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Jones, Bussabarger fly into state meet

Girls' Track Regional

June 03, 2009
Floyd Central's Meghan Jones and Corydon Central's Meghan Bussabarger will represent their respective schools at the girls' state track finals on the Indiana University track this weekend after qualifying out of the Bedford Regional last Tuesday.

Corydon Central senior Meghan Bussabarger finds enough to push herself over the bar at 5 feet, 6 inches to win the high jump at the Bedford Regional. Bussabarger will be seeded in the top four for this weekend’s state finals. Photo by Wade Bell
Bussabarger, a senior who will make her fourth straight appearance at state, qualified in the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump. Jones is a junior who will make her first visit to the finals, competing in the high jump and the 400- and 200-meter dashes.

"We had finals today, and I was sitting there after taking my test and my legs have been going 90 miles an hour all day," Bussabarger said. "I've been so nervous, just because I've been wanting to get first in regionals. Just to get first in the high jump, because this is it for me. I want to go out with a big bang. I guess I was just mentally prepared for this."

"I was really nervous for regionals," Jones said. "That's all I've been able to think about since sectionals."

In the high jump, it was a five-way tie going into the height of 5 feet, 6 inches, with Bussabarger, Jeffersonville's Austina Smith, Mitchell's Devon Hardman, Jones and Monrovia's Jessica Standeford all in the mix. Misses came into play, with Standeford moving back to fifth after 5-4. Jones and Hardman cleared the bar on their second attempts at 5-4, putting them in a tie for third, good enough to advance to the state meet, but both missed all three attempts at 5-6.

"That would have been a PR (personal record)," Jones said.

On her second attempt at 5-6, Bussabarger barely touched the bar with her trail leg, the bar falling to the mat. At that point, the Corydon Central senior had a talk with boys' coach Kerry Zimmerman.

"I was a little frustrated," she said. "Coach Zimmerman told me I need to get my knees up, and he was right. I was like, 'I've got to get over this bar or me and (Jeffersonville's) Austina (Smith) have to go into another jump-off.' We've had our fair share of those. I wanted it, so I jumped."

On her third and final attempt, Bussabarger had more speed and flew over the bar for the top spot. The height put her in the top four seedings in the state competition.

Bussabarger also had a winning night in the 100-meter hurdles. Again, it was New Albany's Hali Alexander being the main threat, but Bussabarger got the lean at the finish and recorded a time of 15.1 seconds. Alexander settled for second in 15.23 seconds.

The senior said at this year's state meet it will be everything or nothing.

"This year, I'm not holding anything back," she said. "If I fall, then I fall, but at least I'm not going to have any regrets. At least I'll know that I went hard. Last year, I didn't go hard. This year, if I had to choose a place, it will be hurdles, because I've had back problems forever, and after so long in high jumping, it gives you issues and hurdles is just easier."

Jones made her biggest noise in the 400-meter dash. The junior blazed her way to a first-place finish in 58.51 seconds, more than a second and a half ahead of Seymour's Christina Moravec.

"My time coming in was two seconds faster than everybody (out of sectional), but you can't let that get to you, because I didn't know if they ran their best," Jones said. "I wasn't really thinking while I was running. I was just running. I really wanted to run a 57 today, but I figure if I got a 58, that would still get me first. Everybody else was coming in with 60s. That's behind me."

By turn three, however, Jones knew she had run faster even though she had made up the stagger.

"My coach was at the turn, and she told me I had a 27 and I wanted to be at a 26," Jones said. "I really wasn't thinking about who was around me. When I heard 27, I just knew I had to go if I wanted to get a 58."

Jones also had to fight her way into a state berth in the 200 meters. With 75 meters to go, Jones was in fifth place, but found enough in the late going to pull out that coveted third spot in a time of 26.54 seconds.

"My start was OK, but I was too slow in the turn," she said. "I realized that when the inside caught up with me. That's when I had to start catching up, so I probably could have done better. I think I went too slow in the beginning. I wasn't going all out."

Bussabarger is eager to get back on the IU track after arriving late last year and not having her best performances.

"That was a nervous wreck," she said, "getting there late and not on time. School will be out, so we're going to be there early. I'm going to be there on time, and I'm going to be prepared."

Jones plans on taking it a little easier and not letting any pressure get to her.

"At state, I just want to run," the Floyd Central junior said. "There's no real pressure to get anywhere from there. At regional, it's the pressure of making it to state. Once you make it to state, it's just do your best. There's not really that pressure there. I'm not going to worry about it till the day of."

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Girls' Scores - Bloomington South 96.3333, Bloomington North 74, Jeffersonville 63, New Albany 47, Martinsville 45, Seymour 31, Madison 30, Silver Creek 28.3333, Floyd Central 26.5, Brownstown 26, Corydon 22, Eastern Pekin 15, Monrovia 15, Edgewood 14, Cloverdale 12, Mitchell 11.5, Scottsburg 11, Brown County 10.3333, Salem 10, Austin 7, White River Valley 6, Crothersville 5, Borden 4, Trinity Lutheran 4, Bedford 3, South Central 3, Bloomfield 2, Providence 2

Girls' Results (Top 3 to State) - 3,200-meter relay-1. Bloomington South 9:38.01, Bloomington North 9:39.00, 3. Martinsville 10:03.00; 100-meter dash-1. Shanice Gholson (Jeff) 12.55, 2. Hannah Finchum (NA) 13.12, 3. Erica Bentz (Mad) 13.15; 100-meter hurdles-1. Meghan Bussabarger, (Co) 15.10, 2. Hali Alexander (NA) 15.23, 3. Amanda Swenson (BN) 15.80; 200-meter dash-1. Shanice Gholson (Jeff) 26.07, 2. Kersten Zorn (BS) 26.30, 3. Meghan Jones (FC) 26.54; 1,600-meter run-1. Nicole Lucas (BS) 5:20.78, 2. Zoe Withered (BN) 5:23.00, 3. Rachel Dalton (EP) 5:24.00; 400-meter relay-1. Jeffersonville 49.92, 2. Madison 50.27, 3. Martinsville 50.60; 400-meter dash-1. Meghan Jones (FC) 58.51, 2. Christina Moravec (Sey) 1:00.14, 3. Jenna Hackman (Brntn) 1:01.51; 300-meter hurdles-1. Heather Stacey (SilCk) 48.49, 2. Danialle Hays (Mart) 48.69, 3. Una Natterman (BN) 48.72; 800-meter run-1. Brooke Bierhaus (BS) 2:21.48, 2. Maggie Wagner (BN) 2:23.00, 3. Ashley Krulik (Mart) 2:24.00; 3,200-meter run-1. Nicole Lucas (BS) 11:25.77, 2. Stephanie Cave (NA) 11:36.00, 3. Erika Wilson (EP) 11:53.00; 1,600-meter relay-1. New Albany 4:06.24, 2. Bloomington North 4:07.51, 3. Bloomington South-1. 4:08.61; High jump-1. Meghan Bussabarger (Co) 5-6, 2. Austina Smith (Jeff) 5-4, 3. Devon Hardman (Mtchl) 5-4; Discus-1. Victoria Ison (BN) 118-1, 2. Taylor Schulz (Sey) 116-0, 3. Kelsey Anderson (WRV)111-9; Shot put-1. Tea Deaton (Sctbg) 37-5-1/2, 2. Victoria Ison (BN) 35-5, 3. Elizabeth Cheatham (Clvrdl) 35-4; Long jump-1. Maria Allen (Brntn) 16-9-1/2, 2. Tiffani Dillon (Mrnv) 16-3-1/2, 3. Shanice Gholson (Jeff); Pole vault-1. Hannah Ciasto-Poor (BS) 10-6, 2. Paige Brady (BC) 9-0, 3. Molly Voyles (SilCk) 9-0

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