North sending 5 boys individuals, relay team to state

GREENFIELD — Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff’s ankle wasn’t feeling 100 percent in practice this week, but that didn’t stop the Columbus North senior from putting up some fast times in his two events and a relay team blazing to a win without him Thursday night.

Kilbarger-Stumpff won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 9.82 seconds and the 800 in 1:53.71 to lead the top-ranked Bull Dogs to a runner-up team finish in the Greenfield-Central Regional. No. 4 Center Grove won with 137, and North edged Warren Central 84-82 for second.

“I can’t really complain,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “The 1,600 was everything I wanted from last week, so I’m happy to be able to run it this time. My ankle was a little weird this week, so no point in running a really hard 4×800 when we can for sure qualify.”

Even without him, the Bull Dogs won the 4×800. Juniors Clayton Guthrie, Kellen Hottell and Mateo Mendez and senior Matt Newell ran 7:52.30.

Newell finished just a quarter-second second behind Kilbarger-Stumpff in the 800, running 1:53.96.

“I’m pretty happy,” Newell said. “I feel like I could have raced that race a little quicker. I feel like if that race played out a little better, we could have gotten our teammate (Mendez, who finished sixth) in. But we have to be positive and keep working hard and next week, put it all together.”

Will Russell

North also advanced a pair of runners in the 3,200. Junior Will Russell finished second in 9:27.70, and senior Evan Carr took third in 9:37.72.

“The ‘A’ goal for the 3,200 was for Evan and I to get to state, and we accomplished that,” Russell said. “I didn’t win and maybe didn’t get the time I wanted, but as a team, we completed the goal that we wanted to complete.”

Carr moved up into the third-and-final state-qualifying position after running in fourth for the first 5 1/2 laps.

“I told myself mid-race I wasn’t going to look behind me, but coach (Rick) Sluder was kind of like, ‘It’s starting to slow down. You better take it,’ and it was right when he said that that I took it,” Carr said. “That’s a scary move to take mid-race, but when he told me to take it, and I took it, me face kind of lit up, and I was smiling that whole next lap.”

Columbus North’s Tucker Smith competes in the discus in Thursday’s Greenfield-Central Regional.

Meanwhile, North senior Tucker Smith was well off his personal-bests in the throwing events, but still won the shot put with a throw of 67 feet, 11 inches and finished third in the discus at 158-11.

“Survive and advance, I guess,” Smith said. “The disc, I was just pulling it high. Hopefully, it gets better.”

The Bull Dogs had a near-miss with Clayton Guthrie, who finished fourth in the 1,600 (4:22.10) and their 4×400 relay, which took fourth (3:28.96). Josh Wright was sixth in the 300 hurdles (41.98).

With six of the eight regional meets having been completed, Guthrie is sitting in the first of the three call-back positions in the 1,600.

“It was a great night for us,” Sluder said. “We felt like we were good, but not great. But Tucker comes in and gets a first and a third in his two events and was the class of the throwing field. Our distance runners really showed up big time. Reese was fantastic in the 1,600 and 800, Matt Newell was fantastic in the 800 and 4×800. Clayton ran a great leg and came back and was right on his PR in the 1,600. Mateo Mendez ran an unbelievable leg by himself in the 4×800 and then our two 3,200 guys, they seized the opportunity. We had a fantastic night overall.”

Meanwhile, Columbus East had a near-miss with its 4×100 relay team, which finished fourth in 43.81. The Olympians also took sixth in the 4×400 relay in 3:32.98.

Hauser’s Aleck Lopez competes in the long jump in Thursday’s Greenfield-Central Regional.

Hauser’s Aleck Lopez finished eighth in the 400 (52.58). Edinburgh’s lone regional qualifier, sectional long jump champion Jackson Hartwell, was 12th in that event (19-9 3/4).

Edinburgh’s Jackson Hartwell competes in the long jump in Thursday’s Greenfield-Central Regional.

The Boys Track and Field State Finals is June 4 at Indiana University. North’s regional runner-up team finish matches the one the Bull Dog girls had on Tuesday night at Franklin.

“I’m very impressed with that,” Sluder said. “That’s two great performances this week and just shows a lot of hard work these kids have put in. We’re sending a big busload to state, so we’re very excited.”