Photo by Ty Nibbs (doubleedgemdia.com)
The crowd of more than four thousand track fans came to its feet as Lily Cridge made the turn for home. The cheers grew as it became clear Cridge was going to smash the state meet record in the 3200-meter run. The sophomore standout crossed the line with two hands in the air at 10:03.16. Analyssa Crain ran with Cridge for the bulk of the race, and came home second in a time of 10:09.51, which would have been good enough to break the state record in its own right.
Immediately following the excitement of that state record breaking 3200 came a thrilling 4x400-meter relay that would determine the outcome of a wild team championship. Cathedral came into the last event of the day in fourth place, down three points to Warren Central, North Central, and Lawrence Central. Lawrence Central did not have a 4x400 team qualify for the state finals, and North Central's team did not go fast enough in their heat to be in contention for points.
It all came down to Cathedral and Warren Central in the final heat of the 4x400. Cathedral had the best time in this event coming into the state meet, and with the Irish leading down the stretch Warren Central needed to finish third or better to secure the team title. Despite being seeded as low as seventh, the Warriors were holding onto third throughout most of the final lap before being overtaken by Zionsville in the closing moments of the race, giving the team championship to Cathedral by one point.
Cathedral won the state title without winning their sectional or their regional, finishing second to North Central on both occasions.
Reese Sanders was directly responsible for more than half of Cathedral's points. Sanders won the 300-meter hurdles, finished third in the 300-meter hurdles, and was a part of the winning 4x400 team.
Huntington North's Addison Wiley earned a pair of state championships on Saturday night. Wiley won the 1600-meter run and the 800-meter run, making it three career state championships for the Viking after winning the 1600 in her freshman season.
North Central's Ramiah Elliott is quickly becoming one of the winningest athletes in the history of the IHSAA Girls State Finals. The Junior won the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, and was on the winning 4x100-meter relay team. Elliott won four state titles as a freshman in 2019, making it seven career state championships with still one year left in her high school career. Elliott has now moved into a tie for the fifth most state championships in a career.
With the track season coming to a close, we look forward to what will be an action packed cross country season next fall!