FRANKLIN — Survive and advance. That’s what it’s all about come postseason time.
At the Franklin girls track and field sectional Tuesday, several local athletes took care of business, earning the top-three finishes that ensure a ticket to next week’s Franklin Regional.
“I thought it was a good day,” said Columbus North coach Lou Sipe, whose girls finished second in the team standings with 100 points. “I thought the girls performed really well against good competition, so I was really pleased.”
The lone Bartholomew County winner on the day was North’s Arig Tong, who rolled to victory in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 27.18 seconds. Tong also qualified for the regional meet in the 800, placing third in 2:29.03.
Though her time was slightly off her season best, the junior was pleased with her performance.
“It was a little closer packed than I expected,” Tong said of the 1,600, “but that was good because you couldn’t really zone out. You were focused the whole race. That helped me a lot.”
North also got runner-up finishes from its relay teams in the 4×800 (10:29.04) and 4×100 (51.91) and had three individuals finish second — Adrienne Salemme in the pole vault (10-4), Kennedy Cook (27.45) in the 200 and Olivia Morlok in the 3,200 (11:57.29). Maura VanDeventer also earned a regional berth with a third-place finish in the 100 hurdles (16.92).
For Columbus East, which finished sixth as a team with 63 points, Beyoncey Coleman-Turner and Cortney VanLiew led the way with second-place finishes. Coleman-Turner, who also is hoping for a call back in the discus after placing fourth at 109 feet, 10 inches, was the runner-up in the shot put at 38-1, falling short of Whiteland’s Micheala Adams by an inch and a half. VanLiew was second in the 400 in 1:00.34 and also helped the Olympians finish third in the 4×400 relay.
Coleman-Turner and Seena Greiwe, who finished fifth in the discus, were state qualifiers in that event last season. Beyond the top three, the next-best four throws from the four sectionals feeding into the Franklin Regional will earn spots in the field.
Hauser’s Grace Hasler also is on her way to the regional meet after finishing second in the 300 hurdles, coming up just short in her last-ditch bid to catch Franklin’s Ally Parramore at the line. Hasler finished in 47.58 seconds, just .08 shy.
Winning was secondary on Tuesday, however, for most of the athletes competing. Keeping the season alive for another week was the main goal.
“Today was kind of a shock, since it’s the first step of tournament season,” Tong said, “but now we’re in the mindset and ready to really compete.”