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Bull dogs coast: Three double winners lead North

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FRANKLIN — Individually, the numbers didn’t quite add up Tuesday for Columbus North senior Tessa Krempel in the Franklin Sectional girls track meet.

Sure, Krempel won sectional titles in the shot put (41 feet) and the discus (132-6), but she didn’t set personal bests.

But Krempel’s happiness was not connected to individual success. All the numbers did add up for Columbus North as a whole as the team won its third consecutive sectional championship.

“I’m pretty proud of how everybody else did today,” Krempel said. “We did an awesome job.

“I’m super pumped for regional.”

North easily lived up to its goal of winning another sectional title and put itself in prime position to contend for a regional crown next week. Paced by three double-winners, the 10th-ranked Bull Dogs racked up 166 points to 129 for runner-up Center Grove, the state’s 11th-ranked team.

“The girls did great tonight,” North coach Lou Sipe said. “Obviously, we’re looking forward to next week and the regional. Another week of training will get us closer to that goal.”

Senior Mackenzie Caldwell defended her sectional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, running 5 minutes, 4.24 seconds and 11:02.32.

“I’m happy about it,” Caldwell said. “It’s a good steppingstone on the way to the state meet. I’m feeling good about next week.”

Senior Gabby Sims defended her 400 title in 57.66. She took a run at the 200 school record and fell a little short, but still won in 26.38.

“Everything fell into place,” Sims said. “I’ve had great training that prepares me to run hard for three (races). It was great weather, and I had a great team supporting me the whole meet.”

Krempel gave the Bull Dogs their third double winner. “I didn’t (set personal records), so I didn’t feel good about the numbers,” she said. “But I still was able to manage the competition and pull through.”

The Bull Dogs also had second-place finishes from Katrina May in the pole vault (11-0), Janelle Peters in the long jump (15-9¼), Debie Gedeon in the 100 hurdles (15.63) and Olivia Malone in the 300 hurdles (47.64). Finishing third for North were Rachel Brougher in the 1,600 (5:17.41), Nina Bouthier in the 800 (2:25.66) and Sierra Lax in the 3,200 (11:16.11). Placing fourth and earning a spot in the regionals were Kaitlyn Barnes in the pole vault (9-0) and Mara Krempel in the shot (36-10½).

North also advanced all three relay teams. Morgan Neal, Avrie Allen, Allison Coffey and Bouthier finished second in the 4x800 (9:59.76); Emma LaVelle, Gedeon, Peters and Malone took second in the 4x100 (51.54); and Peters, Elle Williams, Hannah Poindexter and Malone were third in the 4x400 (4:13.84).

Jennings County had two double winners and finished third as a team with 69 points. Junior Keri Ertel defended her titles in the 100 hurdles (14.71) and 300 hurdles (45.95).

“I felt like I was getting out of the blocks quicker,” Ertel said. “I need to work on the 300s, but I was pretty happy with it.”

Sophomore Justine Corya won the long jump (16-1) and 100 (12.90).

“Last year, I didn’t get first in either event here, so it was exciting,” Corya said.

The Panthers’ Katelyn Posey, Corya, Denza Simpson and Ertel ran a school-record 4:09.94 to finish second in the 4x400 relay. Rachel Thomas, Kaleigh Brown, Corya and Ertel took third in the 4x100 relay (51.74); and Rachel Thomas, Kyla Ortleib, Autumn Thomas and Olivia Heaton were fourth in the 4x800 relay (10:38.09).

“It’s nice to have some individuals step up to the plate and really do their part,” Jennings coach Brian Guthrie said. “I’m proud of all our relays.”

Columbus East finished sixth with 46 points. Sarah Loesch threw a school-record 39-10 in the shot to finish second and took fourth in the discus (122-2½).

Also for the Olympians, Andrea Hendrickson finished fourth in the 100 (13.39) and 200 (27.37), and Erin Mack took fourth in the high jump (5-0). Cortney VanLiew, Kayla Gastineau, Vanessa Moir and Hendrickson were fourth in the 4x100 relay (52.73).

“I’m very pleased with our effort tonight,” East coach Glen Brown said. “We came and did what we could. It’s just a tough sectional.”

Hauser’s Jordan McDaniel qualified for regional with a second-place finish in the high jump (5-1). The Jets were ninth as a team with 16 points.

Edinburgh tied for 12th with two points.

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