Tucker Smith played with fire, but he wasn’t worried.
The nation’s top high school shot putter fouled on his first two attempts in that event in Friday’s Columbus North Sectional, leaving only one chance to get in a clean throw to advance to the finals. The Columbus North senior then power-threw 60 feet on his third attempt and heaved one 68-11 1/2 in the finals to add the shot win to the discus victory he won earlier in the evening.
Smith also ranked first in the sectional and third in the state in the discus, but was in fifth place Friday until uncorking a winning throw of 161-1 on his sixth and final attempt.
“My technique was off today,” Smith said. “I know what I need to do to fix it. So I’m not too worried about it.”
The top-ranked Bull Dogs also swept the distance events and finished second in the team standings behind Center Grove. The Trojans scored 191 points to 136 for North and 81 for third-place Whiteland.
The Bull Dogs won the 4×800-meter relay in 7 minutes, 55.40 seconds on Thursday before the meet was suspended because of weather. On Friday, Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff won the 1,600 in 4:17.00, Matt Newell led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 800 with a 1:54.36 and Will Russell took the 3,200 (9:32.15).
Also automatically qualifying for Thursday’s Greenfield-Central Regional regional with top-three finishes were Mateo Mendez with a second in the 800 (1:55.47), Lwazi Mkhwanazi with a third in the high jump (6-0), Cole Wheeler with a third in the 110 hurdles (16.40), Clayton Guthrie with a third in the 1,600 (4:24.51) and Kilbarger-Stumpff with a third in the 800 (1:55.61). The Bull Dogs were second in the 4×400 relay (3:23.80).
North also will receive call-backs for Evan Carr, who finished fourth in the 3,200 (9:38.03); Josh Wright, who took fifth in the 300 hurdles (42.05) and for its 4×100 relay team, which was fourth (44.43).
“We’re really excited,” North coach Rick Sluder said. “We did really well. It was a tough two days, sitting around (Thursday) night and not being in our routine. They came back and responded really well. Distance ran really well again. Tucker did very well.”
Columbus East finished fifth in the team standings with 48 points and got a win from Anthony Lloyd in the high jump (6-1). Lloyd also took second in the long jump (20-11) and was part of the third-place 4×100 relay team (44.31).
“I just felt pretty good high jumping,” Lloyd said. “I stopped at 6-4 because I wanted to focus on the long jump. I think I might have just overthinked it on long jump.”
Receiving call-backs for the Olympians will be Henrique Carvalho, who finished fourth in the 300 hurdles (41.80); Jacob Guse, who took sixth in the shot put (48-8) and East’s 4×400 relay team, which was fourth (3:35.31).
Hauser, which finished seventh in the team standings with 28 points, was led by a second-place finish from Cameron Toole in the 400 (52.38). Aleck Lopez will receive call-backs after his fourth-place finish in the 400 (52.63) and fifth in the long jump (20-9 1/4).
The surprise of the night may have come in the long jump, where Edinburgh freshman Jackson Hartwell leaped 21-5 1/2 to take the title. It was his first time over 20-0.
“I just felt good going in,” Hartwell said. “I got the right steps and felt good, plus that wind helped me a lot. I just came out here to try to do my best to see what I could get. I just wanted to PR, really, just try to get my best jump.”
The Lancers finished eighth as a team with 17 points.