We’re entering the homestretch of the track & field season.
The state tournament begins May 20 with the teams from Clark and Floyd counties heading to the Jeffersonville and Floyd Central Sectionals.
With both of those right around the corner, let’s take a quick look at 24 athletes to watch over the remainder of the regular season and into the postseason. Then, let’s take a glance at each area team.
KHOL BROWN, NEW ALBANY
The junior has the fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles (15.27 seconds), among the teams in the Floyd Central Sectional field according to athletic.net, and the fourth-fastest time in the 300 hurdles so far this season. Additionally, he has the best long jump (22-feet, 7 1/2-inches).
JAYDEN BUFORD, NEW WASHINGTON
The senior is a virtual one-man team for the Mustangs.
“Jayden’s main focus will be the 800 meters, and his goal for the season is the school record and advancement through the state meets,” New Wash coach Eric Peyton said.
LODY CHEATHAM, BORDEN
The junior is a big point-scorer for the Braves. As a freshman, he finished sixth in the 800 at the sectional. This year he should tally in that event, as well as the discus and pole vault.
CHRISTOPHER COSBY, NEW ALBANY
The senior is No. 1 in the shot put (49-7) in the Floyd Central Sectional field.
LUKE COLLINS, FLOYD CENTRAL
Two years ago, as a freshman at Lanesville, Collins captured the 100 and finished second in the 200 in the sectional. So far this season he has the fastest 100 (11.08) and 200 (22.67) in the field.
WILL CONWAY, FLOYD CENTRAL
Conway is one of the top distance-running frosh in the state. He won the freshman 1-mile run at Franklin Central’s Flashes Showcase Miracle Mile 2021 last month. So far, he has the second-swiftest 3,200 and the third-fastest 1,600 in the sectional.
STEVEN CRUZ, CHARLESTOWN
The junior is a solid point-scorer for the Pirates. He won the long jump at the Jeff Sectional as a freshman two years ago and is currently No. 1 in that event this season with a leap of 21-9 1/2. He’s also tied for first, with teammate Jake Ottersbach, in the high jump (6-0) and is second, behind Ottersbach, in the 100.
NICK GORDON, FLOYD CENTRAL
The senior has the fastest 800 (2:01.31), which he ran last Friday at the Zionsville Invitational, in the sectional field thus far.
HUNTER GRIFFIN, FLOYD CENTRAL
The senior, who has signed with Bellarmine, was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 at the sectional two years ago.
ISAAC HATFIELD, FLOYD CENTRAL
The senior, who has signed to play football at Northern Illinois, has the top throw in the discus (141-5) and ranks second in the shot put in the sectional field.
ZAC HUTSLAR, FLOYD CENTRAL
The junior currently has the second-fastest 100, 200 and 400 in the sectional field.
GAVIN JUST, BORDEN
The senior, who finished fifth in the sectional and seventh in the regional in the 1,600 two years ago, will try to better that this spring
BEN KELLY, PROVIDENCE
The sophomore is the Pioneers’ top distance runner.
JOHNNY KNUCKLES, ROCK CREEK
The senior’s specialty is the 300 hurdles, which he won at the Sam Sumner Invitational last month.
AIDAN LORD, NEW ALBANY
The sophomore has the second-swiftest 800 and 1,600, as well as the third-fastest 3,200, in the sectional field.
ASIUS MILES, NEW ALBANY
The senior has the fastest 400 (50.36) and the third-fastest 200 in the sectional field so far this season.
DREW NELSON, JEFFERSONVILLE
The senior is a big-time point-scorer for the Red Devils. Nelson, who won the 300 hurdles at the sectional two years ago, has the fastest time in that event (41.53) so far this season, as well as the best discus throw (125-0). Additionally, he has the second-swiftest times in the 110 hurdles and 200.
JAKE OTTERSBACH, CHARLESTOWN
The sophomore has the fastest 100 (11.47) and the second-swiftest time in the 300 hurdles in the Jeff Sectional field. He is also tied with his teammate, Cruz, for the top high jump (6-0).
ALEXANDER PINCKNEY, CAI
The freshman, a cross country standout, has the fourth-fastest time in the 3,200 in the Floyd Central Sectional field.
XZAVIER PRUITT, NEW ALBANY
The senior finished fourth in the sectional in the 300 hurdles two years ago. So far this season, he has the fastest time in that event (40.50). He also has the third-swiftest time in the 110 hurdles.
GABE RAMSEY, HENRYVILLE
The senior was seventh in the 100 and eighth in the long jump as a sophomore at the Jeff Sectional two years ago.
LARRY SPAULDING, CLARKSVILLE
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior, who also plays football, is the Generals’ top thrower.
ASHTON STILL, SILVER CREEK
The senior has the swiftest 800 (2:06.85) and 1,600 (4:42.13) in the Jeff Sectional field so far.
WENKERS WRIGHT, FLOYD CENTRAL
The senior football standout was second in the long jump and fifth in the 110 hurdles two years ago at sectional. So far this season, he ranks second and third, respectively, in those events in the sectional field.
• HEAD COACH: Liz Geltmaker.
• 2019: Finished fourth at Corydon Central Sectional, seventh at Evansville Central Regional and tied for 56th at the IHSAA State Finals.
• KEY ATHLETES: Gavin Just (Sr., 800, 1,600, 1,600 & 3,200 relays); Lody Cheatham (Jr., discus, pole vault, 1,600, 3,200 relay); Sterling Mikel (Jr., high jump, 400, 1,600 & 3,200 relays); Nolan Flispart (Jr., high jump, 3,200, 3,200 relay); Briar Weatherford (So., 1,600, 3,200); Kasym Nash (Fr., shot, discus, 800, 1,600 relay).
• OUTLOOK: “After losing last year’s season, we are all excited to be back. However, this group has a lot of work to do. We have several athletes trying new events, so there is tons of progress that needs to be made. If we make the progress I think we are capable of, we have a chance at the conference title, as well as advancing several athletes to regional,” Geltmaker said.
• HEAD COACH: David Daniel.
• 2019: Eighth at Jeffersonville Sectional, 19th at Bloomington North Regional.
• KEY ATHLETES: Brock Cook (Sr., throws); Hunter Van Gilder (Sr., mid-distance); Jaron Almeciga (Jr., sprints, relays); Andrew Cruz (Jr., sprints, relays); Steven Cruz (Jr., jumps); Dylan Kinser (Jr., mid-distance, 1,600 relay); Deven Lukes (Jr., jumps, sprints, relays); Jake Ottersbach (So., high jump, hurdles); Simeon Porcius (So., distance); Ethan Vaughn (So., sprints, relays); Mason Oakley (Fr., distance).
• OUTLOOK: “We look to be especially strong with jumpers and hurdlers this year,” Daniel said.
• HEAD COACH: Stephen Wagner.
• 2019: Sixth at Corydon Central Sectional, 13th at Evansville Central Regional, tied for 31st at IHSAA State Finals.
• KEY ATHLETES: Kaleb Nicholson (Fr., sprints); Alexander Pinckney (Fr., distance); Ben Rehnberg (Fr., 400); Mason Taylor (Fr., 800).
• HEAD COACH: Justin Boser.
• 2019: Finished 11th at Corydon Central Sectional.
• KEY ATHLETES: Larry Spaulding (Sr., throws); Michael Nash (Jr., sprints, jumps); Alex Titus (Jr., distance); Matt Eikelberry (So., throws); Saul Tatum (So., throws); Logan Craig Fr., throws); Jimmy Lemke (Fr., sprints).
• HEAD COACH: Zack Koetter.
• 2019: Finished second at Corydon Central Sectional and Evansville Central Regional before tying for 62nd at IHSAA State Finals.
• KEY ATHLETES: Hunter Griffin (Sr., 1,600, 3,200); Nicholas Gordon (Sr., 800); Isaac Hatfield (Sr., discus, shot put); Weston Naville (Sr., 800, 1,600); Wenkers Wright (Sr., hurdles, long jump); Luke Collins (Jr., 100, 200); Zac Hutslar (Jr., 100, 200); Will Conway (Fr., 1,600, 3,200).
• OUTLOOK: “I foresee our team being in contention for the Hoosier Hill Conference title, the sectional title and — if we can all stay healthy — trying to compete for the regional title. I am hoping to send several kids to the state meet this year,” Koetter said.
• HEAD COACH: Brad Nifong.
• 2019: Sixth in the Jeffersonville Sectional, 23rd at Bloomington North Regional.
• KEY ATHLETES: William Heid (Sr., shot put); Gage Parihus (Sr., 100, 200, long jump); Gabe Ramsey (Sr., 100, long jump); Caleb Lehaceanu (Jr., 800,1,600); Maven Dukes (So., 200, 400, high jump); Karson Evans (Fr., 1,600, 3,200).
• OUTLOOK: ”We lost a monster-sized class of seniors, for our size school, from last year’s team that sadly did not get to compete. We are looking to rebuild, but still figure to compete in many spots. As always, we want to complete to win our conference — it will be tough with smaller numbers — and hope to advance as many as possible from the sectional,” Nifong said.
• HEAD COACH: Jermane Neal Haskins.
• 2019: Won Jeffersonville Sectional, placed seventh at Bloomington North Regional and tied for 56th at IHSAA State Finals.
• KEY ATHLETES: Jordan Ferguson (Sr., sprints); Jadehn Debnam (Sr., sprints); Drew Nelson (Sr., throws); Dave Pratt (Sr., throws); Tyson Maddox (Jr., sprints); Jeremiah Brown (So., sprints); Jose Murillo (So., sprints); Lazarus Weobong (So., sprints, long jump); Alston Williams (Fr., 400); Andre Stanton (Fr., 800).
• HEAD COACH: Kyle Weigleb.
• 2019: Won Corydon Central Sectional & Evansville Central Regional before tying for 11th at IHSAA State Finals.
• KEY ATHLETES: Christopher Cosby (Sr., throws); Ugochukwu Eze (Sr., hurdles); Asius Miles (Sr., 400, 1,600 relay); Xzavier Pruitt (Sr., hurdles, 1,600 relay; Davaughn Stovall (Sr., long jump, 400 relay); Nicholas Wood (Sr., throws); Khol Brown (Jr., long jump, hurdles); Ja’raylan Johnson (Jr., long jump, sprints, 400 relay); Myles Johnson (Jr., long jump, sprints); Kyondre Winford (Jr., sprints, 400 relay); DeJon Winburn (Jr., sprints, 400 relay); Aaron Lord (So., 1600, 3200); Aidan Lord (So., 1600, 3200); John Fulmer (So., 800, 3,200 relay); Dakota Johnson (Fr., long jump, sprints).
• OUTLOOK: ”Our team goals are to perform well at the HHC, sectional, regional and state finals. We think we can qualify several events to the state finals this year,” Weigleb said.
• HEAD COACH: Eric Peyton.
• 2019: Placed 11th at the Jeffersonville Sectional.
• KEY ATHLETE: Jayden Buford (Sr., 800, jumps).
• OUTLOOK: “With a small group, our success will come at the individual level,” Peyton said.
• HEAD COACH: Jeanne Luther.
• 2019: Finished fifth at Floyd Central Sectional and 21st at Evansville Central Regional.
• KEY ATHLETES: Gavin Caswell (Sr., throws); Emmanuel Martinez (Sr., middle distance); Isaac Ohlmann (Sr., sprints, discus); Craig Bratcher (Jr., sprints); Will Harper (Jr., middle distance); Garrett Huber (Jr., middle distance); Akhil Long (Jr., middle distance); Grayson Abel (So., throws); Noah Gettelfinger (Sr., sprints); Luke Jorden (So., sprints, jumps); Jackson Kaiser (So., sprints, relays); Ben Kelly (So., distance); Ethan Richards (So., distance); Thomas Lynch (Fr., sprints).
• OUTLOOK: ”The boys’ team has a nice balance of experience and youth. If we can stay healthy, we should have a number of regional qualifiers and possibly state,” Luther said.
• HEAD COACH: Kevin White.
• 2019: Finished 10th at Jeffersonville Sectional.
• KEY ATHLETES: Johnny Knuckles (Sr., hurdles, 400 relay); Joshua Muhammad (Sr., sprints); Ashton Viller (Sr., middle distance); Rijkard Upchurch (Fr., sprints).
• OUTLOOK: ”As a team, we want to continue to train hard with our main focus being tackling PRs. We prepare to compete at a high level every season and we planning on doing the same this year,” White said.
• HEAD COACH: Chuck Crowley.
• 2019: Took third at Jeffersonville Sectional, then tied for 29th at Bloomington North Regional.
• KEY ATHLETES: Ashton Still (Sr., distance); Ryan Lucas (Jr., hurdles); Alex Carney (So., distance); Carver Hoffman (So., sprints); Austin Jewell (So., distance); Mike Lowery (So., sprints); Donovan Mosely (So., sprints); Chase Reiger (So., long jump); Mac Rhodes (So., distance).