New Palestine senior sprinter heads back to state meet

Daily Reporter staff reports

Chris Poturalski is headed back to the IHSAA Track and Field State Finals.

The New Palestine senior sprinter placed second in the 400 meters at the Connersville Regional on Thursday. The top three finishers in each event automatically qualify for the State Finals, slated for June 5 at Indiana University.

Greenfield-Central’s 3,200 relay team of Zach Bishop, Syrus Fletcher, Nathan Brand and Jason LaFord earned a state spot in, as well, finishing third at Connersville in eight minutes, 9.36 seconds, behind event champ Warren Central (8:01.88) and Center Grove (8:06.93).

Also for the Cougars, Zach Phillips earned fourth place in the discus (159 feet, one inch) and 11th in the shot put (46-5.5); Bishop grabbed sixth in the 3,200 (10:00.50); Josh Woodard was eighth in the 110 hurdles (15.76); Jacob Keener placed 10th in the pole vault (11-4); Tyler Morris was 10th in the 1,600 (4:44.50); and LaFord took 13th in the 800 (2:03.95), one spot behind New Palestine’s Riley Wilson (2:03.00).

Phillips could make his way to the state finals once the complete discus field is filled to a final 27 competitors from the state’s eight regionals. Poturalski completed the 400 in 49.67, runner-up to Indianapolis Marshall’s Stoney Prowell (48.83).

Prowell, a senior, is the defending state champ. Prowell won the 2014 400 title in 48.40, while Poturalski was seventh in 49.32.

Warren Central won the team regional title with 115.5 points, in front of Center Grove (89) and Columbus North (57). The Cougars were 15th (15); the Dragons, 20th (eight).

Poturalski and the Greenfield-Central relay team will be joined at the State Finals by Hancock County foes Christian Noble (3,200), Aaron Rush (1,600), Lincoln Hine (pole vault) and Kyle Forsythe (pole vault) of Mt. Vernon, who qualified out of the North Central Regional.