KNIGHTSTOWN – The Blue River Valley High School girls and boys track & field teams were “Best of Show,” so to speak, at Tuesday evening’s Henry County Track & Field Meet held at Knightstown High School’s Don Willard Field.
The Vikings swept both ends of the meet, becoming girls and boys team champions against their intra-county competition from Shenandoah, Tri, and host Knightstown.
The meet was contested under cloudy and slightly cool conditions, with a very light rain falling at times.
Girls MeetBlue River Valley was team champion with 100 points, followed, in order, by Shenandoah 62, Tri 38, and Knightstown 24.
Viking senior Mallory Cross was a quadruple champion, winning the long jump, both hurdles races, and the 100m dash.
In the long jump, Cross’ winning leap of 15-3 was a foot farther than that of second-place teammate Sami Loveless. Finishing third and fourth, respectively, were Tri’s Lilli Cox and Stella Houchins.
Cross won the 100m hurdles with a time of 17.13 seconds, 2.26 seconds faster than the time of second-place Lexi Gruesbeck of Shenandoah. Blue River’s Tori Fulton and Shenandoah’s Lillian placed third and fourth, respectively.
Cross also was victorious in the 300m hurdles with a winning time of 54.47 seconds. This was 2.75 seconds quicker than the time of second-place Gracin Jessup from Tri. The Vikings’ Tori Fulton and the Raiders’ Hannah Hinshaw finished third and fourth, respectively.
In the 100m dash, Cross recorded a personal best with a winning time of 13.40 seconds, 0.66 seconds ahead of second-place Makinze Garrity of Knightstown. Finishing third and fourth, respectively, were BRV’s Sami Loveless and Shenandoah’s Erikka Hill.
Cross has had quite an athletic career at BRV, lettering in four different varsity sports since she was a freshman. Cross was named to the C-T All-Area teams in volleyball and girls basketball, and also competes in girls tennis in addition to track & field.
“My favorite track & field event is the 300 hurdles,” Cross remarked. “I really think the stamina I developed in volleyball and basketball helps me in the hurdles. I have a soft spot in my heart for volleyball, and consider it my favorite sport.”
As talented an athlete as Cross is, one might think it is in her plans to participate in at least one of the four sports in college. But Cross has other plans.
“I had thought about it some,” Cross added, “but with my career plans, I just decided to focus on my schoolwork in college. I plan to major in pre-med and become a pediatric cardiologist.”
The Raiders’ Erikka Hill, a senior and the reigning IHSAA champion in shot put, was a dual winner Tuesday, which wasn’t too surprising considering she has signed a letter of intent to throw for the University of Miami (Florida) next season.
Hill won the shot put with a heave of 43-11.5, which was 13-8.5 further than the throw of second-place Ally Madden from Blue River. Finishing thrid and fourth, respectively, were Shenandoah’s Baylee Kokena and Tri’s Averi Phelps.
The discus competition was much closer. Hill won discus with a winning toss of 114-2, but it was just eight inches further than the 113-6 Knightstown’s Emma Parker tossed the dish for second place, a personal record for her.
Everyone else in discus was much further back. The Titans’ Averi Phelps finished third in the event and the Vikings’ Ally Madden fourth.
Blue River freshman Sydney Fellers also was a dual winner Tuesday. Fellers won the 1600m race in a personal-record time of 6:00.23, which was 8.95 seconds ahead of second-place senior teammate Alexis Whitinger. Shenandoah’s Abby Buskirk placed third and Knightstown’s Cassidy Bertram fourth.
Fellers also was victorious in the 3200m run with a winning time of 13:27.52, which was 46.16 seconds in front of second-place teammate Whitinger. Knightstown’s Alexis Shaw was just behind Whitinger in finishing third, and Shenandoah’s Hope Edwards was fourth.
Another dual winner for the Vikings was junior Ally Madden, who won the 400m dash and the high jump. Madden won the 400m with a time of 1:06.55, which was 2.57 seconds faster than the time of second-place Stella Houchins from Tri. Finishing third and fourth, respectively, were Shenandoah’s Holly Shepherd and Olivia Krintz.
Madden’s winning leap of 5-1 in the high jump was a personal record for her, and was one inch higher than the effort of second-place Gracin Jessup from Tri. Shenandoah’s Ali Brown placed third and Knightstown’s Allexus Beckstorm was fourth.
Panther senior Makinze Garrity won the 200m dash with a time of 29.34 seconds, which was just 0.62 seconds better than the time of second-place Sami Loveless from Blue River. Tri’s Lilli Cox finished third and Shenandoah’s Olivia Krintz was fourth.
Viking senior Alexis Whitinger won the 800m run with a time of 2:52.29, which was 12.82 seconds ahead of second-place sophomore teammate Kelsey Porter. Shenandoah’s Madison Cooper placed third and Tri’s Annabelle Searcy was fourth.
Shenandoah swept all three relay events. The Raider 4x100 quartet of Lexi Gruesbeck, Lillian Coccia, Ali Brown, and Erikka Hill finished first with a time of 58.41 seconds, 1.73 seconds of second-place Tri. Blue River finished third and Knightstown fourth.
In the 4x400 relay, the Shenandoah foursome of Ali Brown, Olivia Krintz, Abby buskirk, and Holly Shepherd hit the tape first with a time of 4:54.21, 4.26 seconds in front of the second-place Titans. Blue River was third.
The Raider 4x800 relay team of Madison Cooper, Hope Edwards, Olivia Krintz, and Abby Buskirk finished first with a time of 12:34.46, which was 1:13.24 ahead of the second-place Vikings.
Blue River Valley was team champion with 82 points, followed, in order, by Tri 60, Shenandoah 43, and Knightstown 35.
Titan senior Vade Dishman was a triple winner, finishing first in the 100m and 200m dashes and the long jump.
Dishman won the 100m dash in 11.54 seconds, beating junior teammate Christian McLemore (who placed second) by just 0.29 seconds. Shenandoah’s Keaghun Fitch placed third and Knightstown’s Mason Fields was fourth.
In the 200m dash, Dishman’s winning time of 24.08 seconds was 0.76 seconds faster than that of second-place McLemore. Blue River’s Jayden Delk finished third and Knightstown’s Jacob Richardson was fourth.
Dishman’s winning leap of 20-3.5 was just 3.5 inches further than the second-place effort of Panther sophomore Mason Fields, which was a personal record for Fields. Tri’s Christian McLemore finished third and Shenandoah’s Clayton Lovett was fourth.
Blue River junior Jacob Appleby was a dual winner in the hurdles events. Appleby posted a personal-record time of 18.26 seconds in the 110m hurdles, which was 1.05 seconds faster than the personal-record time of Knightstown freshman Isaiah Paris, who placed second. The Vikings’ Gabe Sayre finished third and Tri’s Gary Paull was fourth.
Appleby also set a personal-record time of 47.54 seconds while winning the 300m hurdles, which was 3.71 seconds faster than the time of second-place Clayton Lovett from Shenandoah. The Panthers’ Isaiah Paris finished third and Blue River’s Jayden Jones was fourth.
Shenandoah also had a dual-winner on the boys side, as sophomore Sam Hinshaw prevailed in both long-distance events.
In the 1600m run, Hinshaw’s winning time of 5:15.69 was 16.62 seconds in front of the time posted by second-place Adam Polston from Blue River. The Raiders’ Logan Renz finished third and the Vikings’ Gabe Sayre was fourth.
Only four runners completed the 3200m race. Hinshaw finished first with a personal-record time of 12:06.98, which was 37.87 seconds ahead of second-place Zach Crull from Blue River. The Vikings’ Eli Sayre finished third and Shenandoah’s Korbyn Wood, who recorded a personal record, was fourth.
The Vikings finished 1-2 with personal-record times in the 400m dash. Sophomore James Crull won the race in 58.45 seconds, and freshman teammate Tyler Flynn was 1.54 seconds behind him. Tri’s Kyran Huffman and Gary Paull placed third and fourth, respectively.
Viking freshman Landen Gibson won the 800m race with a time of 2:25.57, which was 4.09 seconds ahead of freshman teammate Flynn. Shenandoah’s Logan Renz finished third and Knightstown’s Drew Smith was fourth.
Tri sophomore Parker Burk finished first in shot put with a heave of 40-10.5, which was 2-7.5 further than the second-place effort of Sam Thomas from Knightstown. Blue River’s Trevor Madison was close to Thomas for third place, and Knightstown’s Liam Orcutt finished fourth.
Panther senior Sam Thomas finished first in discus by tossing the dish 123-9, which was one foot further than the distance of second-place Brody Davis from Shenandoah. Blue River’s Bryce Klein placed third and Tri’s Kaden Riggs was fourth.
Viking senior Bryce Klein won the high jump with a personal-record height of 5-10, which was four inches higher than the effort of second-place Luke Hill from Tri. Blue River’s Tyler Davis was third. No other athlete could clear a height of 5-0.
The Titan boys won two of the relay events, and the Vikings captured the other one.
Tri’s 4x100 quartet of Vade Dishman, Parker Burk, Luke Hill, and Christian McLemore won the event with a clocking of 46.92 seconds, which was 3.71 seconds ahead of second-place Knightstown. Shenandoah placed third and Blue River was fourth.
The Titan foursome of Gary Paull, Evan Craft, Kyran Huffman, and Christian McLemore won the 4x400 relay race with a time of 4:06.67, which edged the second-place Blue River quartet by just 0.34 seconds. Shenandoah finished third and Knightstown was fourth.
The Viking 4x800 relay team of Tyler Flynn, Landen Gibson, Adam Polston, and James Crull won the event with a time of 10:32.58, which was 1:32.59 in front of the foursome from second-place Shenandoah. The Titans and Panthers did not compete in this event.
All four Henry County teams will compete in Friday’s Tiger Booster Invitational at Hagerstown.
After that, Knightstown and Tri will compete in the Tri-Eastern Conference Meet Thursday, May 13 at Hagerstown, while Blue River Valley and Shenandoah will compete in the Mid-Eastern Conference Meet Friday, May 14 at Monroe Central.