Back on Top: Dragons win fourth HHC title in last five years

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New Palestine’s Emily Adam makes an attempt at the high jump during the Hoosier Heritage Conference Girls Track and Field Championships on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

FORTVILLE — To win a big team event, New Palestine got a total team effort.

The Dragons earned points in 15 of 16 competitions and had two scorers in eight of 13 individual events in Tuesday’s Hoosier Heritage Conference Girls Track and Field Championships at Mt. Vernon High School.

The depth proved to be crucial in the program’s fourth HHC title in the last five years.

New Palestine scored 115.33 points. Greenfield-Central, which led the eight-team event with five champions, placed second with 105.5. Delta was third with 98, and Mt. Vernon, who edged New Palestine by one point to win the title last year, placed fourth with 92.83.

The Dragons had three champions, two were in throwing events. Sydney Miller set a meet record for the second straight week. She won the discus with a distance of 130-feet, 2-inches, the same distance she had in setting a new mark in last week’s Hancock County Championships. Miller beat the mark formerly held by Greenfield-Central’s Samantha Gable, who threw for 129-feet, 5-inches in 2008.

Miller’s throwing partner, Quin Lumbley, won the shot put with a distance of 40-feet, 2-inches. It was her best outdoor distance of season.

The two scored points in both events. Miller was sixth in the shot put, while Lumbley was fifth in the discus.

“Only three of us placed first, so it’s not all about getting first place,” Lumbley said. “It’s great to get the 10 points (for first), but it was how everyone pushed their absolute hardest. Like our coaches said, it’s the little points that add up that help the team win as a whole.”

The other New Palestine win came in the 400-meter dash. By a margin of just .28 seconds, freshman Rylee Hurst defeated Greenfield-Central’s Kayana Maroska with a time of 1:01.13 to Maroska’s 1:01.41. The Dragons went 1-3 in the event. Lexi Baynes placed third in 1:02.50.

The 300 hurdles was the only event New Palestine did not score. Along with the shot put, discus and 400, the Dragons had two scorers each in the 100, 200, 800, 1,600, and pole vault.

They were also second in both the 4×400 and 4×800 relay races.

“That’s the key with this team. We’ve got some real talented young ladies in the shot and disc that do the job there, and Rylee winning the 400 was a big swing, but it was our overall team depth,” New Palestine coach Chuck Myers said. “We scored multiple people in events and that’s tough to do in a conference meet when there are eight schools. To be able to get two in the finals and have two score is a big accomplishment.”

It was a strong meet for the Cougars, too.

Maroska was runner-up in the 400, but she captured a pair of blue ribbons, winning the 200 (26.03 seconds) and 100 hurdles (16.78 seconds). Greenfield-Central picked up another win from Savannah Lake, who took the top spot in the 100 with a time of 13.01 seconds. She gave G-C a 1-2 finish by placing runner-up in the 200.

Reagan Crouch added a win in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47.60 seconds. She was third in the 100 hurdles.

G-C won the pole vault behind Madelyn Mies, who cleared 8-feet.

“We were close and we knew we were going to be close,” Greenfield-Central coach Mike Foster said. “It’s disappointing, but also encouraging all at the same time. I think it’s the best we’ve done in a while. We had a lot of strength in the sprints. We had Addison Buckley out-perform her seed (and place sixth in the 300 hurdles). We had first in the pole vault. We were almost there, 10 points.”

Mt. Vernon opened the meet with a record-setting win in the 4×800-meter relay. Alexandra Overshiner, Lydia Carrell, Emma Gasiorek and Morgan Tharp finished the race in 9:56.68. The previous record had lasted 11 years. New Palestine’s 2011 group won the race with a time of 10:02.

Tharp picked up second in the 1,600-meter run. She followed an impressive run from Delta sophomore Nicki Southerland, who finished the race in 4:57.46. Tharp was second with a time of 5:34.40.

Southerland joined Maroska as a multiple individual winners. She won three events, adding triumphs in the 1,600 and 3,200 races.

Yorktown’s Paige Taylor was also part of three wins. She won the high jump and was part of Tigers first-place teams in both the 4×100 and 4×400 relay races.

2022 Hoosier Heritage Conference Girls Track and Field Results

Team scores (champions): New Palestine 115.3 (3), Greenfield-Central 105.5 (5), Delta 98 (4), Mt. Vernon 92.83 (1), Yorktown 73 (3), New Castle 64.3, Pendleton Heights 49, Shelbyville 26.

Event: Winner, School;Time/Distance

100-meter dash: Savannah Lake, Greenfield-Central; 13.01 seconds

200-meter dash: Kayana Maroska, Greenfield-Central;26.03 seconds

400-meter dash: Rylee Hurst, New Palestine;1:01.13

800-meter run: Nicki Southerland, Delta;2:15.49

1600-meter run: Nicki Southerland, Delta;4:57.46

3200-meter run: Nicki Southerland, Delta;11:21.28

100-meter hurdles: Kayana Maroska, Greenfield-Central;16.78 seconds

300-meter hurdles: Reagan Crouch, Greenfield-Central;47.60 seconds

400-meter relay: Mya Spangler, Paige Taylor, Paige Brooks, Brooke Miles, Yorktown;51.73 seconds

1600-meter relay: Mya Spangler, Paige Brooks, Brooke Miles, Paige Taylor, Yorktown;4:14.0

3200-meter relay: Alexandra Overshiner, Lydia Carrell, Emma Gasiorek, Morgan Tharp, Mt. Vernon;9:56.68

Shot put: Quin Lumbley, New Palestine;40-feet, 2-inches

Discus: Sydney Miller, New Palestine;130-feet, 2-inches

High jump: Paige Taylor, Yorktown;5-feet

Long jump: Kendra Keesling, Delta;16-feet

Pole vault: Madelyn Mies, Greenfield-Central;8-feet

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