can know what I'm doing."

With Bussabarger not running in the 300 hurdles, that opened a door for others at a shot at a regional spot. South Central's Shelby Miller grabbed one of those positions with a second-place finish and Floyd's Nikki Roberts finished third.

"It wasn't one of my best races," Roberts said. "I think I could have done better. There was nobody there to challenge me, so it was a little bit harder. I try to pick the person with the closest time to me and base myself off her."

Roberts said she kept her eye on Miller to push her along.

"It helps until the last 100, then it's all out from there," she said. "It's pretty much all mental after that, pushing yourself."

Carissa Martin dominated the 800 meters with Crawford's Schaftlein finishing second. Morgan Kenner gave Crawford another regional spot, finishing third. Kenner ran a faster first lap to stay closer to Schaftlein for a better finish.

"My first lap being faster, it seems like I get a better time when that happens, so I wanted to have a good first lap," the Crawford senior said. "The second lap was rough. I haven't felt like that all year. … I'll just look to regional and hope that I can get under 2:30 again. That was my goal. I didn't get it today, but I'll try it again."

The high of the meet went to Floyd's Kelsie Bristol, who took the fourth spot in the 800 meters.

"I'm very happy with that," a bubbling Bristol said after the run. "This is definitely a senioritis thing. I knew I wanted to make it to regional. When I looked at the time, I wasn't sure. I knew a couple of girls had better times than me. I've been running 2:37's all year. This is a 33, so I did what I wanted, cut some time. … I knew I was going to do an all-out kick at the end. As long as I just ran a smooth first lap, I knew I could do it at the end. I had that ambition."

After having to settle for fourth place in the 1,600 meters, New Albany's Saisha Rairdon came back to win the 3,200-meter run. North Harrison's Amber Gresham ran a complete strategic race, holding back during the first half of the race, then kicking at the end to finish second.

"It was," Gresham confirmed. "Trail behind them as long as I can, then if I have enough left, take off from there the last lap."

"Usually, I run my first lap or two too fast, so I try to make myself stay back so I wouldn't kill myself," the senior said. "I did that on purpose and saved some for the end. … I didn't think I was going to get second place, but I did better than I thought. If I had run the middle harder, I should have got first. I could have. I had too much left."

Gresham said she knows what she has to do for that.

"I don't save so much next time," she said.

Girls' Scores - New Albany 170-1/2, Floyd Central 133-1/2, Corydon 60, North Harrison 58-1/2, Providence 56-1/2, Crawford County 44, Borden 34, South Central 22, Christian Academy 20, Lanesville 15

Girls' Results (Top 4 to Regional) - 100-Meter Dash-1. Kaleb Barbour (NA) 13.03, 2. Becky Kennedy (FC) 13.09, 3. Kellybrooke Lane (NA) 13.70, 4. Amanda Jones (Co) 13.99; 200-Meter Dash-1. Keleb Barbour (NA) 27.16, 2. Meghan Jones (FC) 27.39, 3. Angelicia Groves (NA) 28.24, 4. Kayla Plaiss (Bor) 28.91; 400-Meter Dash-1. Becky Kennedy (FC) 1:00.18, 2. Meghan Jones (FC) 27.39, 3. Haley Kasteler (NA) 1:03.58, 4. Sarah Frey (Prov) 1:04.70; 800-Meter Dash-1. Carissa Martin (NA) 2:23.2, 2. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 2:29.23, 3. Morgan Kenner (CC) 2:31.57, 4. Kelsie Bristol (FC) 2:33.76; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Carissa Martin (NA) 5:19.44, 2. Lauren Schaftlein (CC) 5:34.25, 3. Hannah Keehn (FC) 5:38.58, 4. Saisha Rairdon (NA) 5:38.60; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Saisha Rairdon (NA) 12:36.36, 2. Amber Gresham (NH) 12:47.22, 3. Sadie Huth (FC) 12:59.69, 4. Stephanie Cave (NA) 13:06.60; 100-Meter Hurdles-1. Meghan Bussabarger (Co) 15.48, 2. Alexander Halli (NA) 16.40, 3. Shelby Miller (SoCent) 17.20, 4. Nikki Roberts (FC) 17.81; 300-Meter Hurdles-1. Alexander Halli (NA) 48.02, 2. Shelby Miller (SoCent) 49.63, 3. Nikki Roberts (FC) 51.29, 4. Hannah Finchum (NA) 53.13; 400-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 52.01, 2. Floyd Central 54.09, 3. Providence 55.30, 4. Corydon 55.54; 1,600-Meter Run-1. New Albany 4:14.88, 2. Floyd Central 4:17.08, 3. Providence 4:28.70, 4. Crawford County 4:32.29; 3,200-Meter Relay-1. New Albany 10:11.07, 2. Crawford County 10:31.94, 3. Floyd Central 10:38.70, 4. Providence 10:52.68; High Jump-1. Meghan Bussabarger (Co) 5-2, 2. Alexandra Thompson (CA) 5-0, 3. Jensen Ricke (NA) 4-10, 4. Alex Rodden (Prov) 4-8; Pole Vault-1. Kelly Eberly (Co) 9-0, 2. Kelsie Bristol (FC) 8-6, 3. Kayla Plaiss (Bor) 7-6, 4. Brittney Newton (Bor) 7-6; Long Jump-1. Angelica Groves (NA) 15-11, 2. Janise Wehmiller (NA) 15-5-1/2, 3. Alexandra Thompson (CA) 15-3-1/4, 4. Nikki Roberts (FC) 15-1-1/2; Shot Put-1. Melissa Hunt (Bor) 34-1, 2. Abigail Day (SoCent) 32-1, 3. Elyce Williams (Prov) 31-2, 4. Amanda Hartley (NH) 30-1; Discus-1. Brittney Gayhart (L) 102-7, 2. Laurinda Cockerham (NH) 93-6, 3. Amanda Hartley (NH) 90-7, 4. Jessi Grosheider (FC) 88-3

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