By Jason Haddix
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The 2013 track season got off to a slow start due to Mother Nature’s cruel joke of having it sleet and snow in late March and early April. Now that is all in the rearview mirror, the Madison County area boys track teams can get down to business — chase an Indiana High School Athletic Association state championship.
As the action unfolds tonight, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
Can Anderson or Pendleton Heights overtake defending sectional champion and event host Mount Vernon? These three track teams have become familiar foes, and are the top of the class in Sectional No. 22. This battle will likely come down to the wire and make for some nail-biting action.
“Mount Vernon is pretty well stacked up in the middle distance and distance events,” Anderson coach Cary House said. “They counter really nicely our speed because we are stacked up with speed this year. The balance of the two will make for a pretty interesting sectional.”
Jalin Beard and Dorian Wilson will continue to lead Anderson in the sprint events, while Jaylen Piece, Anderson’s top point earner, will contend for the sectional crown in both hurdle events as well as a member of the 4X100 and 4X400 relay teams.
That leaves the field events up for grabs. Pendleton Heights Skyler Prol will be a contender in the shot put and discus throw. He has excelled in these two events this year and shows no sign of slowing down.
“Pendleton is kind of the wild card,” House said. “They have some strong guys in field and of course they are always strong distance events. Their distance runners are capable of winning those events at sectional — it’s a little scary.”
House said the sectional title will likely come down to where each of the teams’ second-finisher places.
Best of the rest. The remaining area teams are not likely to capture a sectional crown, but look for several individuals to move on to run in the regional round.
Frankton’s Bobby Brown has run well in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. In the Central Indiana Conference (CIC), he earned a second-place finish in the 110 with a 15.58 and a first-place finish with a 41.05.
Liberty Christian’s DeShon Gibbs, Franklin Nunn and Austin Caster have post times this season that are fast enough that a top-four finish is within reach. Nunn’s personal best this season in the 200 was 23.23, while Gibbs posted an 11.38 in the 100. Caster should be able to advance with his 44.23 time in the 300 hurdles.
“We never talked about getting out of sectional with these kids,” Liberty Christian coach Paul Jessup said. “The big focus always has been and will continue to be to do the best with what you have right now and let the chips fall where they may.”
Are there any sleepers who can make a run into the regional round? Matt Pattison from Madison-Grant has run well this season. He posted an 11.57 in his second-place finish at the Central Indiana Conference (CIC) 100-meter dash and a 23.64 in the preliminary race, before capturing first place in the 200.
Daleville’s Dalen Beck and Alexandria’s Craig Doty will carry momentum from their recent tournament crowns in the high jump. Beck, the Delaware County champion, cleared a 6-02, while Doty’s best at the CIC meet was 6 feet.