Parker Doyle and Will Riley compete for different schools, specializing in different events.
Yet once the starter’s pistol sounds, the boundaries of their intense focus measure only as wide as the lane they occupy.
Doyle, a Center Grove senior, dominated both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle races at the Greenfield-Central regional on Thursday to head into the June 3 state meet with a full head of steam.
“Just my lane,” Doyle said when asked if he notices his competitors. “It definitely took a little bit of practice, but I’ve trained my mind to blur everything but the 10 hurdles in front of me.
“The goal is to win (state), obviously.”
As a sophomore, Riley, Greenwood’s outstanding sprinter, doesn’t have quite the same sense of urgency. Nonetheless, he ran his second-best time in the 100-meter dash, his time of 10.80 seconds extremely close to the school-record 10.72 he produced on the Bloomington North oval earlier this month.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know I could do that. I just shocked myself right there,” Riley said. “It feels awesome. I would love to make it to the final race (at state). That’s my huge goal right now.”
Center Grove scored 122 points to win the team title on Thursday, while Warren Central was second with 98 and the host Cougars third with 78.
It marks the seventh time the Trojans have won regional, including the past three.
“It wasn’t our best track meet of the year, but we still scored enough points to win,” Trojans coach Eric Moore said. “We left about 24 points out there. But I’m proud of the kids. They fought back, won regional, and it wasn’t easy.”
Other Trojans qualifying for state included senior discus champion Garrett Messer (175-0), who was also third in the shot put (53-2¼). The 4×400 relay of Micah Coyle, Brevin Holubar, Doyle and Zach Greller took first in a time of 3:20.45. Also for Center Grove, Parker Mimbela was runner-up in the 3,200 (9:24.02), junior high jumper Peyton Coffey was third (6-5), as was long jumper Caden York (21-4¾) and the 4×800 relay (8:07.50) made up of Griffin Hennessy, Mason Vrshek, Kyle Montgomery and Jarret Rockwell.
Montgomery also advances to state in the 1,600, his strong finish elevating him to third place in a time of 4:21.28. Rockwell made it in the 800, taking third in 1:56.73. Junior pole vaulter Carter Pheifer makes the trip south as well after clearing 14 feet to finish second. Coyle’s time of 22.21 seconds in the 200 was good enough for third.
Overall, Center Grove qualified for state in 11 different events.
Whiteland crowned two regional champions in senior pole vaulter Scott Parrish (15-0) and junior sprinter Matthew Wray, who won the 200-meter dash in 21.93 seconds.
“Definitely, his strongest part of the race is the second half,” Warriors coach Brandon Bangel said of Wray. “The main thing with Matthew is his composure. He doesn’t freak out, and he runs the way he runs.”
The 4×100 relay qualified for state after Bangel appealed his quartet’s initial fourth-place standing; after officials examined a photo finish, the Warriors eventually slotted third with a time of 42.61 seconds.
Representing the Warriors were Jamal Nyonteh, Wray, Adrian Unger and Elliott Spangler.
Also for Whiteland, senior Tayton Schakel was third in the discus, his best toss being 169-1.
Franklin junior J.D. Sever moves on, courtesy of his third-place performance in the 300 hurdles (40.36 seconds).