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April 14, 2014

H.S. GIRLS' TRACK: Solis now excelling at two events

Providence senior looks to be All-State

CLARKSVILLE — Performing the 200- and 400-meter double is one of the toughest things to do in high school track and field.

Doing it well is even tougher.

Providence senior Charmaine Solis is proving she’s up to the task.

“She’s strong enough [to do both events],” Providence coach Jeanne Luther said.

“I think she can be All-State in both,” teammate and classmate Lincoln Ottersbach said.

At Saturday’s Jeff Inferno, Solis held off Jeffersonville sophomore Hailey Lacy to win the 400 in a time of 1:01.79. With just two events between to rest, Solis beat New Albany state finalist Jayla Bethel and Jeff’s Chelsea Lewis, who had earlier won the 100 meters, to take the 200 in 26.31.

“I want to be All-State — by time,” Solis said. “I think I’m on the right track.”

It was a strong start to a proven 200-meter star, who has been winning big events since taking the 200 championship at the Corydon Central Sectional as a freshman.

As a sophomore, she repeated as 200 champ and was part of the Pioneers’ 1,600 relay sectional championship team. She eventually advanced to state and finished 20th in her second varsity season.

Last year as a junior, Solis was second in the 200 at sectional despite running most of the season on a broken foot. She pulled out of the 200 at the regional to concentrate on the 1,600 relay to help senior teammates Maryashly Betz, Leah Mattingly and Haley Corby make it to state, which she did.

“That was really exciting,” she said. “That was probably my favorite part of track so far.”

The 200 meters has always been her best event. For most athletes, there may be a fear that adding a second grueling event could take away from her potential in her top event.

Luther said that shouldn’t be a problem for Solis.

“I don’t think she’s going to have that issue,” Luther said. “I think she’s physically strong enough to succeed at both.”

Providence assistant coach Courtney Freiberger foresaw that Solis could be a 400 champion, as well as a 200 champion. Freiberger encouraged Solis to run cross country to increase her endurance to excel at both events.

“Courtney knows I hate distance, but she was like, ‘You know this is going to make you better,’” Solis recalled. “I do what she tells me to do because she’s always right. I hated it, but it did make me better.”

“You could tell, even through the pain [of running cross country] she was getting stronger,” Ottersbach said. “When she does those back-to-back events, a lot of people who do that and didn’t run cross country will be dead. She’ll have that extra bit that she got from running cross country, so it benefited her a tremendous amount.”

Doing the double is more difficult than Solis predicted it would be coming into the season. Even after winning both events at the Inferno, Solis admitted that she still has a long way to go to be in perfect shape.

“It was pretty tough on Saturday,” she said. “By the time I went up for the 200, I was still shaky and out of breath.”

If the Charmaine Solis at Saturday’s Inferno has yet to reach her peak shape, that has to be a scary thought to her rivals.

PROVIDENCE SENIOR CHARMAINE SOLIS HISTORY

FRESHMAN YEAR

Corydon Central Sectional

    • 200 — Champion, 27.69

    • 400 relay — Champion, 53.56

    • 1,600 relay — Fourth, 4:40.31

Bloomington North Regional

    • 200 — Fourth, 27.42

    • 400 relay — Fifth, 51.82

    • 1,600 relay — Seventh, 4:26.87

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Floyd Central Sectional

    • 200 — Champion, 26.84

    • 400 relay — Second, 51.07

    • 1,600 relay — Second, 4:13.53

Bloomington North Regional

    • 200 — Third, 26.74

    • 400 relay — Fourth, 51.53

    • 1,600 relay — Sixth, 4:14.98

State Finals at Indiana University

    • 200 — 20th, 26.49

JUNIOR YEAR

Corydon Central Sectional

    • 200 — Second, 27.22

    • 400 relay — Third, 52.36

    • 1,600 relay — Second, 4:15.77

Bloomington North Regional

    • 200 — Scratch

    • 400 relay — Disqualified

    • 1,600 relay — Third, 4:09.24

State Finals at Indiana University

    • 1,600 relay — 27th, 4:08.41

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