By Heather Bremer
For The Herald Bulletin
The Ben Davis boys track regional is one of the toughest in the state.
“THE toughest,” according to Anderson coach Cary House.
It’s proven on the track year after year as runners from Brebuf Jesuit, Lawrence Central and the host Giants torch the competition.
But Madison County made its presence known in the field events this year.
Senior Jalin Beard of Anderson placed second in long jump, while Sean Brady of Pendleton Heights was third in the same event, and the Arabians’ Skyler Prol was third in shot put. The trio advances to the state meet in Bloomington next weekend.
House thinks Beard, who jumped 22-feet-7 on Thursday, still has some inches to find when he competes next Friday at the Indiana University campus — as long as Mother Nature cooperates.
“It was a good jump for him. It wasn’t a great jump,” House said. “He’s a warm-weather guy, too. The warmer the weather, the better he’s gonna jump. It’s gotta get warmer than this. I’m excited for him because I think he’s got himself in contention for next week. It’s gonna warm up, and he’s gonna jump farther than that. So he’s gonna be right in the hunt.”
House felt some of his other athletes also were affected by the conditions. Unlike the girls regional run Tuesday at North Central under sunny skies, a rainy chill hung over Ben Davis. House was hoping for some elusive personal records but was proud of his squad, especially a pair of four-year members.
“I’m just really proud of Jaylen Pierce and Matt Harter,” House said. “They had great four-year careers at Anderson, and a lot of our success over the years has rested on their shoulders. I’m just proud that I could be around with them for three of those years.”
PH’s Brady was feeling none of the chill after his third-place performance. The 22-2 jump was not only good enough to get him to Bloomington, it was a personal best and the fourth school record to fall at Pendleton Heights this week.
“I’m overwhelmed right now,” the senior said. “It hasn’t really hit me, yet.”
It had hit Prol. After the meet, the senior walked up to his teammates, hands held high above his head in victory. He was celebrating a throw of 53-7, nearly two feet farther than his sectional throw and a personal record. He’s a man of few words, but his seven-word plan for state says it all.
“Practice really hard and do my best,” Prol said.
House expects three good days of practice for Beard as he prepares for the final meet of his career. The Anderson coach won’t change anything about his routine. And he hopes Beard can continue to reach the 23 feet his was jumping in practice last week.
“He’s a competitor,” House said. “He’s a football player, a basketball player. He knows what he has to do to be ready.”