It didn’t matter that the temperatures were in the low 40s on Wednesday. Arig Tong was just glad to be competing outside.
The Columbus North junior won the 1,600 and 800 meters to help lead the Bull Dog girls to an 82-50 win against Whiteland in their outdoor track season opener. The North boys won 83-49.
“It was a challenge, but it was our first outdoor meet, and it felt nice to be outside instead of inside,” Tong said. “There are definitely things I can improve on, but it feels like a good start.”
Tong ran 5 minutes, 41.3 seconds in the 1,600 and 2:35.8 in the 800.
Maura VanDeventer also was a double winner for the Bull Dogs. She took the long jump at 13 feet, 9 3/4 inches and the 100 hurdles in 17.1.
“It was really difficult to get warm, but I was ready, even though it was cold,” VanDeventer said. “I think we started off the season well.”
Jahna Smiley in the high jump (4-10), Kennedy Cook in the 200 (28.0) and Ana Singhal in the 3,200 (12:31.5) also won individual events for the North girls. The Bull Dogs swept the three relays.
Kirsten Ballard, Kennedy Kerber, Emma Smith and Chelsi Giesige won the 4×800 relay in 10:56. Cook, VanDeventer, Dakota Gates and Liz Tynan took the 4×100 relay in 53.0. Katlin Meek, Cook, Sophie Bailey and Giesige captured the 4×800 relay in 4:35.2.
The Bull Dog boys were led by wins from Triston Perry in the 110 hurdles (14.9) and 300 hurdles (42.4) and Elijah Brooks in the 1,600 (4:40.5) and 3,200 (10:07.4).
“You just come out every time and try to run the best race you can,” Perry said. “It’s really cold out, so you just have to put that behind you and focus on what you’re doing.”
Other individual winners for North were Brigham Kleinhenz in the pole vault (13-0), Hunter Huser in the high jump (5-2), Daveed Jolley in the long jump (18-11 1/4), Kaemon Jiles in the 400 (54.8) and Mitchell Burton in the 200 (22.8).
Perry, J.D. Harris, Jaylen Flemmons and Burton won the 4×100 relay in 44.1. Burton, Jiles, Perry and Jolley took the 4×400 relay in 3:48.9.
Some of the Bull Dog boys who will be competing in Saturday’s Hoosier State Relays, the unofficial state indoor meet, were limited in their action on Wednesday. That included Burton, who has the No. 1 long jump in the state this indoor season.
“We had last week off, and obviously it was cold tonight, but I thought we performed very well,” North boys and girls coach Lou Sipe said. “Brigham Kleinhenz (setting a personal record) in the pole vault was a pretty good performance. The boys 4×100 ran pretty well. Collectively, I was pretty impressed with how we did tonight.”