Columbus North senior Chase McQueen has a big day ahead of him today.
McQueen, a cross-country runner and swimmer for the Bull Dogs, is in Chicago to compete for Team USA in the ITU Junior Triathlon World Championship. The event, which features a 750-meter swim, 20K (12.4-mile) bike and 5K (3.1-mile) run, begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT (4:30 p.m. CDT) at Grant Park.
“I’d say right now, I’m in peak fitness,” McQueen said. “With running cross-country, I’m in good running shape right now. Then, I’ve been swimming every morning, and I’ve been doing a lot of biking in town.”
McQueen is one of the top junior triathletes in the country. He finished third in his division in the USA Junior Elite Nationals and 10th in the Junior American Cup.
Going into today’s event, McQueen is the third-seeded American and is seeded around the middle of the pack among the 75 triathletes entered.
“I’m kind of just happy to be here, but I want to finish in the top 30, and I want to be in the lead pack out of the water,” McQueen said. “Those are my two big goals.”
McQueen, who has missed North’s past two cross-country meets while competing in a triathlon and taking the ACT, won’t be in the lineup when the Bull Dogs compete in the Flashrock Invitational on Saturday morning at Northview Church in Carmel. The world triathlon’s men’s and women’s events and the closing ceremonies take place Saturday.
“This is it, and then I go completely 100 percent cross-country,” McQueen said.
Golfers set for sectional
The first postseason action of the 2015-16 school year will be this weekend when girls golf teams play in sectional tournaments.
Columbus East and Columbus North will play in the Greensburg Sectional on Saturday at Greensburg Country Club. The third-ranked Bull Dogs are the heavy favorites despite a setback in Monday’s Conference Indiana Tournament, where they finished second behind Bloomington South at Bloomington Country Club.
“I still am very optimistic about our team,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “We played our best match of the year Saturday (in winning the Franklin Central Invitational at Smock), only to come to Monday and play a difficult golf course, not play our best and get beat. That was tough, but we rebounded (Tuesday).”
The Bull Dogs beat Columbus East 165-191 on Tuesday at Harrison Lake. The Olympians, who finished third in Saturday’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament with a 391 at Otter Creek, are shooting for a top-three finish that would put them in the Sept. 26 Lapel Regional at Edgewood Country Club in Anderson.
“I think we have a good chance of getting though,” East coach Troy Buntin said. “I think we’re good enough to be in the top three, but we have to play better. Our play has kind of been a little rocky lately, so hopefully, we’ll bring our best on Saturday.”
Also on Saturday, Seymour and Trinity Lutheran will play in the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional at Otis Park, and Jennings County will play in the Madison Sectional at Sunrise. On Monday, Brown County and Edinburgh will play in the Bloomington North Sectional at Cascades.
East to host invitational
This year’s boys tennis Columbus East Invitational has been narrowed from four teams to three with Indian Creek not returning this season.
The Olympians will play Lebanon in the opening match at 9 a.m. Following that match, Lebanon will face Providence, followed by East meeting Providence.
“One of the things we’ve always talked about is trying to finish better,” East coach Jim Stone said. “We’ve done well during the season, but we play better teams at the end. You’re playing good teams, so you’re used to the good competition, so when you play North (in the sectional), it’s not like you’re not used to it.”
Locals play in tourney
Columbus North junior Spencer Fairbanks fired a final-round 75 Sunday to finish 36th with a 36-hole 165 in the Indiana Golf Foundation Kampen Junior at Purdue’s Kampen Course.
Columbus East senior Austin Proffitt tied for 37th at 166. North junior Zac Schiavelle tied for 72nd with a 180.
East to recognize youth
Columbus East will host its Youth/Middle School Football Night on Friday. Youth players will be recognized before the 7 p.m. game against New Albany.
In addition, PAAL players will receive free admission to middle school games Monday at Central and Sept. 28 at Northside.