By GREG MENGELT
Borden senior Brian Eurton was part of a history-making Braves cross country team.
However, a 64th-place finish at the Brown County semistate left a bad taste in his mouth.
The disappointment of not advancing to state as an individual or as a team has motived Eurton to close strong during track.
He’s doing just that. Eurton opened the season with a win in the Jeffersonville Inferno in the 1,600 and was later runner-up to North Harrison’s Jonathan Reynolds at the Floyd Invitational.
“You always want to finish your senior year on a good note and I didn’t do that in cross country,” Eurton said. “So I want to do that in track.”
Eurton is favored to be a four-time winner at today’s Southern Athletic Conference meet. He’s hoping his efforts in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay will help the Braves win their second straight SAC title.
“I want to help our team win conference,” he said. “We should.”
Next week starts the beginning of the end of Eurton’s track career. He will be a contender in the Floyd Central Sectional in the 1,600 and 800. The Braves’ 3,200 relay team may be the favorites to take the sectional crown.
“I would like to be a champion, but pretty much the goal is to get out [to regional],” he said. “The 4x8, that’s the one that we have the goal of being champions.”
Led by Eurton, Julien and Nathan Magallanes and George and Gavin Tipker, the Braves should dominate the distance events at SAC. The 3,200 relay is favored by more than 30 seconds.
Borden also features one of the conference’s best sprinters in Brady Knight, one of its top throwers in Brett Williams, plus Michael Lynch, who is a contender in the pole vault and the 110 high hurdles.
New Wash has a pair of contenders in several events. Ian Hughes could win the high jump and the 400, and Adan Diaz is a contender in the 800 and the 300 hurdles.
Henryville’s Jacob Hedrick has been running amongst Borden distance runners this year and is expected to push Eurton in the 3,200. Alex White will be a factor for the Hornets in the throwing events, particuarly the shot put.
Here’s a look at the Hoosier Hills and the Mid-Southern Conference meets, which also take place today:
HOO0SIER HILLS CONFERENCE
• Team favorite: Floyd Central. The Highlanders are the defending champion. They should have a handful of winners and have vastly superior depth to anyone in the HHC.
• Top team contender: Jeffersonville. When it comes to top-level talent, the Red Devils may be the team to watch. However, Jeff probably doesn’t have the depth to compete with Floyd. The same goes for Bedford North Lawrence.
• Athlete to watch: Codie Hamsley, Floyd Central. Hamsley is setting all kinds of records in the discus and is favored to win the shot put, as well.
• Race to watch: The 200-meter dash. Another showdown between New Albany’s Jermaine Parrish and Jeffersonville’s Tyrell Dowdell. Jeff’s Isaiah Blanton also has a state standard and could be a factor.
• Other event favorites (top area contender): 3,200 relay — BNL (Floyd Central); 110 hurdles — James Robinson, Columbus East (Grant Foster, Floyd); 100 — Parrish, New Albany; 1,600 — Aaron Zollman, BNL (Michael White, Floyd); 400 relay — New Albany; 400 — Dowdell, Jeff; 300 hurdles — Chase Blakeman, Floyd; 800 — Mitch McCoy, Seymour (Adam Wallace, Floyd); 3,200 — Daniel Hauersperger, Seymour (Drew Hirsch, New Albany); 1,600 relay — BNL (Jeff); High jump — Javen Reeves, New Albany; Long jump — Chase Scott, Jeff; Discus — Codie Hamsley, Floyd; Shot put — Hamsley, Floyd.
• Team favorite: Brownstown Central. Until someone knocks off the Braves, they’re the favorites. However, this year is expected to be very tight.
• Top team contender: Salem. The Lions have a huge advantage over Brownstown in the sprints and a slight advantage in the hurdles. If Terry Wigley, Conner Williams and Dustin Day can come through with top-three finishes in the sprints and Jared Blevins in the hurdles, Salem could upset Brownstown.
• Top local contender: Silver Creek. The Dragons may be the most talented team from top to bottom, but contenders like Austin Hastings in the 200, Keaton Spitler in the 400, Tanner Coots in the 800, Isaak Haas in the distance events, high hurdler Cole Williams, and especially 300-hurdle favorite Marciez Sewell and thrower Thomas Hosp, have to come through for Creek. The health of sprinter Bobby Haines is also key.
• Athlete to watch: Tevin Wolf, Eastern: Wolf is favored in the 400 and the high jump, at which he advanced to state a year ago. His 1,600 relay team is also a top contender.
• Race to watch: 1,600 run. Three of Southern Indiana’s top distance runners — North Harrison’s Jonathan Reynolds, Corydon Central’s Levi Taylor and Haas — all go head-to-head for a conference title.
• Other event favorites (top area contender): 100 — Wigley, Salem (Marquise Parrish, Clarksville); 200 — Parrish, Clarksville; 400 — Wolf, Eastern; 800 — Reynolds, North Harrison (Coots, Silver Creek); 1,600 — Reynolds, North Harrison (Haas, Silver Creek); 3,200 — Levi Taylor, Corydon Central (Haas, Silver Creek); 110 hurdles — Jared Blevins, Salem (Williams, Silver Creek); 300 hurdles — Sewell, Silver Creek; 400 relay — Clarksville; 1,600 relay — Eastern; 3,200 relay — Brownstown (Silver Creek); high jump — Wolf, Eastern; Pole vault — Austin McKinley, Salem (Spitler, Silver Creek); Long jump — Haines, Silver Creek; Shot put — Hosp, Silver Creek; Discus — Hosp, Silver Creek.