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NH's Byrne, Austin make state

Floyd relay teams join 'Big Dance'

May 28, 2008
Emotions ran both high and low during the boys' regional track meet at Bloomington North High School Thursday night, with North Harrison sending two to this week's state finals and Floyd Central getting two relay teams into the meet. For the Corydon Central Panthers, however, it was a rough day, with some disappointing performances and no advancements.

North Harrison's Tyler Byrne charges to the finish line to win the 1,600-meter run ahead of Seymour's Nolan Fife. (Photos by Wade Bell)
In the fast heat of the 3,200-meter relay, Garrett Blackman and Will Cox had the Highlanders sitting back in the fourth and fifth positions during the first two legs, then Mason Kimmel moved the team up to third. Anchor Will Naville could see Bloomington South's Justin Chen a few meters ahead in second place and began to give chase. Naville made the pass in the third turn and pulled away, going on to give the Highlanders a second-place finish in a time of 8 minutes, 10.36 seconds behind winner Bloomington North.

"Our team is pretty straight-forward, just like in cross (country), pretty even," Naville said. "Everybody's about the same. We knew we'd have pretty fast times. We knew we had to close hard those last legs, and that's what we did."

Naville said he could see Chen begin to weaken and made his move.

"It felt pretty good when I got over there and I saw him," he said. "He was dying a little bit. I think he went out a little hard because the guy in front of him was real fast. I saw him coming back to me a little bit. I knew if I continued to run hard, I could catch him, and I did and everything worked out for the best."

Naville said he hopes the team's time of 8:10.36 is fast enough to get the squad into the fast heat at the state meet to push the team to a better finish.

"It's going to be close," he said. "We're just looking to go do our best and maybe PR as a team again. There's some really good teams at the state and maybe we can compete with some of them."

Floyd Central's Will Naville goes around Bloomington South's Justin Chen on the last leg of the 3,200-meter relay to capture second place and a spot in this weekend's boys' state finals in Bloomington.
In the discus, North Harrison's Alan Austin punched a throw of 157 feet in the preliminary round, giving the Cougar junior a little added confidence that something bigger was coming. That happened later as Austin threw 159 feet, 3 inches for second place and his first state finals.

"I don't know what to say," Austin said with a big smile on his face. "I guess it was all basically in the first step when I was throwing those. I usually just cut my foot off earlier, and this time I let the foot go out a little more. I guess that helped improve my rotation better. It helped it fly harder."

"Everything felt good," he said. "My disc was trapped perfectly back there and it was zooming out."

"A friend told me whenever you throw to think you're going on a cloud so it makes your steps lighter and faster," Austin said. "I tend to think about that. He also said to go to a happy place before you throw so then you're completely relaxed and ready for the throw."

The day was not what Corydon's Ryan Eichmiller had hoped in the 110-meter high hurdles, with the sophomore struggling through his trial run but running fast enough the earn a spot in the finals. He struggled there as well, finishing a disappointing fifth and adding injury to insult with a big crash at the finish line that left a large abrasion on his shoulder. Eichmiller also struggled in the 300 hurdles, finishing 13th after a near fall at the second hurdle.

"I was a little bit high over the hurdles, but other than that, you've got to be happy," Eichmiller said after the highs. "I made it this far."

"My main focus was coming out of the blocks," the sophomore said. "I didn't come out too well on the trials. … I just kind of let up in between hurdles a little bit. I made a mistake. I scratched myself up pretty good, but I'm all right. I've got to work harder."

Paoli's Tyler Dillard, on the other hand, had a solid race in the 100-meter dash. Dillard led the first 40 meters, then was passed by Bloomington South's Earnie Morris. Dillard fought off a charge by Charlestown's Justin Baxtron to finish second by just 0.01 of a second over the Charlestown junior. Dillard came back later to score in the 200 meters with a fourth-place finish.

"I think I want to cry," an emotional Dillard said after the 100-meter sprint. "I just ran hard and fast."

North Harrison's Tyler Byrne also had to run hard and fast in the 1,600-meter run. Byrne got to the front early, being chased by 15 other runners. At the halfway mark, the Cougar sophomore and Seymour's Nolan Fife began to break away from the pack for some breathing room. On the final lap, Byrne finally pulled ahead of Fife and went on to finish just under two seconds ahead, winning in a time of 4:24.36.

"That's pretty good competition," Byrne said. "It's a lot different race. I knew it was going to be close till the end, and it was. I tried to get faster. The first lap, we came through at 66. I was wanting to go a little bit under that today, but I just couldn't. I didn't have it on the first lap. We stuck close on times. I knew if I tried to take off on the last lap, I could get a little bit bigger lead and I was hoping he would fall back. It worked."

North Harrison coach Joe Kellum said both Byrne and Austin have earned their spots at the state finals.

"Tyler is unbelievalby dedicated to his event, and Alan is just as equal," Kellum said. "He works so hard at this, and I'm so proud of him and both of these guys for going on to next level for how hard they've worked. They work so hard at it and deserve it."

"Tyler's been working hard all year long," he said. "He's consistently knocked 12 seconds off his mile time yearly. We needed to get it down to a 4:24 to accomplish that. He was two seconds off."

"He got fifth last year," Kellum said of Austin. "He was best-ever here last year and got fifth. He was five or six inches off his best for the year today, which got him second place. He beat our school record this year at 159-9 and he was 159-3 (today). He got a good mark early at 157, and I think that kind of calmed him down a little bit. Alan is really just a good kid, and I think that really calmed him down and got him ready for the rest of his throws."

In other placings, Floyd's Naville scored in the 1,600 meters at seventh, and teammate Nick Spencer was ninth in the 400-meter dash. Paoli's Ben White finished sixth in the 300 hurdles, and Floyd's Justin Hodge and Will Cox were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 3,200-meter run. Byrne struggled with a cough during that race and finished 13th. Corydon's Sean Ettinger was fifth in the long jump with North Harrison's Matt Bruderle well back in 13th. Chad Conrad and Chad Salomon, of Corydon, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the high jump for the Panthers. Floyd's Corey Reece finished fifth in the shot put for the Highlanders and teammate Mitch Moutoux was sixth in the pole vault.

In the final event, the 1,600-meter relay, Floyd Central was seeded eighth going into the race. Ben Todd, Brock Slavens, Logan Eberle and Nick Spencer had something different to say, however, pushing themselves to a third-place finish and a place at the state meet in a time of 3:29.25, less than a half-second ahead of Henryville. Corydon finished eighth in the event, and North Harrison was 12th.

"We've got a new runner, Logan Eberle, running in the 4x400 with us," Spencer said. "He didn't run with in the sectional, and he didn't make it to the finals of the 200, so we decided to put him in the 4x4 and he helped us out a lot. He ran that third leg and got me a nice lead. I tried to keep in third the whole way."

Spencer said there was only one thought the entire way.

"I just thought about state the whole way," he said. "We had people yelling, 'State!' over there (in the third turn). We knew we were seeded eighth but all week we were talking about state. Everybody was talking about state and we knew we could do it. That s what we did. It's awesome."

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Boys' Scores - Bloomington South 143-1/2, Bloomington North 69, Martinsville 44, Floyd Central 29-1/2, Silver Creek 25-1/2, Jeffersonville 25, Charlestown 25, Edgewood 22, Paoli 20, North Harrison 19, Brownstown 19, Mitchell 16, Providence 16, Corydon 16, Seymour 14, Southwestern 14, New Albany 12, Austin 11, Salem 11, Madison 10, Bedford 10, Monrovia 10, Orleans 8, Henryville 8, Mooresville 7, Cloverdale 6, Scottsburg 5, Jennings County 5, Clarksville 4, Borden 1, Christian Academy 1/2

Boys' Results (Top 3 to State) - 3,200-Meter Relay-1. Bloomington North 8:05.16, 2. Floyd Central 8:10.36, 3. Bloomington South 8:13.78; 100-Meter Dash-1. Earnie Morris (BS) 11.02, 2. Tyler Dillard (Pa) 11.35, 3. Justin Baxtron (Chrlstn) 11.36; 110-Meter H. Hurdles-1. Max Tuttle (BN) 15.23, 2. Taylor Dehon (BS) 15.26, 3. Denyun Byrd (BN) 15.51; 200-Meter Dash-1. Miles Courtney (SW) 22.55, 2. Earnie Morris (BS) 22.82, 3. Justin Baxtron (Chrlstn) 23.02; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 4:24.36, 2. Nolan Fife (Sey) 4:26.09, 3. Oliver Book (Prov) 4:26.98; 400-Meter Relay-1. Charlestown 44.29, 2. Jeffersonville 44.32, 3. Bloomington South 44.79; 400-Meter Dash-1. Colton Slack (Mrtnvl) 49.72, 2. Scottie Alora (BS) 51.09, 3. Kwin Cutter (Brntn) 51.32; 300-Meter I. Hurdles-1. Max Tuttle (BN) 39.83, 2. Taylor Dehon (BS) 40.51, 3. Spencer Robinson (SilCk) 40.67; 800-Meter Run-1. Tim Schock (BN) 1:55.52, 2. Joe Holahan (BS) 1:55.96, 3. Mark Crossman (Brntn) 1:56.69; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Michael Hoffman (BN) 9:38.02, 2. Alex Jones (SilCk) 9:40.45, 3. Andrew Buzzellie (BN) 9:43.14; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. Martinsville 3:27.85, 2. Bloomington South 3:28.13, 3. Floyd Central 3:29.25; Long Jump-1. Scottie Alora (BS) 22-0-3/4, 2. Earnie Morris (BS) 21-3-1/2, 3. Raine Young (Clvrdl) 21-2; High Jump-1. Drake Volz (BS) 6-4, 2. Jacob Smith (O) 6-4, 3. Ben Leatherbury (Sa) 6-2; Discus-1. Ben Stancombe (BS) 170-6, 2. Alan Austin (NH) 159-3, 3. Justin Applegate (Mrtnvl) 156-6; Shot Put-1. Stephen Carter (BS) 53-0-1/2, 2. Evan Sanders (Mtchl) 52-2, 3. Ben Stancombe (BS) 51-7-1/2; Pole Vault-1. Jake Sebastian (A) 14-8 ,2. Drake Volz (BS) 14-4, 3. Jack Eckert (SilCk) 14-0

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