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Wet start to track season
Floyd Central sweeps
submitted by greg
April 15, 2008 | 04:36 AM

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The Floyd Central girls and boys swept their first big track and field meet of the season Friday on a cool and rainy night at the Stargazer meet in Corydon. Corydon Central took the runner-up spot in both divisions, finishing with 50 points in the girls division and 19 points behind Floyd's boys.

Corydon got a good start in the field events with Meghan Bussabarger winning the high jump and Kelly Eberly taking the pole vault. At first, it looked like Gretchen Zimmerman was going to win the long jump after flying 15-9-1/2 but that was bettered by Henryville's Maggie Gilstrap late in the event at 16-3. Still, Zimmerman was glad to see a good start this early in the season.

"I'm excited," said Zimmerman, who hopes to walk on to the Indiana University track team next season. "It's a big deal right now. Last year, I started out at 13 feet and now I'm hitting 15s and 16s, so I'm hoping I'll progress like I did last year and hit 17s."

South Central sprinter Caitlyn Hasty competes in the 100-meter trails.

The Corydon senior said the weight room has made a big difference in her jumps.

"Hard-core weight training," she said. "Dad (Kerry Zimmerman) has got me in there three days a week about an hour every day, two hours sometimes. I do all over, back, legs, arms, everything. Plus, I've been doing a lot of speed training. We've done a lot of plymetrics, just a lot of stuff ...

"Another thing might be the attitude towards it. Last year, I was a little skeptical. The first year doing it, I didn't think I'd be any good. Now I'm happy to do it and if I have a bad jump, it's OK because I can get 16 or 17."

Both boys' hurdles events belonged to Corydon Central's Ryan Eichmiller, who earned wins in the 110-meter highs and 300-meter intermediates with North Harrison's Jarod Richards settling for second in both events.

"Having somebody in front of me gives me somebody to really chase after," said Richards. "Once I got passed the second-place person, I felt like I began to start pushing it more. I stopped bounding in between hurdles and getting more speed in between each hurdle."

In the girls' 100 hurdles, Bussabarger broke her own school record with a time of 15.6 seconds.

"It felt smooth," she said. "It felt really good. I thought with being cold it was going to be bad, but it was really nice."

The Corydon Central junior said breaking the record this early in the season makes her know she has to work even harder now to bring it down even more, perhaps even under 14 seconds.

"That would be amazing," she said. I would love that ... If I keep in the right mindset and keep practicing hard, I think it's possible."

Later on, Bussabarger handily won the 300-meter hurdles by nearly two seconds over Floyd's Nikki Roberts. The Corydon junior said having no one close slowed her time.

South Central's Shelby Miller was third in both hurdles.

Floyd's Nikki Roberts could only see Bussabarger's back in the race despite coming out of the blocks like a cannon shot.

"I think it's easier to race when you're competing right next to somebody," said Roberts. "It gives you more drive to win and to go faster."

Lauren Schaftlein came back from Crawford County's win in the 3200-meter relay to give the Ladypack a win in the girls' 1600-meter run. The race had a slow first two laps, then the Crawford senior kicked in another gear while being chased by Floyd's Hannah Keehn.

"I knew I had to start pushing it early," said Schaftlein. "That's what I tried to do and it ended up working out pretty good."

North Harrison's Amber Gresham ran to a third-place finish in the event and also finished third in the 3200 as well. Gresham said the packing in the first two laps left her with some damaged footwear.

"I got a hole in my shoe," she said. "Somebody stepped on me. I figured it would be packed because there was so many people on it. It was nice and compact."

The North Harrison senior said keeping her eye on Schaftlein provided an extra push.

"She always tends to push me harder, so I like to stay with her," said Gresham. "All high school (it's been) me and Lauren. I just wanted to try harder to do my best. I had more left in me ... I'm at about 50 percent. I'm not at the top of my game right now. I have a long way to go."

In the girls' 800 meters, Schaftlein and Kenner got a chance to do something rarely done by sweeping the event with a 1-2 finish. Floyd's Kelsey Bristol tried to close late but finished five seconds behind Kenner for third.

In other events, Floyd's Becky Kennedy won the girls' 100-meter sprint and was second in the 400 with teammate Sierra Walsh finishing second in the 200-meter sprint. Floyd also won the 400- and 1600-meter relay events.

In the boys' division, Corydon Central's Casey Priddy finished second in the 200 and came back later to win the 400. The Floyd boys' team finished second in the 400 relay and second in the 1600 relay, which was won by the Panthers. Sean Ettinger also gave the Panthers a win in the boys' long jump. Corydon Central's Chad Conrad finished second in the high jump, clearing 6-0.

In the boys' 1600, it was a battle between North Harrison's Tyler Byrne and Providence's Oliver Book. Byrne made a charge in the last 200 meters but was held off by the Providence junior.

Tyler Byrne came back later to get an easy win in the 3200 over Floyd's Justin Hodge and Will Naville, who were second and third, respectively.

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