Saturday was a statement day for the Columbus East boys and the Columbus North girls track teams.
The squads established themselves among the state’s best with runaway victories in the Columbus North Invitational. The meet was revived this season for the first time since the turn of the century.
The East boys scored 144½ points, while the Bull Dogs edged Bloomington North 102-101 for second. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger finished fourth with 80½, and No. 3 Center Grove — the only ranked team in the field — was fifth with 73.
The No. 10 Columbus North girls racked up 175-1/3 points to 136 for No. 13 Center Grove. No. 11 Bloomington North took third with 73-1/3, followed by Terre Haute South (57-1/3) and East (40).
Columbus North senior Tessa Krempel was the star of the meet, setting a pair of school records. Krempel won the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 10½ inches, then broke her four-day-old discus record with a throw of 137-6.
“I feel like we’re all competing well today, especially because of the weather,” Krempel said. “It was nice because you don’t have to worry about the rain or being cold. I hope we all can be breaking records like this. I expect that a lot of us are going to be pushing ourselves to the top of our games this year.”
The Bull Dogs also had winning performances from Janelle Peters in the long jump (16-4½), Debie Gedeon in the 100-meter hurdles (15.34 seconds), Gabby Sims in the 400 (59.00), Olivia Malone in the 300 hurdles (15.34), Mackenzie Caldwell in the 3,200 (11:49.23) and Sierra Lax, Avrie Allen, Aly Bowman and Nina Bouthier in the 4x800 relay (10:10.40).
Finishing second for Columbus North were Katrina May in the pole vault (10-0); Mara Krempel in the discus (124-6); Rachel Brougher in the 1,600 (5:20.14); Lax in the 3,200 (12:03.14); Peters, Gedeon, Emma LaVelle and Malone in the 4x100 relay (52.30); and Peters, Hannah Poindexter, Elle Williams and Sims in the 4x400 relay (4:18.48).
“I’m pleased with how the girls were able to compete,” North coach Lou Sipe said. “I thought from top to bottom, we did a very good job today. We had a lot of great performances.”
Sarah Loesch finished second in the shot put (38-8) and fourth in the discus (113-7) to lead the Olympians.
“We were missing some key players because of some injuries and some other things going on,” East girls coach Glen Brown said. “I thought we did pretty well. I don’t know if we were going to be able to compete with the top three, but we could have been fourth.”
The East boys used 1-2 finishes in the long jump, 100 and 400 to separate themselves from the rest of the field. JT Voelker won the long jump (21-10) and 100 (11.64) to lead the Olympians.
“I focused and did what I had to do to help my team,” Voelker said. “We had a good performance. We all came together and just killed it.”
Brock Patterson won the shot (51-11), and Jason Kimmet (51.57); Jacob Hampton (52.34) went 1-2 in the 400. Chase Banister, Voelker, James Robinson and Sean Owens took the 4x100 relay (43.25).
Owens finished second in the 100 (11.74) and 200 (23.39). Also finishing second for East were T.C. O’Neal in the high jump (5-10), Steven O’Neal in the long jump (21-1) and Robinson in the 110 hurdles (15.74).
“Our kids want to come out and compete, and they’ve done a good job so far of doing that,” East boys coach David Miller said. “It’s still pretty early in the season, but we take each track meet day to day and look to get better.
“Our times were good today, and our field events were great today, so it was a good day,” he said. “I’m happy with every event. Everyone did a great job.”
Kaden Eaton won the 1,600 (4:26.70) and 800 (2:03.13) to lead the Bull Dog boys. Andrew Ng took the high jump (6-0), Chris Sublette captured the
300 hurdles (40.52) and Andy Carr won the 3,200 (9:51.00). Ezra Followell finished second in the discus (137-3), and Michael Keller, Sam Ford, Joe Wright and Carr were second in the 4x800 relay (8:13.94).
“We had a lot of kids doing good things,” Sipe said. “(East is) a very talented squad, and obviously, we’ll be seeing them again later in the season.”