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Season begins with high expectations


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Columbus North stamped itself as one of Indiana’s elite girls track programs last season.

The Bull Dogs lost several key seniors that helped them to a sectional title and regional runner-up finish, but return all of their state meet points. Senior Mackenzie Caldwell, who has committed to Colorado, finished third in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and senior Gabby Sims (Ball State) took third in the 400 to give North 21 points and a ninth-place team finish.

Also returning is junior Debie Gedeon, who finished 13th at state in the 100 hurdles in her first year running track. Gedeon finished sixth in the 60 hurdles in this year’s Hoosier State Relays, the unofficial state indoor meet.

“I don’t think she truly knows how talented she is,” said North coach Lou Sipe, who takes over for Steve Tyler. “She has a tremendous upside, and if she works at developing her technique, she could be a hurdler at an elite level.”

All three of the Bull Dogs’ relay teams qualified for state last season. Sophomore Nina Bouthier and senior Aly Bowman return from the 14th-place 4x800 team, Sims and junior Janelle Peters are back from the 16th-place 4x400 team and junior Olivia Malone, who ran on the 4x400 unit for most of the season, returns from the 22nd-place 4x100 team.

Senior Tessa Krempel (Western Kentucky) was a regional qualifier in the shot put and discus last season and finished fourth in the shot in this year’s HSR meet. Sophomore Sierra Lax, who missed qualifying for state by one place in the 3,200, finished 10th, and freshman Rachel Brougher was 17th in the 3,200 in the HSR meet.

Malone was a regional qualifier in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. Sophomore Katrina May in the pole vault and Peters in the long jump were also regional qualifiers.

Junior Hannah Poindexter, a regional qualifier in the 400 as a freshman, is back after sitting out last season. Other top athletes include senior thrower Mara Krempel (Western Kentucky) and sophomore distance runners Allison Coffey and Avrie Allen.

The Bull Dogs will look to add Conference Indiana and regional titles after finishing second in those meets last season.

“I think we have a shot,” Sipe said. “We have some very talented girls. We’re just making sure they’re competing at a very high level. If we compete at that level, we can compete with anybody.

“The competition is good,” he said. “Our conference is a very competitive conference. The sectional is very competitive. I’m pretty excited.”

Columbus East

The Olympians return a couple of state qualifiers after finishing fourth in the Hoosier Hills Conference and fourth in the Franklin Sectional.

Senior Sarah Loesch finished 19th in the state in discus. The Purdue recruit was also a regional qualifier in the shot and qualified for this year’s HSR meet in the shot.

Senior Erin Mack was state qualifier in the high jump as a freshman and sophomore but tore an ACL playing volleyball midway through last season. She retore the ACL during volleyball season in the fall and is hoping to recover in time to compete this spring.

“She’s working to get back and high jump,” East coach Glen Brown said. “We’re not going to do anything until everything is healed and ready to go.”

Senior Andrea Hendrickson in the 100 and 200 and junior Alexis Scheidt in the long jump were regional qualifiers. Juniors Kaitlin Wendel and Rachel Foley and sophomore Maddie Lyons are back from the regional-

qualifying 4x800 relay team.

Other top athletes for the Olympians include senior sprinter Molly Macy, sophomore high jumper Katie Mack, senior thrower Faith Myers, and sophomore distance runners Mogran Ketron and Kira Singer.

“We have a lot of young distance people and young sprinters,” Brown said. “Hopefully, there will be some surprises coming out of that.”

Hauser

The Jets will have a small team with only nine girls after finishing sixth in the Mid-Hoosier Conference and ninth in the Franklin Sectional last season.

Junior Jordan McDaniel is a two-time regional qualifier in the high jump and might do the sprints this year. Junior Danielle Sneed won the long jump and finished second in 300 hurdles in the MHC meet and also does the 100 hurdles and high jump.

Senior Hannah Shoaf is the team’s top distance runner. Senior Brittany Young could challenge for points in the 1,600 in some meets.

“I’m hoping that a couple of the girls can pull out some conference wins and maybe advance to regional,” Hauser coach April Dalton said. “We hope for improvement. That’s what I’m always striving for.”

Jennings County

The Panthers return a state medalist in junior Keri Ertel, who finished ninth in the 100 hurdles and 13th in the 300 hurdles. Ertel finished fourth in the 60 hurdles in this year’s HSR meet.

Sophomore Justine Corya was a regional qualifier in the long jump and 200. Ertel, Corya, junior Kaleigh Brown and senior Rachel Thomas were regional qualifiers in the 4x100 relay.

Senior thrower Cammi Shoultz has committed to compete at University of Indianapolis. Jennings coach Brian Guthrie said freshman Denza Simpson shows promise in a variety of events.

The Panthers finished sixth in the HHC and fifth in the Franklin Sectional last season.

“I really do believe that we’re going to give conference a better run this year,” Guthrie said. “Each year, we’ve gradually progressed a little further in the conference. We’re growing, but it’s baby steps. We’re going to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger this year.”

Brown County

The Eagles won the Western Indiana Conference for the third consecutive year last season and finished fourth in the Bloomington North Sectional.

Back to lead the team is junior Emily Brady, a state qualifier in the pole vault and

100 hurdles. Brady won the pole vault in the small-school division at this year’s HSR meet.

Junior Rose Guingrich and sophomore Corissa Proctor return from the state-qualifying 4x800 relay team. Senior Alaina Glidden was a regional qualifier in the discus, and Guingrich and sophomore Kennedy Bruner were on the regional-qualifying 4x400 relay team.

Junior Harley Rogers finished seventh in pole vault and freshman Elly Wertz took seventh in the long jump in the HSR small-school division. Elodie Belleflamme, an exchange student from Belgium, and junior Alicia Fredrick were among the team’s top cross-country runners.

“The girls are going to be pretty good,” Brown County coach Rob Abraham said. “We have two long jumpers over

16 feet, and we have two shot putters that are over 32 feet right now, so that’s not bad for a school our size.”

South Decatur

The Cougars will look for improvement after finishing fifth in the MHC and not scoring in the Franklin County Sectional.

Nine girls are out for this year’s team, including junior Olivia Watkins, who won the Decatur County title in the 100 hurdles.

“It’s going to be a really strong 4x100 team, and I’m also looking for Olivia Watkins to move on in hurdles, as well as win county,” South Decatur coach Bethany Fromer said. “That’s one of her big goals this year.”

Other top athletes for the Cougars include sophomore Ashley Hamilton in the distance events, freshman Stacey Fox and sophomore Paige Wilmer in the sprints and sophomore Anekah Bower in the 400 and shot.

Edinburgh

The Lancers also didn’t score in their sectional, theirs coming at Franklin. They finished seventh in the MHC.

Senior hurdler Morghan Wright has committed to run at Manchester. Other top athletes are junior Melissa Bryant in 100 and long jump and freshman Abbie Scrogham in the sprints.

Junior Demi Hart will high jump and long jump after transferring from Franklin, where she did gymnastics but not track.

“I think we will be better,” Edinburgh assistant coach Derrick Lacey said. “We have a couple more girls that are going to try distance. We have a high jumper this year that we didn’t have. A lot of the events where we scored zero, we’re going to have a chance to score in.”

Seymour

The Owls welcome back senior Zoey Johnson, who finished 12th at state in the 1,600. Johnson missed most of cross-country season with a stress fracture, but is back to full health.

Seymour, which finished third in the HHC and won its own sectional, return several regional qualifiers. Seniors Michelle Hoene and Megan Kimbley made it in high jump, as did sophmore Mikaela Grout in the 400, junior Katy Nolting in the 300 hurdles and sophomore Morgan Kleber in the 200.

All three relay teams qualified for regional. Seniors Hannah Kleber and Audrey Clark along with Nolting and Morgan Kleber were on the 4x100 team; Hannah Kleber and Grout were on the 4x400 squad; and juniors Madison Hays and Delaney Sunbury were on the 4x800 team.

“The freshman group coming in is fairly strong,” Seymour coach Bob Sexton said. “They’re not going to be our top sprinters or our top distance runners, but they’re giving us the depth that we haven’t had before.”

Trinity Lutheran

The Cougars have a new coach in Chris Crenshaw and will look to improve on a seventh-place finish in the Seymour Sectional.

Top athletes include junior sprinter Angi Bergstedt, senior thrower Allison Trimpe and senior high jumper Ally Posey. Trinity will have a deep distance crew with seniors Brittaney VonDielingen, Allison Voss and Danielle Shelley and juniors Molly Crenshaw and Emily Marlow.

The Cougars also will look for help from a group of six freshmen and two sophomores.

“They’re a lot of fun to work with, and I think it’s going to be fun this season,” Crenshaw said. “We want the kids to set their goals and try to achieve them. No matter how the season turns out, we’ll have that to fall back on and call it a success if we meet those goals.”

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