BLOOMINGTON — Matt Dickerson ended a brilliant high-school track career with three events in Saturday’s state meet, barely missing the 110-meter hurdles finals.
His Greenfield-Central teammate, sophomore shot putter Tyler Beeson, did Dickerson one better and made the podium.
And while he didn’t place, New Palestine senior Dillon Pike may have trumped his Hancock County counterparts on the Sam Bell track at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
Pike blazed his way into the NP record book with an 800-meter time of 1:55.96. That was the school’s oldest-standing track record, bettering Steve Jones’ previous mark set in 1966.
“I didn’t think I could (break the record) at first,” Pike said. “But with about 200 meters to go I realized I’d had a chance.”
Pike started in the second half of his so-called slow heat, but he started picking off runners late in the last lap and finished fourth in his heat. His 400 split was 57 seconds.
“I wanted to make sure I stayed with them the last lap,” Pike said. “At the 300 (to go) I started passing people. And at the last 100 of my track career, I put everything I had and made a sprint for the finish line.”
Pike bettered his personal best, from this year’s Connersville regional, by nearly three seconds.
“He ran great,” NP coach Daniel Weimer said. “He got there, was in a zone, got competitive. To finish 14th in the state and be on the back end of a 4x800 relay that set the school record, all these things are special. He represented himself and the school very well.”
Beeson gave the Cougars a team point with his ninth placing, putting the shot 54 feet, 6 1/4 inches. He achieved that in the qualifying round and that got him to the final throws.
“I felt little, kind of small compared to everybody,” said Beeson, one of three sophomores among the 27 competitors. “I’ve thrown a lot and I want to build up for next year.”
Dickerson ran the opening heat of the 110 in 14.82 seconds. That was the 10th-quickest time; however, only nine would advance and that left Dickerson on the sidelines for the final.
“I almost false started, so I stacked my blocks bit and it slowed me up a bit,” Dickerson said. “And between hurdles 3 and 4, I just floated a little bit and that slowed me down again.”
Dickerson’s time bettered his regional seed clocking by .07 of a second. The ninth qualifier for the final ran 14.78.
“I’m not going to be overly upset about it later on, but it kind of (stinks) being the first one eliminated,” said Dickerson, making a return to Bloomington (he was in both the 110 and 300 hurdles last year).
“That was heartbreaking,” Cougars’ coach Scott Burton said. “It’s a tough day to come to the state meet and have a bunch of events to do. He’s done an outstanding job for us for four years and I hate to see it come to an end.”
Earlier, Dickerson placed 27th in the long jump with a best of 19-9 1/2. After running the 110, Dickerson was 16th in the 300 hurdles, in 40.04.
Cougar senior Jeremiah Wray could not clear a height in the pole vault. He qualified for state with a 14-foot vault in the regional.
G-C has more than held its own in the sectionals and regionals against traditional powers WC and Franklin Central, and Burton said he’s proud of what his team has done in the face of it being tough to get athletes through.
“To have one kid here is an amazing feat,” Burton said. “But to have three here is something I’ll cherish for as long as I remain the coach.”