As the winds gusted outside, things were heating up inside Troyer Fieldhouse where a mix of 14 large and small schools competed for the indoor state finals. It was a packed house Friday night, and the meet was filled with upsets, disqualifications, and extremely close results. With indoor season only just beginning, these students and schools gave strong performances where some are already top rankings in the state. Who is making a case for the indoor state finals? Here are the highlights from the IWU Qualifiers #1.
16 laps around the track can become confusing, but the winners of the girl's and boy's 3200 meter-run were clear. Both runners already have first place rankings in the indoor season.
Zoe Duffus of Carroll stayed with a pack of two girls before pulling away the last 800 meters with a finishing time of 10:46.45. The junior already has the indoor record for the mile this season at 4:55.40. Her IWU time will boost her from seventh to second place in the indoor season rankings. While Julia Dvorak of Homestead and Ellie Cates of Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran look to take third and fourth place rankings respectfully.
The boy's number one ranking 3200 meter runner gave a first place performance at Friday's meet. While it was a close call to the end, Senior Reese Gibson of Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran has already seemed to have secured his spot in the finals. He is currently ranked first with a time of 9:11.11, but he ran 9:41.41 at the qualifier. Gibson was ranked second in the state last indoor season with a time of 9:04.06, and seems to be on track to redeem himself for a final time.
Another runner seems to have a second place ranking for the season. Zaimar Burnett of Marion finished the dash in a time of 7.00 which currently has him tied for a third place ranking as the indoor season gets underway. In a turn of events, the second place finisher at IWU was an underdog from the second heat Caleb Ellison who finished with a time of 7.10.
The men's 4x8 was nail-biting at Friday's meet. Westfield seemed to have the race in the bag, but Homestead's 3rd leg got the upper hand. This competition has earned the two teams 4th and 5th place rankings in the state so far. Homestead finished with a time of 8:32.81 while Westfield finished at 8:40.34.
Brebeuf Jesuit girls 4x200 had a strong finish ahead of their competitors and currently with a sixth place ranking time of 1:56.01. However, the real upset was with the Brebeuf Jesuit men who had a first place finish with a time around 1:35, but they were ultimately disqualified.
Kilah Smith of Churubusco threw a current 4th place ranking throw of 39-7.5. This is nine feet further than she threw last year during indoor season. The junior crushed her previous PR of 35-6.5 made in outdoor season. Smith had the 29th best discus throw in the 2019 outdoor season, but her effort for shot-put is obvious as she climbs to the top.
Josie Gery pole vaulted an 11-0 at Friday's meet, but she is currently ranked 4th vaulting a height of 11-3.5. She started vaulting at 10-6 and easily cleared the bar (see video). This indoor season the junior has gotten her PR. As the season is just beginning, she has even more room for improvement.