Freshman leads Greenfield-Central to 3-peat

FORTVILLE — The Greenfield-Central girls county track and field dynasty will reign another year.

On Wednesday in Fortville, freshman Sydney Cook led the Cougars to a third straight Hancock County Track and Field Championship.

The freshman phenom was a part of four of the Cougars’ nine victories and helped them overcome a dynamic performance from Athlete of the Meet, Mt. Vernon’s Olivia Coleman.

Greenfield-Central concluded the day with 100.5 points, far distancing itself from runner-up Mt. Vernon, which finished with 71.5 points. Eastern Hancock followed with 41 points and New Palestine 31.

Cougars’ coach Jan Hacker said she does not look at the win as another in a series of victories but instead considers it an individual triumph for the hardworking girls on this year’s team.

“I’m telling you,” Hacker said. “If you looked at this meet before it began, it should have been a much tighter day. But the girls consider this their job, and they come in and they do their job, and they push each other. The support they have for each other is unbelievable. It is so much fun to watch it all happen.”

A lot of the fun came in watching Cook, who won two individual events, the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, and helped the Cougars to both of their relay triumphs.

Cook anchored the 4×800 relay victory. Katie Helgason, Rebekah Gottwald and Emily McKeemans shared in that win. Cook also helped Maddie Wise, Rachel Gottwald and Savannah Girolami win the 4×400 relay.

“She was absolutely wonderful today,” Hacker said of Cook. “She ran over two-and-a-quarter miles in total in outstanding fashion. I don’t like to put pressure on a kid, … but if she keeps this up, I could see her having a strong impact on Greenfield-Central’s track and field history.”

Also picking up individual wins for the Cougars were Girolami in the 100-meter dash, Wise in the 100-meter hurdles, Catherine Sosnowski in the discus, Emily Jones in the pole vault and Regan Lewis in the high jump.

Lewis not only defended her high jump title, she also set a new county record in the process, clearing 5 feet, 9 inches. The old record, 5 feet, 6 inches, was her mark from last year.

To win the meet, the Cougars had to overcome multiple record-breaking performances from the Marauders’ Coleman, who has now clinched Athlete of the Meet honors for a second straight season.

Coleman triumphed and broke records in three of her four events.

She ran a 25.521 to surpass New Palestine’s Shelby Scocozza (25.701 in 2004) in the 200. She ran a 58.681 to unseat Greenfield-Central’s Audrey Smoot (59.001 in 2005) in the 400. And finally, she jumped 17 feet, 1 inch to break the record of Mt. Vernon’s Taylor Gutierrez (16.081 feet in 2010) in the long jump.

Rounding out the individual winners Wednesday were Mt. Vernon’s Aubri Benbow in the 300-meter hurdles, New Palestine’s Bailey Wallace in the 3,200 and Eastern Hancock’s Kaycee Ruble in the shot put.

Benbow also led the Marauders to a win the 4×400 relay. She, Kiara Gibson, Alex Franklin and Alexa Christensen championed that event.


The Cougars’ three-peat is the first in program history. It was their eighth championship overall. … New Palestine owns the longest reign atop the county. The Dragons won seven straight titles from 1988-94. They own a county-leading 14 titles overall, followed by Greenfield-Central (eight), Mt. Vernon (eight) and Eastern Hancock (three). … Full results from Wednesday’s championship meet will be in Friday’s newspaper and online at

Hancock County Track and Field Championship Team Standings

Greenfield-Central won its third straight Hancock County Track and Field Championship on Wednesday night in Fortville. Here are the final scores: 

Greenfield-Central, 100.5 

Mt. Vernon 71.5

Eastern Hancock 41

New Palestine 31