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Trojans improve times and distances at indoor Patriot Invitational

New Castle High School sophomore Tristan Barr set a new indoor school record in pole vault with a height of 11-9 at last Saturday’s indoor Patriot Invitational hosted by Jay County High School and held at Anderson University. Barr qualified in pole vault as a freshman for last year’s IHSAA track & field outdoor state finals at Indiana University in Bloomington and hopes to get back there again this year.

By ANDREW CARTER of NCHS -

ANDERSON—New Castle High School girls and boys track & field teams competed in their second indoor meet Saturday in the Patriot Invitational hosted by Jay County High School at the Anderson University indoor facilities. Twenty-one teams competed in the meet. No team scores are recorded for indoor state qualifier meets.

Many girls and boys showed great performance improvements in this meet over the first indoor meet a week ago. Several older athletes posted better times and jump heights than at this time last year. All athletes exhibited great attitude and effort striving to improve their form and improve their marks for their respective events. The girls and boys continue to show great team spirit working together during practices and supporting each other during the meet.

For the Trojan girls, the highlight of the meet was the pole vault performance of sophomore Tristan Barr. Barr just finished her high school gymnastics season the week before by competing with her team in regional competition.

As soon as gymnastics and cheerleading seasons ended, Barr turned her attention to pole vault. During the track & field offseason, Barr has been very dedicated to pole vault training on her own in the midst of her busy schedule.

On Saturday that dedication showed as Barr vaulted herself 11 feet 9 inches to place first in the meet and set another school record besting her previous mark of 10 feet even which was the previous indoor school record. Barr’s vault places her as the second seed in the indoor state track and field standings and 9 inches higher than the current third-ranked seed. This puts Barr in a great position to complete in the indoor state finals on Saturday, March 23.

Sophomore Emma Thurman also is in the hunt for a spot in the indoor state finals in a jumping event. Thurman tied for fourth in the meet with a lifetime-best high jump of 5-feet even which is a new indoor school record. The previous week Thurman had jumped 4 feet 10 inches which was the previous school record.

The 5-foot jump currently has Thurman tied for a 20th-place ranking in the state for indoor competitions. Thurman will be competing again this weekend to further hone her skills with anticipation to increase her jump height in hopes of solidifying a berth at the indoor state finals.

The New Castle girls 2 x 200 meter relay team consisting of Barr, Ava Bell, Thurman, and Anyssa Hall dropped seven seconds from the previous week by posting a time of 2:00:56. In the distance medley relay, all four girls recorded split times faster than the previous week. The girls in the distance medley were senior Grace Lewis, freshman Payton Plank, sophomore Emma Lawson, and senior Cheyanne Lazzell.

Trojan seniors Gracie Bowers and Hannah Talbott both bettered their distances from the previous week in the shot put with tosses of 31-0.75 and 28-0.5, respectively.

For the Trojan boys, the meet started in the running events with solid performances for this early in the season by junior Austin Morgan and freshman Skyler Dickey in the 3200 meter run. Morgan’s time of 10:34.01 was five seconds faster than the previous week and his third-best ever time at that distance as well as his best-ever time indoors.

Dickey, in only his second attempt at the 3200 meter distance, improved his time by 12 seconds from the previous week, finishing in 11:02.11.

New Castle sophomore Jace Logston looked strong and bettered his splits from the previous week in both the 4 x 200 meter relay as well as the 4 x 400 meter relay. The 4 x 400 relay team consisting of Logston and seniors Jaycee Wilburn, Trevor Morrison, and Britton Adkins, posted a time of 3:42.67 which is one of the fastest any Trojan squad has run for this relay in recent years.

Posting the fastest NC time of the past several years for the distance medley relay (DMR) was the upperclassmen squad consisting of Morgan (1200 meter leg), Adkins (400 meter leg), Wilburn (800 meter leg), and senior Ben Brock (1600 meter leg) in a time of 11:42.72.

All those in the DMR event posted faster splits than the previous week. Wilburn’s 800 meter split of 2:07.2 was his third-fastest time at that distance. The times posted by both the 4 x 400 meter relay and distance medley relay squads put them in contention to possibly qualify for the indoor state meet to be held on Saturday, March 23.

In the shot put, sophomore Matt Bell (in his first meet of the season after just having finished basketball the previous weekend) came out of the gate with a solid toss of 39 feet 5 inches.

After the indoor state finals on March 23, the first outdoor meet for the New Castle girls and boys will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 in Hagerstown.