GOING into Thursday’s Columbus North boys track and field sectional, the host Bull Dogs weren’t seeded to win any events.
North wasn’t deterred. Although eighth-ranked Center Grove outscored the Bull Dogs 146-121 to repeat as sectional champions, North won four events and placed higher than their seeds in several others.
“I thought we really stepped up and performed better for the big moment,” North coach Lou Sipe said. “We were seeded in different spots throughout the track meet, and it seemed like in every event we had people stepping up and performing better that what their seed times were. We had a lot of (personal records) tonight, and that’s what we go for. That’s a team goal of ours — to come out and do our best that we can, and I think we did that tonight.”
Columbus East edged Whiteland 79 1/2 to 78 for third. Jennings County finished seventh with 42 points, while Edinburgh took 10th with nine and Hauser was 11th with four.
The Bull Dogs set the tone for their night early when Kyle Newland, Sam Ford, Blaike Travis and Andy Carr won the opening 4x800-meter relay in 8 minutes, 9.77 seconds. Carr would later win the 3,200 in 9:39.72.
“It was pretty exciting,” Carr said. “I wasn’t really sure how it would go because David Dalton from Greenwood was going to be pretty competitive with me. It was a good experience.”
Kaden Eaton won the 1,600 in 4:23.21 and finished second in the 800 in 1:59.81, a personal-best by almost three seconds.
“It was just a good opportunity to run fast tonight with good competition, and a lot of us were taking advantage of it,” Eaton said. “(The 1,600) was a fun race. (The 800) was another good race.”
North’s other win came from Nate Green, who cleared 12 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault.
“It feels good,” Green said. “I wish I could have gotten a PR, but a little pole mixup messed that up. I have two identical poles that pretty much look the same and have the same grip and everything, so I accidentally grabbed the wrong pole. It kind of messed me up a little bit, my rhythm and stuff. But other than that, it was a pretty good day.”
Paul Salee leaped a personal-best 6-6 to finish second in the high jump.
Third-place finishers for the Bull Dogs were Shaquille Ash in the long jump (21-2); Chris Sublette in the 300 hurdles (39.70) and Taylor Summa, Ash, Logan Fox and Salee in the 4x100 relay (44.03).
Also qualifying to Thursday’s Connersville Regional with fourth-place finishes were Jacob Yoder in the discus (139-6), Summa in the 100 (11.72), Karson Tays in the 1,600 (4:32.90) and Michael Behling in the 300 hurdles (40.87).
“That 4x800 team, they were flying,” Sipe said. “Paul in the high jump did really well. Joe Gedeon in the high jump coming off an injury did well. Andy Carr ran fantastic. Nate Green in the pole vault really didn’t PR, but he took first.”
East was led by second-place finishes from J.T. Voelker in the long jump (21-7 1/2), Sean Owens in the 100 (11.54) and Jason Kimmet in the 400 (50.42).
Brock Patterson in the shot put (48-7 1/2), James Robinson in the 110 hurdles (15.61) and Jacob Hampton in the 400 (51.21) all took third.
Placing fourth were Steven O’Neal in the long jump (20-8 3/4); Paul Baker in the 800 (2:00.90); Owens in the 200 (23.51); Chase Banister, Voelker, Robinson and Owens in the 4x100 relay (44.13) and Chase Thompson, Brian Fischer, Baker and Kimmet in the 4x400 relay (3:35.69).
“We bounced back,” East coach David Miller said. “We had a terrible showing last week at conference, and I think they bounced back well. Everyone got out that we were hoping to get out, so that’s a positive. We’ll celebrate a little bit (today), but move on and get ready for next Thursday.”
Jennings’ Tom Alsup finished second in the discus (153-3). Colton Pifer took fourth in the pole vault (12-0), and Danny Gerringer was fourth in the shot (48-6).
Edinburgh’s Ryan Burton advanced with a fourth-place finish in the high jump (6-1). Hauser’s Ryan Christy just missed with a fifth in the discus (137-8).