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Highlanders, Cougars send runners to state

Boys' Track Regional

June 03, 2009
North Harrison and Floyd Central will be well represented this weekend at the boys' state track finals with the Cougars sending two in three events and the Highlanders sending a host of runners in five events.

North Harrison's Alan Austin and Floyd Central's Ryan Lowery will compete in the field events. Austin snapped a school record with a throw of 168 feet, 8 inches in the discus. Despite being fifth overall, Austin's distance met the state standard for an automatic state finals bid. Six throwers met the standard and will go to state. Austin missed a spot in the shot put, finishing fourth with a throw of 52 feet, 6-1/4 inches.

North Harrison junior Tyler Byrne, left, passes Providence’s Oliver Book at the end of the third lap to take the lead and go on to win the 1,600-meter run at the Bloomington Regional. Byrne’s time of 4:16.99 is the top seed going into this weekend’s state finals. Photo by Wade Bell
The North Harrison senior scratched on his first two throws of both the discus preliminaries and the finals, making for some nervous moments.

"I was kind of thinking what I'd feel a few years from now," Austin said. "I'd be pretty depressed if I had scratched all three. I would never know if I could place at state. Now, I can see if I place in state."

It will be Austin's second trip to state, and he hopes for a better performance than last year.

"Last year, I choked up. So, this year, I'll just do the same thing I've been doing," he said. "There's no point of screwing something up by accident. You might as well stick to the same thing."

Lowery finished third in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches. He also finished third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.95 seconds, just missing the state standard.

"That was fast," Lowery said of the race. "I wish I would have hit the first couple of hurdles a little more smooth. Then, I was trying to play catch-up, and against those two guys that does not work. They're fast. I haven't got to chase anybody all year, so I probably just PR'ed (set a personal record) on that just trying to catch up."

Corydon Central's Sean Ettinger was hoping to put the Panthers in the state meet in the long jump, but had to settle for sixth place with a leap of 20 feet, 6 inches.

Floyd Central wasn't in the position it wanted to be in the 3,200-meter relay, getting stuck in fifth place in the early going. Garrett Blackman then moved the Highlanders up to the third spot. Anchor Sam Mires found a gear in the last leg to grab the second spot with 75 meters to go.

"It had us scared for a minute there, but we still pulled it out," Mires said. "It was just go hard, go hard, go hard. We saw what we could do at sectionals in that kind of time, and we had to put together another time to go to state. So, that's what we were going for."

Just as it was in the sectional in the 1,600 meters, it was in the regional, as North Harrison's Tyler Byrne and Providence's Oliver Book put on another Byrne-and-Book Show. Book led through nearly the first three laps, then just before the last lap, Byrne took the front spot. From there, it was all Byrne, who put up the fastest time in the state at 4 minutes, 16.99 seconds.

"That's been my game plan up to this point so far," he said. "I tried to start kicking a little bit sooner than normal. My time improved a little bit, so I guess it works. (Book's) a great runner, and he's really consistent. I just try to stay with him and then start kicking. He had a really good race, too."

Logan Eberle gave the Highlanders a win in the 400-meter dash with a fast time of 49.96 seconds, more than a second and a half ahead of Scottsburg's Patrick Bulington.

"I was just more relaxed on the back," Eberle said. "At sectional, I was really tense. I was just trying to relax and stride out. I actually felt like I was going slower."

"I'm just going to keep everything at how I've been doing it," he said. "I've been cutting time every time it seems like. Lane one helps me a lot because I'm just constantly gaining on everybody."

Byrne had a bad start in the 3,200 meters and found himself boxed in and nearly at the back of the pack. Not one to panic, however, the North Harrison junior slowly picked his way back up front. Byrne didn't get back to the lead, but he did manage second place to take a state berth.

"They started out quicker than I anticipated," he said. "I kind of just laid-back. The first lap was still slow, but I just sat back until I could get to a straight-away and then try to work my way up instead of wasting energy on the corners."

"I felt I could reel them in coming through the second mile," he said. "My kick wasn't as good as I wanted it to be today in the two-mile, but once state gets here, there'll be more time in between races to get a little more energy back in my legs."

Byrne said he will have to look at the other times he'll be up against before seeing if he has to make any strategy changes.

"I'm going to have to think about it," he said. "There's some really fast times (in the 1,600) going into state, but anything can happen up there. I'll probably just try to get in the top pack and see how the kick works at the end. It's going to be a lot more competitive, the last lap or 200 meters."

The Highlanders got their second relay team in the state finals in the 1,600 meters. Eberle pushed the Highlander squad to first place on the third leg of the second heat. From there, Nick Spencer raced to a second-and-a-half win (3:27.13) over Bloomington South. Bloomington North, however, had posted a faster time (3:25.22) in the first heat, pushing Floyd Central back to second.

"He came around that last corner, and I thought he was dying," Spencer said of Eberle. "He came around that corner and he turned it on and I got it. It's hard for me to run with nobody with me, because I wanted to get the school record. We were a second off, but that's all right. We're going to state."

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Boys' Scores - Bloomington South 111, Bloomington North 85, Floyd Central 52, Jeffersonville 39, North Harrison 32, Martinsville 28, Seymour 26, Silver Creek 20, New Albany 20, Brownstown 18.5, Edgewood 18, Charlestown 18, Scottsburg 14, Clarksville 14, Providence 13, Bedford 12, Mooresville 12, Owen Valley 11.5, Jennings County 11, Cloverdale 10.5, Mitchell 10, Paoli 8.5, Salem 8, Brown County 7, Borden 7, Corydon 7, Orleans 5, Austin 3, Madison 1.5, Christian Academy 0.5

Boys' Results (Top 3 to State) - 3,200-meter relay-1. Bloomington South 8:11.47, 2. Floyd Central 8:12.06, 3. Edgewood 8:12.31; 100-meter dash-1. Earnie Morris (BS) 10.78*, 2. Justin Baxtron (Chrlstn) 10.98, 3. Darvon Hill (BN) 11.26; 110-meter high hurdles-1. Kenyun Bird (BN) 14.41*, 2. Max Tuttle (BN) 14.43*, 3. Ryan Lowery (FC) 14.95; 200-meter dash-1. Earnie Morris (BS) 22.22, 2. Justin Baxtron (Chrlstn) 22.28, 3. Darvon Hill (BN) 22.50; 1,600-meter run-1. Tyler Byrne (NH) 4:16.99*, 2. Oliver Book (Prov) 4:20.64*, 3. Jace Lowry (Mart) 4:22.15; 400-meter relay-1. Bloomington North 43.63, 2. Bloomington South 43.84, 3. Mooresville 44.41; 400-meter dash-1. Logan Eberle (FC) 49.96, 2. Patrick Bulington (Sctbg) 51.42, 3. David Ertel (JC) 51.95; 300-meter intermediate hurdles-1. Max Tuttle (BN) 38.00**, 2. Derek Edwards (Edg) 39.33, 3. Jack Eckert (SilCk) 39.57; 800-meter run-1. Joe Holahan (BS) 1:55.86, 2. Mark Crossman (Brntn) 1:56.71, 3. Nolan Fife (Sey) 1:57.50; 3,200-meter run-1. Andrew Buzzelli (BN) 9:17.31*, 2. Tyler Byrne (NH) 8:30.80, 3. Jace Lowry (Mart) 9:31.18; 1,600-meter relay-1. Bloomington North 3:25.22, 2. Floyd Central 3:27.13, 3. Bloomington South 3:28.68; Long jump-1. James Hinton (Clvdl) 22-3-1/2*, 2. Earnie Morris (BS) 21-8-1/2, 3. Jeremy Martin (Jeff) 21-8-1/4; High jump-1. Randy Lientz (OV) 6-6*, 2. Brett Wehmiller (NA) 6-4, 3. Ryan Lowery (FC) 6-5; Discus-1. Gabe Hull (BS) 182-5*, 2. Ben Stancombe (BS) 178-4*, 3. Justin Applegate (Mart) 172-9*, 4. Drew Royalty (Sey) 171-11*, 5. Austin Allen (NH) 168-8*, 6. Omotinugbon (Jeff) 168-0*; Shot put-1. Ben Stancombe (BS) 60-4*, 2. Evan Sanders (Mtchl) 55-0-1/4, 3. David Baker (Brntn) 53-8-1/4; Pole vault-1. Jack Eckert (SilCk) 15-0*, 2. Drew Volz (BS) 14-0, 3. Thomas Snider (Sal) 14-0

*State Standard

**Regional Record

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