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NH's Byrne fifth in 1,600

NH's Austin 12th in discus; FC's Eberle 13th in 400

June 10, 2009
North Harrison's Tyler Byrne was seeded No. 1 going into the 1,600-meter run Saturday afternoon at the Indiana State Track Finals at Indiana University. The Cougar junior had to battle with a tight pack and finished in the fifth position on the podium.

"It's a lot different when you've got that many people in a pack around you," Byrne said. "When everybody is around the same speed and pace, it makes it a lot different."

North Harrison’s Tyler Byrne had a tough race in the 1,600-meter run, boxed in on the inside most of the four laps. Byrne finally broke out for a fifth-place finish in 4 minutes, 20.30 seconds. Photo by Wade Bell
The day began with Byrne's teammate, Allen Austin, in the discus throw. Austin was relaxed and ready to throw, but he had problems on his first two attempts, scratching on both, the second seeing the disc clanging off the steel cage post.

"I was really relaxed," Austin said. "Last year, we got here right on time, and I scratched all three then. That happens."

On his third attempt, Austin got in a good toss of 156 feet, 5 inches, but not good enough for the finals. He placed 12th.

"I was way too slow on it," Austin of the throw. "I noticed that at the very last I didn't get the foot down fast enough. The first one was still a little throw, that's why it went out."

"Looking at the finals, our regional was more competition than this," he said. "Hopefully, college will be better."

Floyd Central's Ryan Lowery had a bad day in both the high jump and his 110-meter high hurdles event. Lowery didn't arrive at the high jump area till just before the competition was to begin. With little preparation time, Lowery cleared 6 feet, 2 inches but missed the next height of 6-4. Lowery also ran in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.83 seconds) but a back problem kept him out of contention.

"Our bus was kind of late," Lowery said. "I didn't have much time to get ready. I didn't even get to find my steps. I made 6-2, attempted 6-4 and felt my back say 'No.' So, I scratched out. I waited for the 110's and didn't make it. It wasn't close. I was hoping for 14.6 (seconds). I wanted to PR today and didn't do it. My back wouldn't let me."

Minutes later came Byrne in the 1,600 meters. Byrne was in the inner lanes at the start and found himself boxed in through the first three laps. Byrne tried to move to the outside near the end of the third lap but gained only minimal ground. On his backstraight of the final lap, Byrne tried to kick closer to the front. The Cougar junior gained some ground but only enough for fifth in a time of 4:20.30. Byrne came back later to run the 3,200 meters; he finished 20th (9:39:10).

"I was just trying to get out of that pack," he said. "I knew on the next lap there was going to be a big move made, and I wanted to try to get myself in a position to go with them ... I was a little bit far back, and I was already starting to feel my legs a little bit more. I don't think my kick was as strong."

Floyd's Logan Eberle didn't make the podium in his run of the 400 meters, but he did put himself in the Highlander record book with a time of 49.34 seconds.

"It's harder than I thought it was going to be," Eberle said. "The last straightaway my body was just so tight, and the only thing that was going through my mind was the school record. 49.87 is the Floyd Central school record and it said 49.34. I was working on my pacing, so I was looking at places to start changing my speed."

Perry Central junior Michael Ernst felt good about his finish in the 800 meters. Ernst placed second in his heat with a time of 1 minute, 56.32 seconds. That was good enough for a 15th place overall in the event. Unlike Byrne in the 1,600 meters, Ernst was on the far outside lane for his start.

"I liked being on the outside," Ernst said. "It kept me from getting boxed in."

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