SHELBYVILLE — Regan Lewis doesn’t get nervous before she jumps.
She doesn’t practice a set routine. She doesn’t subscribe to any superstitions. She just jumps.
And that simple method worked quite well for her at Tuesday night’s Shelbyville Sectional. In fact, it’s been working for her for four years.
On Tuesday, Lewis secured her fourth consecutive sectional high-jumping championship and helped the Cougars track and field team finish fourth at the meet with 76 points.
Warren Central defended its sectional crown for the 14th straight year by scoring 195 points. Franklin Central finished runner-up with 86 points, followed by Roncalli (82), the Cougars, Shelbyville (63), Morristown (33), Beech Grove (27), New Palestine (25), Indianapolis Lutheran (13), Indianapolis Scecina (11), Triton Central (9) and Indianapolis Howe (3).
“I don’t get nervous for high jump,” said Lewis, whose aspirations go well beyond sectional titles.
After finishing sixth in state as a junior, she has her sights set on the biggest prize of them all.
“I really just want to win state.”
The next step on that journey for Lewis is next week’s regional meet back at Shelbyville, where she will face the qualifiers from the Connersville, Franklin and Franklin County sectionals.
But she won’t be returning to the home of the Golden Bears alone. At least seven of her teammates will be with her, as the Cougars locked up automatic regional bids by finishing in the top three in seven total events.
“Coach told us for the meet, the goal was to be able to take the big bus back here,” Lewis said. “I think we (accomplished) that.”
More Cougars could be joining those automatic qualifiers, too. The new format of state tournament this year calls for the regional field of 16 to be filled out with the best times and distances from non-top three finishers of all the sectionals feeding into a regional.
Greenfield-Central coach Jan Hacker said she thinks the Cougars have a good chance at qualifying for a few more events, citing Catherine’s Sosnowski in the discus, Bailey Thompson in the pole vault and Lewis in the long jump, among others.
Nonetheless, she said, it was a solid day for the program.
“There were a couple places where I thought we could have done better, but overall, I was proud of the way we performed.”
Maddie Wise, Sydney Cook, Savannah Girolami, Emily Jones, Amanda Flora and Rachel Gottwald are the Cougars who will not have to wait and see how other sectionals turn out.
Wise earned automatic qualifications in both the 300-meter hurdles, where she placed second, and the 100-meter hurdles, where she placed third.
Cook nabbed third in the 800 and along with teammates Flora, Girolami and Gottwald, finished third in the 4×400 relay. Girolami also secured passage to regionals in the 400 with her third-place run.
Jones was the final automatic qualifier for the Cougars. She came in third in the pole vault.
Besting Jones in the pole vault was New Palestine’s Erin Trimpe, who was the only Dragon to earn an automatic bid. She finished second in the pole vault and flashed solid potential for a chance to escape regionals, her coach, Chuck Myers, said.
“She has really good attempts at 10 (feet), which she didn’t get, but she was right at it,” Myers said of Trimpe, who vaulted 9 feet, 6 inches. “I think she can do really well next week.”
New Palestine’s Mattie Waggoner has a good chance at qualifying for regionals too, he said, as she ran a personal best in the 1600-meter run and finished fourth.
Warren Central won last year’s sectional with 173.50 points. Greenfield-Central was runner-up with 100.50 points. New Palestine came in sixth with 51.50 points. … Last year, Cougars competitors advanced to regionals in 10 events. The Dragons advanced in four. … Shelbyville’s Erin Diemer set a new meet record on Tuesday in the pole vault. She sprang 11 feet to take down the mark she set last year of 10 feet, 6 inches. … Franklin Central’s Brooke Talhelm broke the sectional record in the 800. Her time of 2:16.18 bested Franklin Central’s Meredith Jackson’s 2012 mark of 2:17.59. … Warren Central’s Caitlyn Redmon broke her own long jump record. Her leap of 18 feet, 9 inches, outdistanced her 18-foot, 3-inch jump last year. Warren Central’s Dajaie Clay also jumped 18 feet, 3 inches in 2012.
1. Warren Central 195 points, 2. Franklin Central 86, 3. Roncalli 82, 4. Greenfield-Central 76, 5. Shelbyville 63, 6. Morristown 33, 7. Beech Grove 27, 8. New Palestine 25, 9. Indianapolis Lutheran 13, 10. Indianapolis Scecina 11, 11, Triton Central 9, 12. Indianapolis Howe 3.