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Perry Central’s Jessica Huber, center, handily wins the 100-meter hurdles while Crawford County’s Tessa Broughton, second right, edges Mitchell’s Devon Hardman, second left, for second place. Photos by Wade Bell

Perry, Mitchell win PLAC meets

May 20, 2009
The Perry Central Commodores won their fourth consecutive Patoka Lake Athletic Conference boys' track meet Friday night, besting runner-up Paoli by 24 points. However, the Lady Commodores didn't have the same success, as they saw their string of 14 straight titles end when Mitchell edged them by seven points.

"They won, but it wasn't the prettiest," Perry Central boys' coach Jason Barnett said. "We were rusty. We haven't raced in 17 days. The girls, it's been 20 days. We just keep getting rained out. … Honestly, I figured it would be us and Paoli battling. Paoli is always ready at conference. They have a good team."

In the girls' division, Mitchell, in earning its first title since 1989, dominated the field events with a four-event sweep. The Lady Commodores' Arika Kemp won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, but Mitchell took the 400 meters, with Allison Trevithick getting the win. Crawford County's Tessa Broughton was a nice surprise for the Lady Pack, earning second-place finishes in the 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles.

Paoli’s Dean Kingston edges Perry Central’s Benjamin Samson by just one-tenth of a second to win the 400-meter dash at the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference track meet.
"She plans on running with us next year full season," Crawford County coach Amy Belcher said of the sophomore. "Had she of been with us to train the whole season, we probably could have seen better times. Hopefully, we'll even have her sister (Katie) come on board with us next year. Katie was a thrower in junior high."

Paoli's Audrey Thill handily won both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter girls' races. Thill had been fighting bronchitis before the meet.

"I feel excellent energy-wise," she said. "It's a perfect night; not too hot, not too cold."

Perry Central's Jessica Huber won the 100 (16.81 seconds) and anchored her team to a win in the 1,600-meter relay.

"It felt good," Huber said of her 100 run. "I stretched out a lot. I was ready for it. I was pumped. I was pretty happy with it. I'm always kind of slow out of the blocks, so usually they beat me to the first hurdle and I have to catch up from there. … I haven't got beat too many times this year, so it was a good accomplishment."

Strong storms to the south created a brisk wind about halfway through the meet. That made the 400 meters tougher for Paoli's Dean Kingston, who nosed out Perry Central's Benjamin Samson by just a tenth of a second for the top spot.

"No wind is a lot better than wind period," Kingston said. "Coming down the front stretch, it's like hitting a brick wall. It's harder to breathe and harder to move your legs because the wind is forcing you back."

Kingston also had to deal with the longer legs of Samson.

"In the two-mile relay, he beat me in the sprint because they were counting strides, and every five of mine were two of his," he said. "I'm only 5-6 and most of these Perry kids are 6-foot and up. I just relax my upper body and pitter-patter my little feet faster."

Huber caught a break in the girls' 300 hurdles when the wind suddenly died. That allowed her to set a new personal mark of 49.84 seconds.

"It's definitely my PR by a couple of seconds," she said. "By the time I got (in the turns), I knew I had to kick it in or else I wasn't going to catch (Mitchell's Devon Hardman). I saw her in my peripheral vision, and I knew if I didn't lean, I might not get her."

Orleans sophomore Jon Smith swept both boys' hurdles events as well as the high jump. His older siblings, Josh and Jessica, set family traditions with trips to the state finals, with Jessica finishing second in the high jump last year.

"We're all just really athletic and blessed by God really," he said after winning the 300 hurdles, adding that the wind proved a barrier down the stretch. "The start seemed pretty fast, but we had the wind behind us. When you get around that last turn, it's just all in your mind really. You've just got to dig down and find where it's at and keep going."

Perry Central's Lavina Schwartz was hoping to give Thill a better chase in the longer distance events, but she had to settle for second. She did, however, use a time of 2:38.62 to win the 800 meters.

"I just tried my hardest to run the two laps because I knew we needed a first place to compete to win (the meet)," she said. "This is my first open 800. … I just wanted to win the first one that I ran."

Commodore Michael Ernst earned a win in the 800-meter run and anchored his team to a win in the 3,200-meter relay. Ernst and Mitchell's David Burger were in a dead heat coming out of the final turn of the 800, but the Perry Central runner found an extra gear to get the win.

"I've always got a kick in me," Ernst said. "My teammates expect it out of me. My coach expects it. My parents and the people in the crowd expect me to kick. I've got to go. I felt his shadow right there. I could look over and feel his shadow. That's get-up-and-go time."

One conference record fell during the meet: the boys' 1,600 meter relay. Tyler Dilliard got the Rams out to a blistering start, and it was clear his teammates — Nate Smith, Mak Andis and Dean Kingston — had something special in mind as they went around the track. The foursome finished in a time of 3:33.52 to break the record set by Crawford County in 1992. Coach Darrell Newkirk said he has always started his faster runner, Dilliard, to get a big lead at the start of the race.

"He's typically going to get us in a position where most people aren't going to catch us," Newkirk said. "They've been right there all year. … That's neat, that really is."

Newkirk said he would have liked to also have had the conference championship, but Perry had a little more with which to work.

"I think that's the sixth or seventh time we've been runner-up in this thing," he said. "You take what you've got and you hope that your kids compete. We competed. We competed in every stinkin' event and even the ones we didn't score well in, we were there. We did all we could do."

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Girls' Scores - Mitchell 151, Perry Central 144, Paoli 57, Crawford County 37, Orleans 34, West Washington 26, Springs Valley 15

Girls' Results - 100-Meter Dash-Kemp (PC) 14.19; 200-Meter Dash-Kemp (PC) 29.38; 400-Meter Dash-Trevithick (M) 1:04.73; 800-Meter Run-Schwartz (PC) 2:38.62; 1,600-Meter Run-Thill (P) 5:49.11; 3,200-Meter Run-Thill (P) 12:47; 100-Meter Hurdles-Huber (PC) 16.81; 300-Meter Hurdles-Huber (PC) 49.84; 400-Meter Relay-Perry Central 53.94; 1,600-Meter Relay-Perry Central 4:29.20; 3,200-Meter Relay-Perry Central 11:07.28; High Jump-Hardman (M) 5-1; Long Jump-Kern (M) 15-7-3/4; Shot Put-Jenkins (M) 31-11-1/4; Discus-Jenkins (M) 100-3

Boys' Scores - Perry Central 141, Paoli 117, Mitchell 97.5, Orleans 43, West Washington 31, Crawford County 27, Springs Valley 8.5

Boys' Results - 100-Meter Dash-Dilliard (P) 11.74; 200-Meter Dash-Dilliard (P) 23.51; 400-Meter Dash-Kingston (P) 52.25; 800-Meter Run-Ernst (PC) 2:03.58; 1,600-Meter Run-Burger (M) 4:37.59; 3,200-Meter Run-Scheiber (PC) 10:23.90; 110-Meter H. Hurdles-Smith (O) 16.54; 300-Meter I. Hurdles-Smith (O) 43.02; 400-Meter Relay-Paoli 45.41; 1,600-Meter Relay-Paoli 3:33.52*; 3,200-Meter Relay-Perry Central 8:34.62; High Jump-Smith (O) 6-1; Long Jump-Eubanks (M) 20-4; Shot Put-Sanders (M) 53-00; Discus-Sanders (M) 141-2

*Conference Record

MVP Girls-Devon Hardman (M)

MVP Boys - Jon Smith (O)

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