Girls & Boys State Championship Preview (Sprints/Hurdles)

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 sprint/hurdles events.


The Shelbyville regional produced some fast times, with Savannah Lake and Jila Vaden emerging as the top seeds for Friday's championship, finishing 1-2 in a close race with times of 11.76 and 11.77, respectively. An even faster race occurred earlier in the season at the Charlie Riley Invite, where Kya Crooke and Maya Taylor ran 11.46 and 11.48. Despite winning the Pike Regional 100m, Crooke has decided to scratch out of the event, likely to focus on the high jump and long jump. Kylee Marshall from Munster and Kenedi Bradley from Chesterton also ran sub-12 seconds at regionals, clocking 11.93 and 11.96. Taylor and Marshall are the only competitors returning from last year's podium.

Lyric Steele wins heat 5 of the 100m this year at the Bronchos Sprint Showcase with a 12.15 defeating Maya Taylor, Omema Anyanwu, and Jila Vaden.

Jaidyn Johnson has had a perfect outdoor season so far in the 100m and 200m events. He also had a stellar indoor campaign, ranking among the nation's top sprinters, with his only defeat coming from Brownsburg standout Dominic Calhoun at the HSR Finals, where they ran 6.74 and 6.75, respectively. Unfortunately, Calhoun's high school career was cut short due to injury, but he has a promising future ahead at Ohio State. Johnson leads the state in the 100m with a personal record (PR) of 10.34 from the Mustang Invitational and also holds the top seed from regionals with a time of 10.43. This year's event will feature a larger field of 33 participants, thanks to many athletes meeting the state standard. William Riley, last year's third-place finisher, holds the second-best seed heading into the meet with a new PR of 10.50 from regionals.

100m/110m Hurdles

Dede Eberle from Bloomington North has been nearly unstoppable this outdoor season. Over the past two years, she has only been beaten twice, both times in preliminary heats. Last year's state finals saw her face an unfortunate disqualification for pushing a hurdle with her hand. Coming into the weekend, she holds the top time in the state by 0.21 seconds with a 14.12, faster than her prelim race last year at 14.41. Other top contenders for the title include Lake Central's Anastasia Thompson and Warren Central's Laila Smith, among a few others.

The 110m Hurdles will feature a great battle among the state's top talent. Tyler Tarter and Javion Westfield are the only athletes to have broken the 14-second mark this year, with Tarter running 13.69 at Charlie Riley and Westfield posting a 13.95 at regionals. John Peters from Merrillville came close with a 14.06 at the DAC Championships. Tarter, last year's runner-up, returns along with D'Andre Black, Adom Quist, and David Carnell from last year's podium.


The leaderboard has been tightly contested all year, with 13 girls running under 25 seconds. Connersville's Ahniyah Bennett took the top spot after regionals with a time of 24.53, just three hundredths of a second off her state championship performance from last year. Returning podium finishers from last year include Kylee Marshall (3rd), Emily Norris (4th), Amaya Royal (6th), and Izzy Neal (7th). Lyric Steele has the second-fastest time of 24.55 this season and has gone undefeated in the event against Indiana athletes, except for a prelim defeat to Nadia Ford at the Pike Invitational. Ford has clocked a 24.70 this year. Close behind Steele are Tiara Gray and Jila Vaden with times of 24.60 and 24.61. Both Gray and Vaden will attempt multiple events, with Gray doubling in the 4x4 and Vaden quadrupling in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x4. Evansville North teammates De'Janay Layne and Iana Tecson also stand out, leading sectional performances with times of 24.64 and 24.65.

The top 5 finishers from heat 5 of the 200m at the Bronchos Sprint Showcase earlier this year.

Jaidyn Johnson has been dominant this season, with his 21.15 from the Mustang Invitational leading by more than a quarter of a second and tying for 12th on Indiana's all-time list. The second and third fastest runners this year, Jerome Smith (21.43) and Christian Ortiz (21.62), do not appear to be competing in the 200m state finals. Smith has no regional results, while Ortiz is focusing on the 400m and 4x400m. The next fastest seeds behind Johnson from regionals include Huber Finley, Marcus Townsend, and Mason Alexander, running 21.64, 21.66, and 21.71, respectively. William Riley, Davyion Clark, and Trevon Stoppenhagen also ran under 21.80 at regionals.

300m Hurdles

Laila Smith looks to be unchallenged this year, with her personal best of 43.07 from the Marion County Championship giving her over a one-second cushion on the leaderboard. Smith, who went under 43 seconds at last year's state championships, aims to improve her #16 all-time state rank. With Rachel Mehringer graduated and Kya Crooke focusing on jumps, Smith is the favorite. Kate Kubacki from Cathedral, who placed fourth last year, has run a 44.41 this season and a PR of 44.13 from last year's state finals. Adelle Schlotterback and Madelyn Knies also return from last year's podium, along with Lucy Hauser, who has the second-fastest time this year at 44.23. Isabella Sotelo also ran under 45 seconds at regionals with a new PR of 44.51.

Tyler Tarter had an impressive race last week, taking over a half-second off his PR, which has steadily improved all season. His 36.17 ranks him as the state's all-time top performer and #2 nationally. He will aim to break the 36-second mark this weekend and more on his record breaking performance can be found here. Javion Westfield and Andres Langston are the only other athletes under 38 seconds this year, with Westfield clocking 37.71 at regionals and Langston 37.78 at sectionals. Alex Eyasu and Jonathan Sever return after placing 8th and 9th on last year's podium. 

Tyler Tarter breaks the Indiana high school record for the 300m Hurdles and earns a US #2 rank with his 36.17 performance from the Lafayette Jeff regional.


Freshman Anissa Lammie has already made a significant impact for the HSE Girls team, with a shot at winning three state titles in the 4x800m, 400m, and 4x400m. Her 55.34 from the HCC ranks her among the top 25 in state history and is the second-fastest freshman girls 400m runner, only behind North Central's Ramiah Elliot from 2019. Omema Anyanwu and Gia Clay are the only other girls to run under 56 seconds this spring, both having placed on last year's podium with 4th and 9th place finishes. Jayda Holbrook and Nevaeh Wren also return as scorers from last year. Eleven girls in the state have run under 57 seconds this year, making the podium even more competitive.

Anissa Lammie wins a close race over Omema Anyanwu at the Lafayette Jeff regional with times of 55.58 and 55.67 respectively.

Last year's field saw the state's fastest and 10th fastest 400m runners in history, with Nayyir Newash-Campbell running 46.67 at sectionals and Riley Buroff 47.22 at the state finals. Denhm Holt has had a great season, leading the state with a time of 47.63, just shy of the top 25 in state history. Fort Wayne Northrop's Devonti Carter is the other athlete under 48 seconds this year, winning the SAC title with 47.81. The state's top performers also include Ivan Weaver (48.09), Kalen Sargent (48.17), and Cainen Northington (48.23). Returning from last year's state podium are Cameron Mullens (5th), Andres Negron-Carrero (6th), and Andres Langston (8th).