Girls & Boys IHSAA State Championship Preview (Relays)

The state outdoor championships are right around the corner with the girls set to compete on Friday and the boys on Saturday. In this preview we look at what some potential storylines could be in the relay events.

4x800m Relay

In the girls 4x800m relay, it is Hamilton Southeastern who has had the top mark so far this year where they ran the second-fastest time in Indiana history that was not at the state meet, going 9:06.85 at the Hamilton County Championships to rank ninth in Indiana history. Also running to a top 25 time in the state's history this season was Fort Wayne Concordia's squad from the Patriot Relays where they ran a 9:09.63. The team also has the top seed from regionals heading into the tournament, consisting of Mallory Weller, Lexi Panning, Brylee Crass, and Sidney Scheumann. The only other schools this year to have each of their runners average under 2:20 this year include Carmel and Homestead, who competed with HSE and Concordia at the Lafayette Jeff and FW Carroll regionals.

HSE runs to a 9:06.85 to dominate the Girls Hamilton County Championship 4x800m Relay.

The boys 4x800m this year saw one of, if not the most, competitive years ever with an astounding 32 schools breaking the 8-minute barrier at regionals alone. Five of these schools did not qualify for state even with an expanded field of 31 teams this year due to so many schools hitting the state standard. The top seed belongs to Zionsville's squad with their 7:48.84 from the Lafayette Jeff regional, which saw 7 schools hit the state standard of 7:57.93. Columbus North and Bloomington North are the only other schools to have been under 7:50 so far this season, doing so at sectionals and regionals, respectively. Bloomington North will look to finally be at full strength this weekend, where we will likely see the squad attempt to break their own state meet record, which they set at the state championships last year. Depending on the conditions, we could also see an attempt to take down the all-time state record of 7:34.45 set by Lawrence Central at New Balance Nationals in 2011. Having Caleb Winders on anchor will surely help the team's chances as the sophomore placed runner-up in last year's open 800m with a 1:52.68 and split a 1:51.71 on North's national leading 4x800m squad that went 7:43.08 in indoors this season.

Bloomington North and Zionsville placed top 2 at the Boys HSR Large Division earlier this year in indoor.

4x100m Relay

In the girls 4x100m, Fort Wayne Carroll holds the top time of the year of 47.51, which ranks 16th all-time in Indiana history. The team of Doreen Adjei, Eva Mueller, Aliyah Sauder, and Nadia Ford recently ran this mark last week on their own track this past week at regionals. The team has been under 48 seconds three times this May, and the team will certainly be looking for a better result after last year's meet. Aside from Carroll being one of the favorites, this looks to be another blanket finish as Brownsburg, Fishers, Lawrence North, Wawasee, Evansville North, and Avon have all been under 48 seconds at some point this year, with all six schools only being separated by 0.18 seconds.

FW Carroll's 4x100m squad from the Lime Relays (From @CarrollHSTrack via X).

In the boys 4x100m relay, Penn has been dominant this season, going under the 42-second mark six times this year. Their fastest four squads assembled have consisted of Kohen Turner, Elijah Coker, Camden Anderson, and Kellen Watson and have the state-leading time with the top seed heading into this weekend with a 41.11 from the Goshen regional, which ranks them #5 all-time in Indiana history. The team just missed out on the podium last year at state where they would finish in tenth place in the same meet where Brownsburg broke the 42-year-old state record, going 40.70. This year, Penn could have a shot at becoming just the 3rd school in Indiana history under the 41-second mark. Avon and Elkhart look to provide the next best competition, with both teams looking to rebound after last year's result.

Penn runs to a new all time state top 5 with a 41.11 at Regionals.

4x400m Relay

In the last event for the girls, the 4x400m relay, HSE looks to be absolutely dominant with a seed time just off their national championship performance from Nike Indoor Nationals this past March. Their squad from 2019 currently resides at #2 all-time for Indiana, going 3:45.72 to place runner-up to state record holder North Central, who clocked a 3:43.99. Last year, Carmel took off 4 seconds from their seed time to destroy the field with a 3:47.86. It will be interesting to see if anyone will try to challenge HSE or if they will run away with the event win. This could also provide some crucial points for the Royals' team title hopes.

HSE after taking home the national title in the 4x400m at Nike Indoor Nationals.

In the boys 4x400m relay, we have seen the same result the past two weeks with the squad of Hunter Hoeft, Jaxson Wanza, Michael Griffith, and Christian Ortiz from Hamilton Southeastern taking down Fishers. This team currently holds a very slim state lead of 3:16.48 over the rest of the field, and when looking at the performance list, this looks like it could be a blanket finish with any of these top teams, as Franklin Central, Center Grove, North Central, Bishop Chatard, and Fishers all have their season-best squads finishing within .78 seconds of each other. This will be an exciting race to finish the meet, especially with some schools in this mix needing those valuable points for team placements.

HSE runs the state's fastest 4x400m relay time from this season with a 3:16.48 at Regionals.