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The Floyd Central Highlander boys’ track team won the Corydon Central Sectional Thursday night, besting runner-up North Harrison by 47 points. Photo by Wade Bell

Highlanders get 7th straight sectional

Boys' Track Sectional

May 27, 2009
For a lot of schools, just getting one sectional championship is a major accomplishment. Going back-to-back is even tougher. The Floyd Central Highlanders track and field team, however, once again raised the bar as it won its seventh straight, besting runner-up North Harrison by 47 points.

"The kids stepped it up tonight," coach Lane Oxley said. "I thought we could get 150 (points), and that's what we challenged them for and that's what we got. I figured if we got that, then nobody else could. I thought some teams could give us a run, and they did early."

Not only did they give Floyd Central a run, but they shut out the Highlanders in both the shot put and long jump. Floyd Central, however, did get two wins in the high jump (Ryan Lowery) and a 1-2 sweep in the pole vault (Mitch Moutoux and Vlad Bursue).

North Harrison's Alan Austin had a big day in both throwing events, winning the discus at 161 feet, 8-1/2 inches and the shot put at 48 feet, 7 inches. Austin said some technical difficulties kept him from the 50-foot mark in the shot, but hopes to have those fixed by regional.

"It's just simple problems," he said. "Hopefully, I'll get a 52 (in the shot) because that's the school record. I'm that close. Hopefully, I can get upper 160s (in the discus). It would be nice to get 170. You don't perform to your max until you're around the best."

Corydon Central's Sean Ettinger had been back only a week after recovering from mononucleosis, but the Panther junior exploded for a distance of 21 feet, 6 inches on his first attempt to win the long jump.

The Highlanders began to make up lost points in the running events, first by placing second in the 3,200-meter relay behind North Harrison. Lowery then blew the field away in the 110-meter high hurdles with teammate Brian Wagner placing fourth.

"I've had better runs than that this year," Lowery said. "I had a pretty bad take off and wasn't able to get to my full sprint by the time I got to my first hurdle. As soon as I got to the third or fourth one, I got back in place and got my rhythm."

One sectional record fell, and it fell hard. North Harrison junior Tyler Byrne shattered the record held by his older brother, Ryan, by almost seven seconds in the 1,600 meters, beating out Providence's Oliver Book with a time of 4 minutes, 17 seconds. Byrne also beat Book in the 3,200 meters with a 9:40.47 time.

The 1,600 run prompted teammate Christian Horstman to ask Byrne, "Don't you know there's a speed limit here?," to which a track official asked Horstman, "Are you going to be the one to catch him?"

Byrne's strategy was simple: Let runner-up Oliver Book, of Providence, lead for the first three laps.

"I just let him lead the pace, and then coming around the last lap, I gave it what I had," Byrne said. "It worked out."

The North Harrison junior said he might have to do something different at the regional.

"I might try to grab on to the lead at first and try to set the pace," he said Byrne "I'll have to see how the competition looks in the race and see what it's like. Regional will probably be pretty tough. There's some good times going into it."

Floyd Central began to really rack up the points when Logan Eberle and Nick Spencer went 1-2 in the 400-meter dash.

"My coach describes it as I jog the first half of the race, then race the last half," Eberle said. "I don't know where it comes from. I really like the turns. The turns are really fast. So far, every time I've ran, I've got faster and faster."

"After the mile, we were winning by five points, 62-57," Oxley said. "Then, we won the 4-by-100, then we went 1-2 in the 400, then we went 1-5 in the 300 (hurdles), then we went 1-5 in the 800. I felt pretty good because we doubled our points at that point."

Lowery also got 10 Highlander points for winning the 300-meter hurdles. North Harrison's Jarod Richards qualified for the regional in the event after coming up short in both the high jump and 110 high hurdles. Richards also got out with the 1,600-meter relay team, which finished third.

"It's been really frustrating today," Richards said. "(In the high jump) there's something going on where you cut in. It's all loose. The track wasn't quite right. I kind of had that on my mind a lot when I was jumping, trying to avoid it. It messed me up a little bit, but I can't blame it all on that.

"The 110s, I had a good time in the trials, but I messed up in the finals. I clipped a hurdle and couldn't recover. In this (the 300 hurdles), I'm just glad I got fourth. I wanted to get to regional."

In the 800 meters, Floyd Central's Garrett Blackman scored a first-place finish, holding off Corydon Central's Harrison Mann by almost two seconds. Blackman's teammate, Sam Mires, just missed a qualifying spot, placing fifth.

"The first lap, I just wanted to set in and get a good spot," Blackman said. "I knew once I took off and got the lead, I couldn't let off because there's some great racers in there. I couldn't let up. I just had to keep going."

"When we took off around the first 200, we moved together, then he came up on me in the last 200," Mires said. "If there was anybody I wanted up there, it was going to be him. He was in a perfect position when he took off. I knew he had it."

Floyd Central put the finishing touches on the meet by winning the 1,600-meter relay, edging Corydon Central by a full second.

"We're excited," Oxley said. "This is probably the biggest celebration we've ever had. Everybody's here, and we're going to take them out to eat. We've got a lot of seniors, and they earned it."

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Boys' Scores - Floyd Central 152, North Harrison 105, New Albany 103, Corydon 61, Clarksville 56, Borden 38, Providence 38, Christian Academy 27, Crawford County 17, South Central 14, Lanesville 12

Boys' Results (Top 4 to regional) - 100-Meter Dash-1. Melvin Posey (NA) 11.43, 2. Dominique Southers (NA) 11.52, 3. Brock Slavens (FC) 11.70, 4. Kyle Richardson (CAI) 11.89; 200-Meter Dash-1. Melvin Posey (NA) 23.15, 2. Isaiah Masters (Clkvl) 23.30, 3. Logan Eberle (FC) 23.76, 4. Dominique Southers (NA) 23.85; 400-Meter Dash-1. Logan Eberle (FC) 50.00, 2. Nick Spencer (FC) 51.61, 3. Casey Priddy (Co) 52.24, 4. Timothy Kirchgessner (Bor) 52.57; 800-Meter Run-1. Garrett Blackman (FC) 2:01.82, 2. Harrison Mann (Co) 2:03.04, 3. Jacob Ford (Prov) 2:03.34, 4. Cody Roby (SC) 2:03.44; 1,600-Meter Run-1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 4:17.64**, 2. Oliver Book (Prov) 4:20.86*, 3. Sam Mires (FC) 4:29.86, 4. Hunter Williams (Bor) 4:31.05; 3,200-Meter Run-1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 9:40.47, 2. Oliver Book (Prov) 9:45.37, 3. Billy Wink (Clkvl) 9:54.22, 4. Justin Hodge (FC) 9:56.81; 110-Meter H. Hurdles-1. Ryan Lowery (FC) 14.94, 2. Ryan Eichmiller (Co) 15.41, 3. Brent Lewellen (Clkvl) 15.49, 4. Brian Wagner (FC) 16.74; 300-Meter I. Hurdles-1. Ryan Lowery (FC) 39.79, 2. Brent Lewellen (Clkvl) 41.50, 3. Brett Wehmiller (NA) 41.78, 4. Jarod Richards (NH) 42.97; 400-Meter Relay-1. Floyd Central 44.83, 2. New Albany 45.24, 3. North Harrison 46.60, 4. Corydon 46.73; 1,600-Meter Relay-1. Floyd Central 3:31.84, 2. Corydon 3:32.84, 3. North Harrison 3:33.56, 4. Clarksville 3:33.74; 3,200-Meter Relay-1. North Harrison 8:12.46, 2. Floyd Central 8:12.59, 3. New Albany 8:26.66, 4. Corydon 9:02.29; High Jump-1. Ryan Lowery (FC) 6-3, 2. Brett Wehmiller (NA) 6-2, 3. Austin Hammer (CAI) 6-2, 4. Jacob Thompson (CC) 6-1; Pole Vault-1. Mitch Moutoux (FC) 12-0, 2. Vlad Bursuc (FC) 10-6, 3. Scotty Haycraft (NH) 10-6, 4. Zane Rathgaber (NH) 10-6; Long Jump-1. Sean Ettinger (Co) 21-6, 2. Austin Hammer (CAI) 20-6-1/4, 3. Marcus Robb (NH) 20-1, 4. Franci Middleton (NA) 19-10-1/2; Shot Put-1. Alan Austin (NH) 48-7, 2 Aaron Jaggers (Clkvl) 45-8-1/2, 3. Collin Pursell (Lnsvl) 45-6-1/2, 4. Nicholas Atkins (NA) 45-4-1/2; Discus-1. Alan Austin (NH) 161-8-1/2*, 2. Kierston Cooper (NA) 129-6, 3. Aaron Jaggers (Clkvl) 126-7, 4. Todd Adams (Bor) 125-4

**Sectional Record and State Standard

*State Standard

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