INDIANAPOLIS — Some girls from New Castle, Shenandoah, and Blue River Valley High Schools traveled to the west side of Indianapolis Tuesday evening for the IHSAA girls track & field regional at Ben Davis High School.
The local area was not shut out in regard to qualifying for the state finals June 5 in this same venue, as Raider senior Erikka Hill, as expected, was champion in both throwing events, and Trojan sophomore Ella Garvin and junior Anyssa Hall qualified for one event apiece at the state finals.
Points were awarded to the top eight finishes in each event, and the top three individuals and relay teams in each event qualified for the state finals.
Twenty-eight teams scored in the meet. New Castle placed eighth in the team standings with 28.75 points, and Shenandoah was 12th with 20 points. Blue River did not score a point at this regional.
North Central of Indianapolis was team champion of the Ben Davis regional with 79 points. Indianapolis Cathedral was second with 64 points, and Indianapolis Chatard third with 61.75.
Hill scored all 20 points for the Raiders by winning both the shot put and discus events.
Hill, the defending state champion in shot put (there was no tournament in 2020), heaved the heavy sphere six times, her final effort of 47-9.5 being the best for the winning distance.
This was 7-0.5 farther than the toss of second-place Lauralye Simpson, a senior from Perry Meridian, who heaved the sphere 40-9 on her first attempt. Hill’s 47-9.5 also bested the state standard of 40-10.75 by quite a bit.
New Castle senior Eliza Madden also competed in shot put at Ben Davis and placed 15th, with her second of three attempts (33-8.5) being her best.
The discus competition was a little closer, but Hill emerged victorious in it as well.
Hill flung the dish six times, fouling on her final attempt. But her fifth fling of 136-4 was her best and was the winning distance.
Senior Morgan Murff from Lawrence Central was second, 4-6 behind Hill with her best fling of 131-10. Both Hill and Murff exceeded the state standard of 127-9.
New Castle’s Eliza Madden also competed in discus and finished 10th, just one spot from qualifying for the finals round. Madden’s third toss of three at 98-5 was her best.
In addition, Blue River junior Ally Madden also competed in discus and finished 16th. Her second fling of the dish, 83-9, was the best of her three attempts.
The Trojans’ Garvin competed in three events at Ben Davis and narrowly missed qualifying for the state finals in all three.
In the 100m hurdles, Garvin had a prelim time of 16.27 seconds which got her into the finals. In those finals, Garvin crossed the tape in 16.34 seconds, good enough for fourth place, but 0.36 seconds behind the third-place time of Yorktown’s Emilee Hill, who did advance to the state finals.
It was much the same story for Garvin in the 300m hurdles, an event she won at the Pendleton Heights sectional seven days prior.
There were no prelims in the 300m hurdles, just two sections of seven competitors each. Garvin was in Section 2, the fastest group based on sectional times.
Garvin ticked the tape in 46.46 seconds, good for fourth place, but one place shy of qualifying for the state finals, as third place went to sophomore Caitlyn Campbell from Winchester with a time of 45.69 seconds.
Garvin did qualify for the state finals in high jump with, officially, a third-place finish.
Four girls – Garvin, Muncie Central’s Victoria Harnett, Perry Meridian’s Cara Hutson, and North Central’s Delaney Moore – cleared a height of 5-3, and all four failed to clear a height of 5-4 (the winning height by Jay County senior Elisa Parazzi) in three attempts apiece.
But second through fifth places were determined by the number of failed attempts, with the higher placings having fewer failures, so Hardnett was second, Garvin third, Hutson fourth, and Moore fifth.
Blue River’s Ally Madden also competed in high jump. Madden cleared 4-10 on her first attempt, failed on all three attempts to clear 5-0, and placed ninth.
New Castle’s Hall punched her ticket to the state finals by finishing second in long jump. Hall had won this event with ease at the Pendleton Heights sectional with a personal-best leap of 17-4, but couldn’t reach that distance at Ben Davis.
Hall leaped six times, her third attempt of 16-11.5 being her best for the second-place finish. That distance was 12.5 inches shorter than the winning distance of 18-0 recorded by Southport junior Modupe Awosanya, which exceeded the state standard of 17-7.75.
Hall also competed in both the 100m and 200m dashes, as she was champion of both at the Pendleton Heights sectional.
But the competition in these two events especially was keen at Ben Davis.
In the 100m dash, Hall had a time of 12.84 seconds in the second prelimimary heat, which got her a spot in the finals. But Hall ran slightly slower in the finals at 13.01 seconds for seventh place.
Lawrence Central senior Taylor Herbert won the 100m dash in 12.05 seconds, bettering the state standard of 12.26 seconds.
It was almost deju vu for Hall in the 200m dash. Hall ticked the tape in 26.74 seconds in the second preliminary heat to qualify for the finals, and then ran slightly slower in the finals at 27.05 seconds for seventh place.
Two girls exceeded the state standard of 25.03 seconds in the 200m dash, first-place Ramiah Elliott from North Central (24.71 seconds) and second-place Herbert (24.80 seconds).
New Castle junior Maggie Lewis scored 0.75 points for the Trojans by finishing in a four-way tie for seventh place in pole vault with Chatard’s Emma Stapleton and Perry Meridian’s Isabelle Potter and Midori Adams.
All four cleared both 8-0 and 8-6 on their first attempts, but failed three times to clear 9-0. The three points for seventh and eighth places were split four ways.
Trojan sophomore Lydia Harvey came close to scoring points for New Castle in two events, but placed ninth in both.
Harvey ran the 1600m race in 5:31.22, which was just 0.45 seconds behind eighth-place Maddie Rocchio from North Central. Delta freshman Nicki Southerland bettered the state standard of 5:03.30 when she finished first in the 1600m with a time of 4:56.25.
Harvey, who won the 3200m race at the Pendleton Heights sectional, placed ninth in the event at Ben Davis with a clocking of 12:02.34, 10.65 seconds behind the 11:51.69 recorded by eighth-place Makayla Robles from Delta.
Two girls exceeded the state standard of 10:54.58 in the 3200m, first-place Lily Cridge from Chatard (10:10.90) and second-place Sophia Kennedy from Park Tudor (10:14.04).
The Vikings’ Ally Madden ran the first section of the 400m dash in a personal-record time of 1:03.18. The two sections were combined to determine the final placings, and Madden finished 10th in the event, two spots from scoring a point for her team.
Blue River Valley senior Mallory Cross had qualified for two events at the Ben Davis regional by winning the 100m hurdles and placing third in the 300m hurdles at the Pendleton Heights sectional seven days prior.
But the Viking girls tennis team was competing in Tuesday’s regional at Richmond the same time as the Ben Davis track & field regional was going on.
As a member of Blue River’s No. 1 doubles team, Cross chose to compete in the tennis regional with her team and forego the track & field regional. One can only speculate what she might have done at Ben Davis in those two events.
The cost of admission for the IHSAA girls track & field state finals at Ben Davis High School on Saturday, June 5 is $12. The event will stream live on IHSAAtv.org.