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Bussabarger 8th in high jump; FC's Jones 16th in 400, 200


June 10, 2009
In her fourth and final state track finals appearance, Corydon's Meghan Bussabarger put herself on the podium with an eighth-place finish in the high jump Saturday afternoon at the Billy Hayes Track at Indiana University. Bussabarger also ran in the 100-meter hurdles event, finishing 14th with a time of 15.49 seconds.

"God has blessed me with the talent to be here for four years," said the Corydon Central graduate. "It's a great feeling. The support system I have is unbelievable. They are the best support system I could ever ask for. They've been amazing."

JONES
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Floyd Central junior Meghan Jones (216) finished 16th in both the 400- and 200-meter dashes at the state track finals on the Indiana University track Saturday afternoon. Jones was also 17th in high jump. Photo by Wade Bell
Last year, Bussabarger was late getting to the track but this year she arrived an hour early, relaxed and ready to go. Bussabarger got in three warm-up jumps, clearing all three at 4-10 and 5-2.

"You're nervous," she admitted. "You have the butterflies because you don't want to do bad. You want to do good but getting here four years now, it just feels good."

Bussabarger cleared 5-2 and 5-4 on her first attempts. At 5 feet, 5 inches, she missed on her first attempt then slid over the bar on the second try to keep herself alive in the competition.

After that jump, Bussabarger ran her hurdles heat but failed to make the finals.

"I had a good start," she said, smiling. "I guess the other girls were slow starters and fast finishers. I just happen to be a fast starter. Coach says you've got to get out fast, so I did."

"I'm happy with what I did in hurdles this year," she said.

When Bussabarger came back to the high jump, the bar had been moved to 5 feet, 6 inches. She missed her first two attempts badly. Bussabarger had more speed going into the bar on her final attempt but barely brushed it off, knocking it to the mat.

"I clipped it with my butt," she laughed. "I don't have any regrets. I've made the state four years. It's a bonus. If I do good, then great; that's just another bonus."

Now, Bussabarger will move back to the basketball court to get ready for four years with Austin Peay University. "I've already got my summer workout," she said. "I've been doing that. It's overwhelming just a bit. I'm all ready for it. I'm excited. I'm saying goodbye to volleyball and track. It's going to be a little big harder to say goodbye to track."

Floyd Central's Meghan Jones got her first taste of the state finals and learned how bad those nerves and butterflies can be. Jones was already stressed when she arrived late after her name had been announced over the loud speaker for check-in.

"It was really intimidating," Jones said. "I wasn't really sure what to think. I figured I'd just run and see what happens."

"Everything was really rushed," she said. "That made it really stressful. (Five-feet, two-inches) was the starting height, and I made it on my first practice jump. Then, when it came to actually jumping, I didn't get it till my third attempt. It was really frustrating."

The pressure of clearing the next height of 5-4 proved to be tougher, and the Floyd junior had to settle for 17th.

"It took away the stress of not placing at all," she said. "I wanted to at least make the first jump. That way I wouldn't go out without any jumps at all. Plus, a bunch of the girls were making it easily on the first attempt. I wasn't expecting that at all."

Jones also ran in the 200-meter preliminaries but missed out on making the finals, finishing 16th with a time of 26.19 seconds.

"I knew I wasn't going to make the finals," Jones said. "I figured to just run and hope to get a PR. I did, so that was all that really mattered."

In Jones' best event, the 400 meters, the Floyd junior finished fifth in her heat with a time of 58.75 seconds, something that Jones wasn't satisfied with at all. That gave her a 16th place in the overall standings.

"It's good but, compared to what I've run the last three meets, it's not really good," Jones said. "It's a good time, but I ran a 58.1 at sectional. To go six-tenths slower is really bad."

Jones said she will use her first state finals as a learning tool with her big hopes of getting back next year to do better.

"I really didn't know what to expect when I came in," she said. "At least next year, I'll have a good idea and know what to prepare for and think about."

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