Top 5 Takeaways from the 2019 State Meet

Ramiah Elliott took home 4 win as just a freshman at the 2019 state meet.

There's so much to breakdown from the 2019 state track and field meet, but first let's take a quick look at the 5 biggest things to happen throughout Friday and Saturday, in no particular order. 

1. Ramiah Elliott may only have just finished up her freshman year of high school, but she has already cemented herself into state history. She completed an unprecedented sprint quadruple, racing the 200, 4x100, 400 and the 4x400. Not only did she compete in all 4 of these events, she walked away at the end of the day with 1st place in each event and a new state record in the 4x400. Elliott arguably had one of the best state meets of any sprinting in history, the only thing missing now for her, is getting her name up there in the record books, replacing Lynna Irby and Maicel Malone. It looked like after Irby's senior year we may not see someone as talented as her in the sprints for a long time, but then Elliott showed up and squashed that idea. She's got a long 3 more years to go to improve on this year and as long as thing stay as they currently are, there should be little reason for her to not improve. 

2. Maddie Russin and Cole Hocker made running alone look easy, even though it is one of the hardest things to do especially on the big stage of the state meet. Now racing alone isn't anything new to Hocker, who's been known to take things out from the gun and never look back in nearly every race he runs. He did exactly this in the 1600, looking smooth and controlled the whole time. Winning the title was the biggest thing to him but you couldn't help but see the look of defeat in his face as he cross the line in 4:07 flat, just 3 seconds off the state meet record and 7 seconds from the all-time state best both held by Austin Mudd from 2011. Russin came into the meet as the defending champ in the 800, but was starting in the 1st section due to having doubled at regional in the 400/800. But she didn't allow that to stop her from being able to make the podium. She won section 1 by 9 seconds in 2:08.23, and just like Hocker, you could see the defeat in her face as she glanced at the clock to her left and saw the time, as she was storming for that state meet record. Unfortunately for the defending champ she just had to wait another 2 minutes to see her time taken down and for her to take 2nd behind Stanhope who would grab a new state record with her 2:06.62.

Frosh, Tucker Smith took 2nd in the shot.

3. State meet experience proved to be one of the most overrated things in the girls meet at least. In the 3200, three of the top ten were freshman, James (Lowell), Keller (Brebeuf), Ranta (Chesterton). Ramiah Elliott and Addy Wiley both freshman won at least one of their events with Wiley taking 7th in the 800. In the 300 hurdles 5th and 7th were both freshman, Sowinski from Chatard and Sanders from Cathedral. The field events also saw quite a few freshman competing but only Schoonveld of Kankakee Valley in the high jump took home a top 9 finish, placing 8th. On the boys side, we saw way less freshman competing, as most guys tend to improve with time and more general racing experience. But one freshman did standout from the rest. Tucker Smith of Columbus North took 2nd in the shot put with a toss of 56-9.75, just off his pr from regionals which made him the freshman state record holder. Smith was just 1 of 8 freshman boys to compete at the state meet and the only one who managed to go home with a medal. All of these athletes helped to shut down the idea that the athletes who do the best in Bloomington are those who have competed there before. 

4. The state meet continues to prove that the best marks come at the end of the season. Throughout the two days we witnessed 17 new IN No. 1's and 2 new state records. The girls 4x400 is the best attest to this as the top 3 teams all ran under the previous record. Russin and Stanhope showed this as well in the 800. In section 1 Russin left everything she had on the track to hopefully put her in contention for the title by going 2:08, and top 20 in the nation. Stanhope saw that though and knew she had to go even faster, and did just that, going 2:06.62 for an all-time state best and US No. 6 currently. And it also continues to show all of us athletes that no one likely expected to win a title or even place, to do just the exact opposite. The biggest example of this is perfectly shown in the boys high jump. Logan Benson, who took first, came into the meet seeded 16th appearing to be an athlete you would have never even put in the contention for a top finish. Over hearing near the pit as the final three of Benson, Glasco and Krutsch announced "Dude what is happening right now!?" from Glasco as the bar got raised to 6-9 is exactly right. It's the state meet, anything can and will happen. The energy that comes with the atmosphere of the state meet can truly bring out the best in those underdog athletes. 

5. Gary Roosevelt in 1983, Ft. Wayne Northrop in 2004, Warren Central in 2006 and 2007, and North Central in 2019. These four teams all have one thing in common, and that's sweeping the state titles in both the boys and girls meets. North Central became just the fourth team ever to accomplish this daunting task this past weekend, with their boys team winning 42-41 over Pike and the girls winning 75-52 over Warren Central. The boys win on it's own is super impressive as a win that close has only happened less than 10 times in the past 116 years that the boys state finals has taken place. Coming into Saturday it was known that is would likely become a battle between MIC rivals, Warren Central and North Central for the team title, but as soon as Ramiah Elliott stepped on the track the idea got tossed away and it appeared as if no one could stop them with her apart of the team. The pure joy experienced by both teams is evident in senior Ethan Alyea's reaction from the moment the 4x400 finished all the way through the rest of the evening. In 2018, the boys team was runner up to Avon 66-47 and the girls team was 7th, scoring just 26pts.