A dropped baton at sectional forced Center Grove’s 4×100 relay into an unusual situation at Tuesday’s girls track and field regional.
Running in the slower heat, the Trojans raced the clock and hoped it was enough.
The quartet of Julia Riley, Kiyah Yeast, Riko Williams and Myana Pace ran a time of 48.88 seconds to finish second overall to Warren Central (48.10). More importantly, it qualified Center Grove for the state finals on June 1.
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“It’s hard and it’s not hard at the same time. We should be in the fast heat, but since we had a rough sectional we were in the slow heat,” Riley said. “It’s hard because we don’t have our competition that we usually have, but easy because we’re (ahead).
“Racing the clock can be hard in the slow heat because we don’t know where we are time-wise. Just trying to get a good start out of the blocks can be hard. There is some pressure there.”
Yeast won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in respective times of 12.10 and 24.85 seconds. Riley placed third in the 100 hurdles (15.71), edging out Gabrielle Allen of Whiteland (15.72) and Center Grove teammate Makensie Kramer (15.78).
Riley also qualified for state in the long jump after finishing second with a best effort of 17 feet, 4 inches.
Warren Central amassed 107 points, winning the regional team title, while Center Grove was runner-up with 84. The Trojans qualified for state in seven events, the others being pole vault winner Taylor Jarosinski (11 feet, 10 inches) and fellow sophomore Ella Rasche in the shot put (second, 40 feet, 1 1/4 inches).
“I think we did some really, really good things tonight,” Trojans coach Wes Dodson said. “I’m happy, but there’s always room for improvement. Hopefully, we will be ready to do well at the state meet.”
Whiteland, which secured fourth place overall with 47, sends sophomore Isabella Jackson to state in three events. Jackson won the high jump with a best of 5 feet, 6 inches and took second in the 100 hurdles (15.45) and 300 hurdles (45.89).
“It feels great going back to state. Hopefully, I can do better than last year,” said Jackson, who made it there as a freshman in the high jump and 300 hurdles. She’ll be joined by senior teammate Reagan Emberton, who finished third in the shot put with a top distance of 39-10.
Greenwood senior Emily Bonser qualified in the discus for a second consecutive season. On Tuesday, her third and final throw in the final round covered 127-3, good for second place.
“To me, it was important because I wanted to come back after having surgery,” said Bonser, who had ACL surgery on her left knee last June. “Probably at the beginning of outdoor season is when it really started to feel more comfortable, especially having worn a knee brace the past two years and now not wearing it anymore.”
Franklin sophomore Lillian Lacy advanced to the finals in the 3,200 with a second-place effort (11:13.44).