Smith sets state record; North girls win conference title

Tucker Smith made a little history Friday night, and the Columbus North girls track and field team broke a conference title drought.

Paced by their distance runners, the 13th-ranked Bull Dog girls outscored No. 15 and host Bloomington North 134-125 to win their first Conference Indiana title since 2014.

Smith, meanwhile became the first shot putter in Indiana history to throw more than 70 feet. Then, he did it three more times, culminating in a 72-foot, ½-inch toss that shattered his all-time state record.

“Tuesday in practice, I started rewrapping my left arm in the middle, and that helped keep me close,” Smith said. “I picked up two or three feet in practice and got it in the meet. Finally being able to break the barrier, you’re not just hoping any more. You finally got it.”

Prior to throwing the shot, Smith won the discus with a personal-best throw of 174-5, the state’s best this season.

“I started working on it more, really,” Smith said. “I normally don’t may much attention to it, but I started kind of doing a similar thing I did in the shot — rewrapping in the middle — and that kept me more grounded with my right. That’s starting to just feel comfortable.”

In the girls meet, North’s Brianna Newell (5 minutes, 15.23 seconds) and Katherine Rumsey (5:18.03) went 1-2 in the 1,600 meters, Lily Baker (2:15.48) and Julie Klaus (2:18.75) went 1-2 in the 800 and Rumsey (10:54.40) and Julia Kiesler (11:10.63) went 1-2 in the 3,200.

“I knew that coming in, my goal was to get second in both the 1,600 and 3,200,” Rumsey said. “I never really done a double like this, so I wasn’t sure how coming back in the 3,200, my performance was going to be. I just had the goal of holding on to my teammate as long as possible, and then with 800 to go in the 3,200, I just knew that it was my time to make a move. Just knowing the position for our team and knowing we needed those points to beat Bloomington North helped give me the motivation to give me that kick.”

Kyleigh Wolf, Klaus, Brianna Newell and Baker won the 4×800 relay (9:36.64). Brianna Newell, Ava Collier, Klaus and Baker closed with a victory in the 4×400 relay (4:05.60).

Sierra Newell and Marieme Niang tied for second in the pole vault (8-6), Emma Martin took second in the discus (109-9) and Sasha Goodlow was third in the 300 hurdles (49.20) and fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.97). Moana Steele finished third in the shot (37-1), and Ava Collier took fourth in the 400 (1:03.22).

Natalie Ho, Kayla Jones, Goodlow and Kylah Lawson were third in the 4×100 relay (52.24).

“For every little hiccup we had, we bounced back even bigger on the girls side tonight,” North coach Rick Sluder said. “Every chance we had an opportunity, we took advantage of. The girls were just incredible.”

The Bull Dog boys finished second with 145 points, 10 behind champion Bloomington North.

The Bull Dog boys had two other state-best times on Friday. Kellen Hottell, Mateo Mendez, Matt Newell and Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff ran 7 minutes, 48.53 seconds in winning the 4×800-meter relay, and Kilbarger-Stumpff ran 4:11.11 in winning the 1,600.

Newell (1:53.64) and Mendez (1:53.68) went 1-2 in the 800.

Lwazi Mkhwanazi finished second in the high jump (5-10), and Luke Hammons, Keegan Castetter, Bryant Trinkle and Narvaez took second in the 4×100 relay (44.50). Narvaez (11.68) and Castetter (11.71) went third and fourth in the 100, Liam Milne finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.28), Clayton Guthrie took fourth in the 1,600 (4:20.30) and Josh Wright was fourth in the 300 hurdles (42.55).

“We had a couple out that got us a bit, but we ran really well,” Sluder said. “Our guys distance was just incredible, and Tucker Smith was just amazing and our sprinters really closed the gap on some spots. It was an all-around great performance.”