Youth Movement: Marauders sweep county track and field team titles

Mt. Vernon’s George Burhenn clears the hurdle on his way to winning the boys 300-meter hurdle race at the 2021 Hancock County Track and Field Championships at Mt. Vernon High School on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Rob Baker/Daily Reporter)

FORTVILLE — After the Mt. Vernon boys track and field team broke their team huddle on Wednesday night, one of the Marauders yelled out three words that ultimately defined the night.

“It’s championship season!,” the Marauder exclaimed.

The host Marauders lived up to those words, sweeping both the boys and girls team titles during the 2021 Hancock County Track and Field Championships at Mt. Vernon High School.

The Mt. Vernon girls team tallied 94 points behind six first-place finishes to claim bragging rights in the county, while the boys team posted 109 points and won nine events overall.

New Palestine was second in the girls portion of the meet with 76.5 points while Greenfield-Central (45) was third and Eastern Hancock (28.5) finished fourth.

Greenfield-Central was second in the boys standings with 58 points ahead of third-place New Palestine (51) and Eastern Hancock (26) in fourth.

Greenfield-Central freshman Kirk Knecht was named the boys’ Athlete of the Meet after winning three individual events. Mt. Vernon junior Morgan Tharp earned girls’ Athlete of the Meet honors after claiming two individual county titles.

Eastern Hancock freshman Sydney Springman showed out by winning two events in her first career appearance, Mt. Vernon sophomore Riley Nielsen won a pair and Marauders’ sophomore George Burhenn and junior Austin Rush were also two-event winners.

“I think it’s just a really good to win. It will take us in to the (Hoosier Heritage Conference) meet and sectional as we keep going,” Tharp said. “It just feels good to help the team out where I can and add in points where I can.”

The Marauders girls, much like the boys, had contributors at all levels, showcasing their youth movement despite being pushed in several events by their county foes.

The New Palestine girls won six events overall, including over Mt. Vernon in the 3,200 relay by a margin of 16 seconds.

The Dragons’ quartet of freshman Courtney Study, junior Emily Adam, junior Emma Mann and senior Kendall Mann ran the race in a time of 10 minutes, 33.34 seconds. The Marauders posted a 10:49.70. Eastern Hancock was third in 11:44.83.

The girls’ 100-meter hurdles went to Eastern Hancock’s Springman in 16.82, followed by Greenfield-Central sophomore Reagan Crouch in 17.05 and Mt. Vernon senior Raelyn Stanfield in 17.23.

Mt. Vernon sophomore Mya Eppert won the girls’ 100-meter dash in 13.01 just edging past Greenfield-Central freshman Savannah Lake in 13.02. Mt. Vernon’s Nielsen was third in 13.19.

Tharp challenged the girls’ county meet record in the 1,600-meter with a strong run in 5:20.10. The record still stands at 5:17.04. Greenfield-Central senior Audrey Brinkruff was second in 5:26.00, and New Palestine’s Kendall Mann was third in 5:35.90.

Nielsen won the girls’ pole vault with a flight of 9 feet, 6 inches, capturing the title in a tiebreaker over New Palestine junior Anna Ackerman (9-06.00). Greenfield-Central senior Betsy Underwood was third at 9-00.00.

The girls’ county title in the 100 relay was captured by the Marauders behind the team of Eppert, sophomore Anaiah Garrett, Nielsen and junior Morgan Kille in 51.83. The county record in the event remains 50.58. Greenfield-Central was second in 53.78 and Eastern Hancock was third in 54.48.

New Palestine sophomore Lexi Baynes won the girls’ 400-meter dash in 1:02.78 ahead of Mt. Vernon freshman Emma Gasiorek in 1:05.35 and Eastern Hancock freshman Makenzie O’Neal in 1:06.58.

The girls’ 300-meter hurdles title went to Eastern Hancock’s Springman, who completed the county sweep, in 50.16. Greenfield-Central sophomore Reagan Crouch was second in 50.76 and Mt. Vernon’s Stanfield was third in 51.92.

New Palestine doubled up in the girls’ shot put with senior Faith Hensel winning behind a throw of 38-07.00. Dragons’ teammate sophomore Sydney Miller was second with a distance of 32-07.00. Mt. Vernon sophomore Jayla Tremble was third at 30-10.00.

Tharp collected another county title with a time of 2:29.27 in the girls’ 800-meter run. New Palestine’s Study was second at 2:30.66. Marauders’ junior Lydia Carrell was third in 2:35.69.

Greenfield-Central’s Crouch won the girls’ high jump with a leap of 4-10.00. Mt. Vernon’s Stanfield was second in 4-08.00 and Marauders’ junior Danae Kendrex was third in 4-06.00.

Nielsen won her second county field event in the girls’ long jump with a distance of 16-00.25. New Palestine’s Baynes was second at 15-02.00. Dragons’ junior Maya Hobbs was third at 15-01.75.

New Palestine’s Miller won the girls’ discus throw with a decisive toss of 121-01. Eastern Hancock sophomore Sydney Hayes was second at 100-00. Royals’ junior Lili Hunt was third at 98-08.

Greenfield-Central’s Lake seized her first-career county title in the girls’ 200-meter dash with a time of 27.26. Marauders’ Eppert (27.62) and Garrett (27.67) finished second and third, respectively.

The girls’ 3,200-meter run went to New Palestine’s Kendall Mann in 12:06.86. Mt. Vernon freshman Alexandria Jenson was second in 12:52.06 and New Palestine’s Adam was third in 13:15.22.

The girls 1,600-meter relay county title went to New Palestine’s team of Study, freshman Anne Bauer, Kendall Mann and Baynes in a time of 4:24.57. Mt. Vernon was second in 4:25.65. Greenfield-Central was third in 4:31.54.

The Mt. Vernon boys recently came off winning the historic Kokomo Relays and are an impressive 3-2 against Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference opponents, including a dual win over defending sectional champion Lawrence North.

At county, the team collectively added another team title.

“I thought our four seniors did great,” Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall said. “We only have four seniors. Otherwise, it’s a very young team, so the theme of the night was youth movement and they showed it.”

The Marauders’ boys got going in the 3,200-meter relay, posting a winning time of 8:33.08 by senior Colin Brown, junior Joseph Blagrave, senior Evan Rappe and sophomore Daylon King. Greenfield-Central was second in 8:41.88, followed by Eastern Hancock in 8:54.85.

The boys’ high jump county title went to Mt. Vernon sophomore Cameron Parsley at a height of 5-10.00. Eastern Hancock sophomore Kain Sotelo was second at 5-10.00, losing in a tiebreaker. Third place went to New Palestine sophomore Eian Roudebush at 5-08.00.

Burhenn won the boys’ 110-meter hurdles county title in 15.40, followed by Marauders’ teammate freshman Andres Langston in 15.98. Eastern Hancock senior Tyler Speer was third in 17.47.

Burhenn cashed in for the Marauders again by winning the boys’ 300-meter hurdles. He won the event with a time of 42.09. Eastern Hancock’s Speer was second in 44.04 and Royals’ Sotelo was third in 44.91.

Knecht won the boys’ 100-meter dash county championship with a time of 11.30. Mt. Vernon junior Caden Wildey was second at 11.36 and Marauders’ sophomore DJ Marble was third at 11.42.

Rush took the boys’ 1,600-meter run county title with a time of 4:41.54 ahead of Greenfield-Central sophomore Griffen Wheeler in 4:45.18. Mt. Vernon junior Reyce Morgan was third at 4:52.47.

Knecht won his second county title in the boys’ long jump with an event-winning distance of 20-08.50. Mt. Vernon junior Keagan LaBelle was second in 20-04.25 and Marauders’ Wildey was third at 19-07.25.

Knecht’s individual-title trifecta included the boys’ 200-meter dash, running the race in 22.76 for first. Mt. Vernon sophomore Cameron Parsley was second in 23.31, and Marauders’ Marble was third in 23.38.

Langston won the boys’ 400-meter dash with a time of 51.82 ahead of New Palestine sophomore Wes Jewell in 53.30. Greenfield-Central sophomore Michael Runions was third in 53.76.

Greenfield-Central’s Wheeler came through in the boys’ 800-meter run, winning in a time of 2:06.31. Second went to Mt. Vernon’s Rappe in 2:07.25. Third was awarded to Marauders’ King.

Mt. Vernon’s Rush made it two by winning the boys’ 3,200-meter run in 10:15.00. Marauders’ junior Sam Wilson was second in 10:21.25. Mt. Vernon’s Morgan made it a 1-2-3 finish for the Marauders in 10:28.03.

The boys’ 400-meter relay title went to New Palestine’s group of senior Nick Bastian, freshman Drew Lapenta, junior Madix Johnson and freshman Grayson Thomas in 45.46. Greenfield-Central placed second in 47.19 and Eastern Hancock was third in 47.22.

The boys’ 1,600-meter relay went to Mt. Vernon’s Langston, Parsley, Welbert Jones and Burhenn in 3:31.80. Greenfield-Central was second in 3:37.90, and New Palestine took third in 3:40.90.

Greenfield-Central senior Cody Hargett won the boys’ pole vault with a height of 14-03.00 ahead of Mt. Vernon’s La Belle (13-00.00) and New Palestine sophomore Sage Halter (11-00.00).

Mt. Vernon senior Matt Foor captured the boys’ shot put title with a throw of 49-07.00. New Palestine senior Tucker Keevers was second at 47-05.00. Third-place went to Eastern Hancock senior Conner Knudson (44-10.00).

New Palestine senior Richard Clevenger won the boys’ discus throw with a distance of 143-07. Dragons’ junior Josh Lambdin was second at 121-08 and Mt. Vernon’s Foor was third at 112-02.