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BEDFORD – Columbus East had a strong first half of Thursday’s Hoosier Hills Conference boys track meet, but faded in the second half. Seymour had a slow first half before coming on strong at the end.
That turn of events allowed the Owls to finish in fourth place with 84 ½ points, seven better than the fifth-place Olympians. Floyd Central won the meet with 105, followed by New Albany (90) and Jeffersonville (85 ½).
“I said early on I’d be happy if we got in the top four, although I don’t feel quite as happy now because we were so close to third,” Seymour coach Randy Fife said. “But we had two conference champions, and anytime you have a conference champion, it’s something to be proud of.”
The Owls were led by a 1-2 finish in the pole vault from sophomore Ben Coomer and junior Hunter Klakamp, with both clearing 12 feet. Senior Iman Tucker won the 300-meter hurdles (39.87 seconds) and took second in the 110 hurdles (15.05). Bryce Werskey was second in the discus (152-0), and Joe Trueblood finished second in the 800 (2:03.40).
East senior George Macy edged Tucker to win the 110 hurdles in 14.95 and finished third in the 300 hurdles (41.07).
“It was a great feeling,” Macy said. “I’ve never won a conference championship before, so that was a new feeling.”
Sean Owens took second in the 100 (11.20), and Zach Herron, Dan Zeissler, Dalton Smith and Paul Baker were second in the 4x800 relay in 8:14.32, a season-best by 14 seconds. The Olympians led the team race early in the meet, but saw its top two sprinters suffer minor injuries.
“We pieced some things together,” East coach Eric Gutjahr said. “Luke Hampton tweaked his hamstring, so that was kind of tough for us. Sean Owens sort of hurt his knee a little bit, and that was tough for us. His legs were dead. We have some things that we need to work on to get ourselves ready for sectional.”
Jennings County finished eighth with 44 ½ points. Jonah Woods led the Panthers with a second-place finish in the 1,600 in a personal-best 4:33.20.
“Jonah Woods ran extremely well in the (1,600),” Jennings coach Bill Ludwig said. “We were seeded eighth in the 4x400 relay, and we dropped about 6 ½ seconds off our season-best time and ended up fifth, so that was a real pleasing performance, also.”
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