Center Grove wins girls track and field regional

The importance of team rankings tends to lessen this time of year.

Case in point the Franklin Regional on Tuesday, where No. 6 Center Grove cruised to its eighth title in by rolling up 98 points to top-ranked Warren Central’s 79.

The host Grizzly Cubs finished third with 65 points.

Senior Kate Henselmeier helped lead the victorious Trojans by dominating the 400-meter dash, taking third in the 200 and placing a bow on her evening by anchoring the third-place 4×400 relay.

Henselmeier’s 400 time of 55.58 seconds was nearly four seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

“First. That’s where I see myself being,” said Henselmeier when asked about the state meet on June 4 at Indiana University. “The whole race I go as 100% as I can go. Going back to state means a lot to me, because it shows that my hard work is paying off.”

Likewise, Trojans senior Shelby Wingler was a double winner in the discus and shot put. Wingler’s best toss in the discus was 145 feet, 3 inches; her top heave in the shot was 49 feet, ½ inch.

Sophomore pole vaulters Khloie Walker and Hannah Smith added to Center Grove’s point total with respective second- and third-place performances.

Amy Luttrell, a junior from Greenwood, won the event by clearing 11-9. Luttrell, a 12th-place finisher at state a year ago, hopes to fare even better this time around.

“I am happy with the way I vaulted. The weather was perfect,” Luttrell said. “It wasn’t my best day because it took me a lot of attempts on most of my heights, but I think good weather plus good environment helped me push through those and try to get higher today.

“(Next week) I would like to try to get 12 feet, or 12-3, maybe. I feel that’s a big goal to have.”

Getting things started was Indian Creek’s 4×800 relay of Abby Fleetwood, Libby Dowty, Phoebe Dowty and Paige Iaria placing second to extend its season another week. The Braves, who have repeatedly lowered the school standard this spring, did so again with a time of time of 9 minutes, 23.48 seconds.

“It’s amazing. I’ve worked so hard for this. All four years, I’ve wanted to go to state so bad, and this is my first time,” Fleetwood said. “My freshman year we had COVID, sophomore year I didn’t make it out in the mile, last year I couldn’t run because I was JV (after transferring from Brown County), and then finally made it this year.”

Franklin’s impressive outing included Brooke Coffman and Morgan Sandrock going 1-2 in the high jump with respective leaps of 5-4 and 5-3. Junior Lauren Klem was a runner-up in the 1,600-meter run, as was soph Aubrey Runyon in the 100 hurdles.

Runyon and Coffman placed second and third, respectively, to advance in the 300 hurdles.

“I haven’t jumped very well this year, but I think not doing the 100 hurdles helped a lot,” Coffman said. “It kind of tires me out in my mind, and you can’t focus. It was super exciting to win (the high jump).

“It’s good to have teammates in the events because we support each other, and we want the best.”

Whiteland junior Tori Jackson won the 800 in 2:14.05. Taking second in the 4×100 relay was the Warriors’ combination of Sydney Rodgers, Emma Gill, Marissa Kratowicz and freshman anchor Elnora Stevenson.

“Honestly, it was just about surviving and advancing at this point,” Jackson said. “I just wanted to get out fast and hang on. Just winning and doing well makes me really happy.”

Whiteland senior Brooklyn Taylor moved on in the discus with her toss of 135 feet, good for third; Greenwood sophomore Emma Gardner placed third in the shot put (40-5). Also for Whiteland, Stevenson finished third in the long jump (17-10).

Previous articleGreenwood softball knocked out by Martinsville
Next articleBobby Lee Greathouse
Mike Beas
Mike Beas is the Daily Journal's veteran sports reporter. He has been to more than 200 Indiana high schools, including 1990s visits to Zionsville to profile current Boston Celtics GM Brad Stevens, Gary Roosevelt to play eventual Purdue All-American Glenn Robinson in HORSE (didn’t end well) and Seeger to visit the old gym in which Stephanie White, later the coach of the Indiana Fever, honed her skills in pickup games involving her dad and his friends. He can be reached at [email protected].