GREENFIELD — A record-setting weekend has Greenfield-Central’s boys track and field team carrying plenty of momentum into this weekend’s Nike Hoosier State Relays — the unofficial Indiana High School Indoor State Championships —at the Fall Creek Pavilion on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The Cougars had a lot of underclassmen get a taste of state finals competition at last year’s outdoor IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals, and many of those returnees are getting the team off to a great start to the 2024 season.

At an indoor meet at Anderson University Saturday, senior high jumper Elliot Ryba, last year’s outdoor state runner-up, set a school indoor record by clearing 7-feet. He is tied for first in the state indoor rankings and is No. 4 in the nation.

He jumped 6-feet, 7-inches in the first indoor meet of the year, already higher than he had gone all of last winter. Ryba, who plans to continue his athletic and academic career at Purdue University, has cleared 6-10, a school record, in the outdoor season.

“We don’t go too hard in the winter portion so he’s ready for the outdoor portion,” head coach Aaron Smith said last week. “If he’s starting ahead of where he was last year, definitely excited to see where he’ll end up.”

Also on Saturday, Aaron Lee, Austin Kincer and John Stuckey were each part of two school records. Lee and Kincer both went to the outdoor state meet a year ago for the 4×100-meter relay team.

At Anderson, Lee broke the 60-meter dash school record with a time of 7.11 seconds. He beat the old mark by .1 seconds. He also combined with Kincer, Stuckey and freshman Garrett Jack to break the indoor school record in the 4×200 relay with a time of 1:33.42. They finished just .19 seconds off of qualifying for the indoor state finals Saturday, but could receive a callback and participate in the meet.

Later in the meet, Kincer, Stuckey, Jack and Everett Bishop, another freshman, broke the school’s indoor record for the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:38.81.

Senior thrower Reese Hill finished fifth and threw 49-feet, 7.5-inches to put him 20th in the state, giving him a spot in the Saturday’s meet in Indianapolis. Hill is also a returning outdoor state qualifier, finishing 17th last season.

Senior Chris Ross, 12th in last year’s 3200 outdoor state meet, has also qualified for the indoor state meet. He’s the school record holder in the 3200 at 9:18.

The Cougars are proving to have a nice mixture of talented veterans and some strong newcomers this season.

On the veteran side, along with Ryba, Lee, Kincer, Hill, and Ross, they return three more outdoor state qualifiers in Kirk Knecht, Cash Looper, and Carter Crouch.

Knecht is a three-time state qualifier in the long jump, placing sixth last year. He’s the school record holder at 22-feet, 10.5-inches. Like Lee and Kincer, he was also part of the 4×100 relay team.

Looper was 25th in the high hurdles and Crouch was 25th in last season’s 1600. Distance runner Liam Brinkruff is a senior that has qualified for the state meet in cross country season.

Injuries have slowed Knecht, Looper and Crouch during the indoor campaign, but Smith believes they’ll be able to get back in form during the outdoor season.

“Definitely excited for what they can do,” Smith said. “For some of them last year was their first year making it to state so there’s always that pressure of making it back. But, the majority of them, they should continue to improve this year. I told them focus on what we can control, not what we can’t. You can’t control how good everyone else gets, focus on your own improvement.”

The Cougars had a number of others perform well at Saturday’s meet in Anderson, including Mar’Qwon Starks (long jump), Carson Anderson (pole vault), David Wasson (3200 relay), Carter Wilson (3200 relay), Peter Hummel (3200 relay), Bryce Cotterman (3200 relay), Thomas Ryba (hurdles) and Braylon Mumaugh, who set a freshman school record time of 10:13.42 in the 3200.

Following the indoor finals Saturday, the outdoor season begins April 2 with a three-way meet with Beech Grove at Southport.

2024 Greenfield-Central Boys Track and Field Schedule


March 23;HSR State Relays (State Fairgrounds);TBD

April 2;at Southport/Beech Grove;5:30 p.m.

April 4;at New Palestine/Shelbyville;5:30 p.m.

April 9;at New Castle/Eastern Hancock/Scecina;5:30 p.m.

April 12;at Potter Field Events Classic (Brownsburg);5:30 p.m.

April 12;at Distance Showcase (Franklin Central);6 p.m.

April 17;at Speedway/Cardinal Ritter;5 p.m.

April 19;at Carmel 3200 Showcase;6 p.m.

April 20;at Guerin Catholic Invitational;10 a.m.

April 23;at Noblesville Miller Invitational;5:30 p.m.

April 27;at Kokomo Relays;11:30 a.m.

May 1;Hancock County Meet (Mt. Vernon);5 p.m.

May 3;Cougar Chase Invitational;5:30 p.m.

May 9;HHC Meet (Mt. Vernon);5:30 p.m.

May 16;Greenfield-Central Sectional;5:30 p.m.