Olympians making big strides heading into state finals

When the track and field season began in March, qualifying for the state finals wasn’t even on the radar of Beyoncey Coleman-Turner and Seena Greiwe.

But nearly three months of steady and substantial improvement later, the Columbus East discus throwers are headed to Bloomington. They’ll be among the 27 competitors in that event beginning at 3 p.m. Friday at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.

“I didn’t even think I’d make it out of sectional,” said Greiwe, a junior. “I was just doing discus because I thought I was pretty good, but I didn’t think I was good enough to make it to state. Then, to make it out of regional was awesome.”

At last week’s Warren Central Regional, Coleman-Turner finished second with a throw of 117 feet, 7 inches. Greiwe claimed the third and final qualifying spot with a personal-best 113-4.

Coleman-Turner’s 117-7 effort came on her third and final throw of the preliminaries. The freshman had fouled on her first two attempts.

“I can throw better,” Coleman-Turner said. “I was very nervous. I’m just focusing on putting everything together with my form and everything and keeping it inbounds.”

The regional throw was about 10 feet off Coleman-Turner’s personal best of 127-4 that she threw to win the Hoosier Hills Conference meet. That effort was about 20 feet better than she was throwing early in the season.

At that point, she wasn’t thinking of making it to state.

“I threw 120 in a meet at East, and my coach (throwing coach Jonathan Martin) said that I could go to state with 120 or higher,” Coleman-Turner said. “So I kind of thought if I kept on doing that consistently, I would go to state.”

Greiwe, meanwhile, threw a personal-best 108-1 in the Olympians’ regular-season finale against Brown County. She then bettered that to 111-2 in finishing third in the Franklin Sectional before uncorking the 113-4 at the regional.

Greiwe was seeded fourth entering the regional.

“I knew I had a chance at making it,” Greiwe said. “I just knew I had to throw my best, which I did, and I just got lucky that other girls didn’t throw as well.”

Greiwe will be making her second appearance of the year in a state meet. Also a volleyball player in the fall, she was part of the East gymnastics team that competed in the state finals in March.

Coleman-Turner was a junior varsity basketball player for the Olympians this winter.

“Both young ladies are very deserving,” Martin said. “They’ve worked very hard on their technique.”

Both will likely have to improve on their regional performances to have a shot at earning a top-nine finish, which would put them on the medal stand. Coleman-Turner is seeded 20th, and Greiwe is seeded 26th.

Coleman-Turner, who narrowly missed qualifying in the shot put with a fifth-place regional finish, is only freshman in the state discus field.

“Beyoncey is just so explosive,” Martin said. “If we just keep her nerves in check, I think she’ll do pretty good. Seena has just been gradually improving each and every week throughout the year, and she’s throwing her best at the right time to make it to where she wants to go.”

If you go

What: Girls Track and Field State Finals

When: 3 p.m. Friday

Where: Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex, Indiana University

Local qualifiers

Pole vault: Katrina May, Columbus North

High jump: Katie Mack, Columbus East

Shot put: Kayla Truesdell, Jennings County

Discus: Beyoncey Coleman Turner, Columbus East, and Seena Greiwe, Columbus East

4×800 relay: Columbus North

100: Kathleen McCann, Brown County

1,600: Sierra Lax, Columbus North

400: Justine Corya, Jennings County

3,200: Rachel Brougher, Columbus North

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.