Pushing to the Front: Dragons, Cougars come out strong at girls track and field sectional

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Greenfield-Central’s Savannah Lake competes in the 200-meter dash during the New Palestine Girls Track and Field Sectional on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

NEW PALESTINE — Led by the Dynamic Duo and the battle between a veteran county standout and an up and coming county star, New Palestine and Greenfield-Central had strong nights at Tuesday’s New Palestine Girls Track and Field Sectional.

Both teams had multiple advancers to next week’s Franklin Regional.

New Palestine had two champions and placed third overall. Greenfield-Central had one winner and was fifth.

Warren Central won eight of 16 events to take home the team title with 149.5 points. Franklin Central had four champs and 129 points. The Dragons scored 98.5. Roncalli had 77.5 and G-C finished with 72. The five schools divided all the blue ribbons. Shelbyville placed a distant sixth with 25 points.

The Dragons were led, like they have been much of the season, by the throwing tandem of juniors Quin Lumbley and Sydney Miller.

Lumbley set a school record in winning the shot put with a distance of 43-feet, 8-inches. The old record was 42-feet, set in 2012 by Sonya Napariu.

Miller won the discus with a career-best throw of 131-feet, 8-inches. It is second on the all-time list, also trailing Napariu, who threw over 136-feet, 9 ½-inches in 2012.

Both throwers scored in their secondary event, too. Miller was fourth in the shot (35-1). Lumbley was sixth in the discus (98-11).

“Today was even better than it’s been all season and they’ve been fantastic all season,” New Palestine coach Chuck Myers said of Lumbley and Miller.

“I think Sydney and I are like the Dynamic Duo,” Lumbley said. “We’re very supportive of each other. I’m always there hoping she hits a school record or hits a PR (personal record) and she’s always there doing the same thing for me.”

Lumbley and Miller have won titles three straight weeks, taking home blue ribbons at the Hancock County and the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship meets.

“Off the field we’re really close friends and that helps a lot with how we compete during our events,” Miller said. “We help push each other in both events even though she’s better in the shot and I’m better in the discus.”

Greenfield-Central senior Kayana Maroska was the only other county champion.

An eighth-place finisher in last year’s state meet in the 400-meter dash. Maroska beat New Palestine freshman Rylee Hurst to win the 400 sectional title. A week ago, at Mt. Vernon, in the HHC meet, Hurst edged Maroska to win the 400 conference title.

“That felt awesome. I listened to my coach’s advice on how to run a better race,” Maroska said. “Winning the event I went to state in last year made it 10 times better, too.”

Maroska said coach Mike Foster had her go out harder from the start and to try to keep that pace. She won the race in 59.49 seconds, just .07 off what she ran to place eighth in last year’s state championship race.

“He also said you have to really kick it at the end if you really want it that bad,” Maroska added.

She also got an extra push from her young and friendly rival.

“I absolutely love running with Rylee,” Maroska said. “She pushes me beyond what I was running last year. She makes me want to be better and I hope I push her the same way she pushes me. It’s a friendly competition, not like a rivalry competition. We’re pushing each other.”

Maroska also advanced in the 100 hurdles and 200 dash, placing second in both events.

Hurst will have plenty of action next week, too. She advanced in the 100 and came from fourth to second on the last leg of the 1600 relay to punch a regional ticket for her and her relay teammates.

She too enjoys racing last year’s county girls track athlete of the year.

“Since she’s a senior, I look up to her as a role model,” Hurst said. “Someday I want to be like her and be a good teammate towards others.”

New Palestine advanced two relays. The 3200 group of Lexi Baynes, Emily Adam, Ashlyn Sanford and Courtney Study placed second. Baynes, Maya Hobbs, Tylar Whitaker and Hurst were part of the 1600 relay team.

Whitaker and Study also moved on in the 1600.

Greenfield-Central will have good representation, too. Along with Maroska’s three events, Savannah Lake was second in the 100. Reagan Crouch placed third in the 300 hurdles and Lindsey McCord moves on with a third-place finish in the long jump.

The top three finishers in all individual events and relays automatically advance to regional competition.

2022 New Palestine Girls Track and Field Sectional Results

Team scores (champions): Warren Central 149.5 (8), Franklin Central 129 (4), New Palestine 98.5 (2), Roncalli 77.5 (1), Greenfield-Central 72 (1), Shelbyville 25, Beech Grove 16.5, Triton Central 16, Morristown 16, Lutheran 12, Scecina 7, Christel House Academy 1.

Event: Winner, School;Time/Distance

100-meter dash: Jila Vaden, Warren Central;12.55 seconds

200-meter dash: Jila Vaden, Warren Central;25.77 seconds

400-meter dash: Kayana Maroska, Greenfield-Central;59.42 seconds

800-meter run: Abigail Adams, Franklin Central;2:23.39

1600-meter run: Abigail Adams, Franklin Central;5:21.99

3200-meter run: Savana Miller, Franklin Central;11:45.93

100-meter hurdles: Mary Porter, Warren Central;15.32 seconds

300-meter hurdles: Mary Porter, Warren Central;46.83 seconds

400-meter relay: Jila Vaden, Ta’nashjia Turner, Sequoia Gilbert, Ameiyah McCray (Warren Central);49.15 seconds

1600-meter relay: Abigayle Greiner, Jacqueline Hartman, Anya Rollins, Jaci Merchant (Warren Central);4:10.08

3200-meter relay: Lauren Turk, Sara McGraw, Valeria Lara, Ashley Flick (Roncalli);9:58.27

Shot put: Quin Lumbley, New Palestine;43-feet, 8-inches

Discus: Sydney Miller, New Palestine;131-feet, 8-inches

High jump: Mary Porter, Warren Central;4-feet, 10-inches

Long jump: Nyomi Myers, Warren Central;16-feet, 5 ½ inches

Pole vault: Rebecca Uhlik, Franklin Central;10-feet, 3-inches

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