By GREG MENGELT
The 2013 version of the Jeffersonville boys’ track team may not be its deepest, most experienced or most talented in the past 41 years, but that shouldn’t keep the Red Devils from winning a state-record 41st sectional title on Thursday.
While talented Silver Creek, Madison and Southwestern teams will push Jeff, the heat sheets have at least one Devil in the top seven of every event.
“I think we’re going to have more competition than we have in recent years,” Jeff coach Mark Felix said. “If we have any unfortunate circumstances occur, we might be in trouble. But I fully expect to win.”
Tyrell Dowdell is the top seed in the 400, just ahead of teammate David Morales. Dowdell and Isaiah Blanton are ranked second and third in the 100 and the 200. Chase Scott is the favorite in the long jump and Tyler Kahl is seeded fourth. DeSean Daugherty is the second seed in the 110 high hurdles and No. 4 in the 300 hurdles. Tymon Brown and Nash Rivers are also the second and third seeds, respectively, in the shot put, and Rivers is ranked fifth in the discus.
Silver Creek is likely to have the most sectional champions. The Dragons have seven top-seeded athletes. Schuyler Hosp is the favorite in the shot put and discus and Isaak Haas is seeded first in both distance events. Marciez Sewell is the No. 1 seed in the 300 hurdles, Zach Davidson is the pre-race 800 favorite and the Dragons’ 3,200 relay team is tied with Madison for the best time this season.
“We have six or seven who could potentially win,” Silver Creek coach Darrell Kingery said. “That still wouldn’t offset what Jeff’s able to do.”
The Dragons may be the favorites if not for an injury to sprinter Bobby Haines.
“With him, I thought we had a shot,” Kingery said. “With everybody healthy, I really thought we had a chance, but without him, I just don’t think we can. I’ve always dreamed about [winning a sectional]. It would be really nice, but you have to have the horses.”
Jacob Hedrick is Henryville’s top-seeded athlete. He is ranked second to Haas in the 1,600 and third in the 3,200.
For New Washington, Adan Diaz is seeded second in the 300 hurdles behind Sewell, and Ian Hughes is ranked fifth in a tight 400 field.
Eli Daniel of Charlestown is seeded third in the high jump. The top four athletes in each event advance to next Thursday’s Bloomington North Regional.
FLOYD CENTRAL SECTIONAL
Hoosier Hills Conference champions Floyd Central should have an even easier time winning its 11th straight sectional championship.
The Highlanders have six favorites — most of them heavy favorites — and they have at least one athlete in the top five in 15 of the 16 events.
Floyd is the favorite in the 1,600 relay and figures for at least a top-3 finish in all three relays. Chase Blakeman is the top seed in the 300 hurdles, Jacob Marguet and Taylor Dutton should finish 1-2 in the pole vault and Codie Hamsley seems to be a lock to win the discus and the shot put. He is the state favorite in the discus. Adam Wallace is a slight favorite over Borden’s Brian Eurton in the 800.
“We want to get as many into good position for the regional as we can,” Floyd coach Lane Oxley said. “This is one of our better teams. We have some big-meet-type athletes and we can get a lot of nickel and dime [points].”
The Highlanders finished third in last year’s regional behind Bloomington North and Bloomington South.
Borden’s goal is to finish second to the Highlanders, and with the area’s top distance crew, they have an outside shot of doing so.
Borden is seeded second in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays and Eurton is ranked second in the 800 and third in the 1,600. Pole Vaulter Michael Lynch and thrower Brett Williams should also pick up valuable points.
“We would like to be able to compete for that,” Borden coach Liz Carmony said of finishing as runners-up. “We’ve talked about it as a good benchmark for us.”
Defending 100 state champion Marquise Parrish is the top seed in the 100, the 200 and is the anchor of the No. 1 seed Bulldog 400 relay team. Teammate Tuwan Payton is the second seed in the 100. Javen Reeves is also the favorite in the high jump for New Albany.
Providence’s Owen Mattingly is the top seed in the 110 high hurdles, while Murphy Sheets is a contender to advance in the 1,600 and the 3,200.
Clarksville’s Christian Brown is the top seed in the long jump, Josh Grady is seeded third in a tight 400 field and Marquise Parrish is ranked fourth in the 200.
Christian Academy’s best shots of advancing are its 3,200 relay team, which is seeded sixth, and Trey Sturdy, the eighth seed in the long jump.
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE SECTIONAL
Defending high jump BNL Sectional champion and state finalist Tevin Wolf of Pekin has a shot at advancing to the North Regional in four events.
Wolf is the top seed in the high jump and should battle Brownstown’s Hayden Stuckwisch and Salem’s Jarred Blevins for the sectional crown. Wolf is also seeded second in the long jump, the 400 meters and as member of the Musketeers’ 1,600 relay team.
Eastern’s K.J. Davey is also ranked second in the shot put behind Orleans’ Danny Campbell.