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Locals have tough day at state

Girls' State Track Finals

June 09, 2010
Friday proved to be a tough day for local runners at the girls' state track finals at Indiana University, where the best runners in the state hoped to have one of those special medals placed around their necks.

Temperatures climbed into the upper 80s during the meet, and the humidity that came along with it made it tough for both fans and athletes.

Floyd Central’s Megan Jones hoped for a better day at the girls’ state track finals in Bloomington, but she had to settle for a five-way tie for 14th place in the high jump (5-2) and 24th place (1:0033) in the 400-meter dash. Photo by Wade Bell
Although the heat didn't bother Floyd Central senior Megan Jones in the high jump, she still struggled. The senior cleared the opening height of 5 feet, 2 inches, but missed on all three attempts at 5-4, finishing in a five-way tie for 14th place.

"We've been practicing in the heat," she said. "I'm kind of used to it. I had an umbrella out there, so it wasn't too bad."

Though it was her second trip to the state finals, Jones admitted to having some anxiety before the competition.

"I was nervous, and I kept jumping at the wrong spot," she said. "I would jump too late and be hesitant. It caused my shoulder to go off the bar every time. … I could feel I was getting plenty high enough. I was just not jumping at the right time."

The Floyd Central 3,200-meter relay team was making its first trip to the state finals with the team of juniors Hannah Keehn and Hannah Watkins, sophomore Marissa Samones and freshman Alyssa Moore. The foursome found themselves running from the back of the field during the last half of the race, finishing 27th in a time of 10:12.06.

"We knew we weren't seeded very well at all," said Keehn, who ran the anchor leg. "Our school record is 9:54. Our fastest we ran last meet was a 10:04, so we're 10 seconds off. We just wanted to get a school record. That's just all we wanted to do, was break 10 and, hopefully, break it by seven seconds to get the school record."

"It was so much different," she said of running from behind. "A lot of people under pressure run faster, but, for me, it's really hard to run faster when we're last. That's just something I have a hard time with. I was all by myself. I don't know what my overall was in this meet, but it couldn't have been anything good, because I don't do well by myself."

Keehn said the group is already thinking about next year.

"We've talked about that quite a few times," she said. "We're a pretty young team, and we've talked about that for a while, that if we didn't make it this year, we might next year. We've got another year to break the school record."

Perry Central's Jessica Huber finished well back in the field in the 100-meter hurdles. Huber, the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference champ in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, finished 23rd with a time of 16.16 seconds. Ashley Spencer, of Lawrence North, had the winning time of 14.35 seconds.

"It's overwhelming, but my goal was to make it here, and I made it, so I'm happy," Huber said.

She said problems at the start kept her from performing better.

"My blocks slipped, so it wasn't good," Huber said. "I brought my own blocks from school. I probably should have used the blocks they have here, but I'm just used to mine. They felt a little bit funny and unstable when I practice started, but they slipped pretty bad when I actually went."

Huber said that, despite the poor showing in the competition, she was glad to get a chance to compete.

"It's awesome," she said. "It's a good experience. Win or lose, I got to see some of the best runners in the state, so I'm happy with it."

Jones came back in the 400-meter run, but she came up short of her expectations, finishing 27th in a time of 1:00.33. The Floyd Central senior said everything went as planned until the last turn when the wall got in the way.

"It felt really good in the beginning," Jones said of her final run as a Lady Highlander. "I went hard as long as I could, which is out of the last turn. I started dying on the straight. I've never come out that hard before. My dad said, 'Just come out hard and see what happens.' That's what I did. My split time, my coach called out right at a 26, so that was good. I haven't got that all year. I'm just not used to coming out that hard. I just died out on the last stretch."

It may not have been one of her best days, but Jones took it all in stride and is already looking at her next adventure.

"Thankfully, track is not over for me," she said. "I'll be going into college. It's not really the end yet, so I've still got time for improvement."

In other events, Jeffersonville's Shanice Gholson defended her state title with a win in the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.02 seconds. Salem's Cora Carter was 27th in the race with a time of 13.1 seconds. New Albany's 400-meter relay team finished 22nd in 50.32 seconds. Eastern's Erika Wilson was 14th in the 3,200 meters at 11:36.63, while Silver Creek's Molly Voyles failed to clear the opening height of the pole vault.

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