The star of the night, a senior from Carmel, Ryan Lipe played a huge role in securing the Greyhounds their 3rd straight title. Lipe competed in 4 events, 100, 4x100, 4x400 and the pole vault. After crossing the line after each of his track events you could hear an official say "That's the pole vault kid!" You wouldn't expect someone who can vault over 17 feet to also be able to earn a medal in track events too. But that's just what he did. Ryan placed 2nd in the 100 in 10.61 just behind Noah Mcbride of Evansville Harrison in 10.55. In the 4x100 he anchored the team to a 6th place finish in 42.12 seconds. He finished off the night leading off the 4x400 in a 6th place finish in 3:19.71.
But over at his most well known event, pole vault, he made it look easy. Immediately coming back from the 100, to take a 2nd attempt at 17ft at reclaim 1st from Colton Crum of Frankfort. He cleared that height, raising the bar now to 17' 03". He cleared that on his first jump. Now he just had to see if Crum would clear as well. Crum took all 3 attempts and didn't clear any if them. At this point Lipe had secured the win, but he didn't want to stop there. He had a new state record in mind. The record is held by Deakin Volz at 17' 06" set just 2 years ago in 2015. Ryan placed 3rd that year. Lipe had the officials raise the bar now to 17' 06.25", if he cleared this height, he would hold the state record then. He came close on each jump getting closer and closer each time. Lipe ended the night having cleared 17' 3 to take 1st place, and earning himself a spot on the Indiana all-time leaderboard now holding the 2nd place position.
A junior out of Avon, Isaac Guerendo, also had just as great of a night. Guerendo competed in 4 events, 100, 200 4x100 and the long jump. In the 100 dash, he placed just behind Ryan Lipe in 10.68 for 3rd place. Right in front of the crowd at the long jump pit Isaac jumped a 24' 5.25" to secure his 1st state title.He was 2.5 inches off the state record set back in 1995 by Frank Young. He then ran the 3rd leg of Avon's 4x100 team, helping the earn 2nd place right behind Carroll(FW) in a time of 41.20 seconds. In his final event of the night, the 200m dash, Guerendo took 5th place in 21.74, missing 4th by .01 to Grant Mason of Center Grove.
Gabe Fendel came through the 800m mark in the 1600 in sub-2:00. The crowd at the meet immediately got louder and louder with every step he took. The Hamilton Southeastern junior was on pace for a record time. Could he set a new state record? Would he break the 4 minute barrier? Good for Fendel that he has another year to go for that state record time and sub - 4 goal. He crossed the line in 4:04.70 to solo win the race by almost 9 seconds. The time was fast enough though to give him the 5th fast 1600 in Indiana ever and be the best nationally for a junior this season.
"I want to break 4:03, get the state meet record, but I can't be to mad with 4:04 and a state champion win."
In just about 2 weeks Gabe will run against some of the nation's top distance runners at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle. There he hopes to break the time he just did a go 4:02 or faster in a full mile. That is a good possibility with three of the guys entered having gone 4:00 in the mile.
A familiar name to cross country, Curtis Eckstein, showed his track speed and that he does have a kick and will use it when he needs to, won the 3200 in 9:08.54. Eckstein didn't hold a huge lead like people are used to seeing on a cross country course though. Skylar Stidam held right next to him throughout the entire race, running pretty much even splits with Eckstein. Stidam finished a second behind Curtis in 9:09.69.
A sophomore out of West Lafayette George Karlaftis, took home his first state title in the shot put competition. He threw 59' 5.50" on his final throw to win by almost 3 feet ahead of Bloomington North senior, Logan Calvin.
Tyler Gilbert of Western High, proved the old saying "First is the worst" wrong, by throwing 173' 10" on his first throw in the discus competition. He also won his first state title just ahead of Whiteland senior Ryder Emberton.
Carmel's 4x800 team improved their state leading time of 7:50 to 7:43.65 to win just about a half second ahead of New Palestine. Jon Balda split the fastest time for the Greyhounds with a 1:53.78, giving them a huge lead going into the 3rd and 4th legs.
In a fighting finish Sam Voelz of New Palestine narrowly out leaned Parker Jones of Pendleton Heights, to win the 800 in 1:52.60, just .02 ahead of Jones.
Carmel took home their 3rd straight state championship trophy, scoring 68 points. Avon took 2nd with 46 and North Central came in 3rd with 43 points.