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May 14, 2014

HHC GIRLS’ TRACK: Floyd wins another Hoosier Hills title

Jeff surprise second, New Albany third

NORTH VERNON — Floyd Central won four events, took first and second place in the 800 meters and beat surprise runner-up Jeffersonville by 33 points for its third consecutive Hoosier Hills Conference championship on Tuesday at Jennings County.

More important than the Highlanders’ four winners was their results further down in the field, Floyd head coach Kyle Weigleb said.

“We’re pleased,” he said. “I told the girls that the key to winning a championship is for those seeded seventh to finish sixth and those seeded sixth to finish fifth and so on. We performed well. Our girls stepped up. Our girls always step up when it’s time to step up.”

Floyd won two of the five field events with Rachael Kavazgoff repeating as the pole vault champion in 10 feet and Schuyler Cerquiera taking the high jump with a lead of 5 feet, 1 inch. However, the Highlanders biggest stars were their 800 runners.

First, the 4x800 relay team of Gabrielle Rodriguez, Madison Barney, Melanie Combs and Jamie Bierman got the Highlanders off to a strong start with a 30-second victory over New Albany.

Later, Bierman won the 800 ahead of runner-up teammate Combs.

“Our 800 runners were phenomenal,” Weigleb said.

Jeffersonville passed New Albany for second place in the final two events of the night.

First, the Red Devils’ 1,600 relay team of Hailey Lacy, Jhala Henry, Asia Williams and Candea Smith crossed the line first in the day’s final running event. Then Nycia Ford finished second in the shot put — the last ongoing event of the night — behind two-time champion Sarah Loesch of Columbus East to put the Red Devils over their rivals.

“It’s always our goal to win it, but sometimes the numbers just don’t add up,” Jeff coach Ericka Herd said. “[Second place] was a pleasant surprise. Obviously, the 1,600 relay and the shot put helped.”

What also helped is that the Devils were just one champion short of Floyd’s meet-best. Lacy was a two-time winner, also winning the 400 in a time of 1:00.23.

“Hailey’s been doing a lot of 800s, training-wise, trying to help her 400,” Herd said, “and it’s working.”

Henry — a freshman — also won twice. Along with the 1,600 relay, she took the 200-meter title over New Albany’s 100-meter champion Jayla Bethel.

“She has a natural build for a sprinter,” Herd said of Henry. “We’ve seen in practice the last couple weeks that she’s really stepping it up.”

Along with winning the 100, Bethel helped the 400 relay team run by the field. With Jasmine Sims, Courtney Palmer and Aaliyah Bell, the Bulldogs won the relay in 50.34 seconds. The Bulldogs had several strong running performance, but couldn’t overcome the Highlanders’ and Red Devils’ performances in the field events.

“We were hoping for second,” New Albany coach Casey Schneider said. “But, overall, we’re happy.”

All three local teams will participate in sectionals next Tuesday. Floyd and New Albany will go to Corydon Central, where the Highlanders will try to win their fifth straight sectional title for the first time in program history. The Red Devils will host the Jeffersonville Sectional. They’ll try to end a two-year championship drought.

 

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