The day started with a question mark for the Henryville girls’ track team at the Southern Athletic Conference meet.

It ended with a huge exclamation point.

After seeing top-seeded Maggie Gilstrap scratch in three attempts at the long jump early — many thought losing those 10 points would put a huge dent in the Hornets chances of capturing their first-ever girls’ championship trophy.

Turned out it wasn’t even close.

The Hornets rode huge efforts by Gilstrap and fellow junior Katie Spellman to the top spot — finishing with 130 points, well ahead of second-place Crothersville’s 100 in the overall standings.

“Sometimes, when you get into a close meet something may happen that you don’t expect,” said Hornet head coach Josh Conrad. “But you have to overcome that kind of stuff and we definitely were able to do just that.”

Gilstrap didn’t hang her head after her early miscues — she bounced back to finish with three individual first-place finishes (100- 200- and 400-meter runs) and broke a 22-year old meet record in the 400 with a time of 59.61 seconds.

“I don’t know what happened (in the long jump),” Gilstrap said. “I was awful in that. I didn’t want it to bother me though. I still had other races I could win and I didn’t want that to affect me.”

Spellman started her day by winning the best race of the afternoon — barely holding off Borden’s Candace Bender for first in the 1,600 by 0.06 seconds at the finish line.

“That was a doozy,” said the junior. “I thought I had won but all I heard was people yelling for her at the end so I didn’t know until they announced it. I don’t I’ve run many races that close before.”

She also took first in the 800 and scored a third-place effort in the 3,200 — totaling 26 total points for her 3 1/2 miles of running.

“I don’t know why I picked those three races,” said Spellman, who spent most of the 3,200 joking with several onlookers while competing. “I knew I couldn’t get to the front of that last one so I just wanted to make it as fun as it could be.”

Along with the five combined wins by Gilstrap and Spellman, Henryville also claimed first in the 3,200 relay with the squad of Tara Murphy, Shelby Hodge, Jena Miller and Leslie Thomas, while Hodge won the 3,200 title.

“Katie and Maggie are awesome but they didn’t do this alone,” said Conrad, who was voted SAC coach of the year following the win. “Our distance runners did really well and we scored some points in just about every event, which we knew we needed.”

Borden had its six-year run of championships snapped as it finished third with 92 points. The Braves finished the day by winning the 1,600 relay and also saw wins by Bethany Burrier (high jump) and Bender in the pole vault.

New Washington, competing with just five runners total, placed fifth but featured one of the top individual performers on the afternoon.

Freshman Lindsay Krohn won two events as an individual (100 hurdles, long jump), was part of a winning relay team (400) and had a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles.

“To only have five girls and come out with three first a second is something I’m pretty excited to see,” said Mustang coach Jeff Wigginton. “Our 400 relay team (Krohn, Alyssa Burch, Jenna Sexton and Ericka Fischer) ran their best time of the year and if they keep improving like that they could do well at sectional (on Tuesday).”



SOUTHERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEET

Girls


Team scores — Henryville 130, Crothersville 100, Borden 92, South Central 53, New Washington 49, Lanesville 34

3,200 relay — 1. Henryville (Murphy, Hodge, Miller, Thomas) 12:16.90, 2. South Central, 3. Crothersville

100 — 1. Gilstrap (H) 13.30, 2. Pearson (B), 3. Plaiss (B), 4. Burch (NW)

100 hurdles — 1. Krohn (NW) 17.26, 2. Killey (C), 3. Reas (SC), 4. Crcus (L)

1,600 — 1. Spellman (H) 5:40.12, 2. Bender (B), 3. Janek (H), 4. Hensley (C)

400 relay — 1. New Wash (Fischer, Sexton, Krohn, Burch), 2. Crothersville, 3. Henryville

400 — 1. Gilstrap (H) 59.61, 2. Burrier (B), 3. Lucas (C), 4. Plaiss (B).

300 hurdles — 1. Killey (C) 49.55, 2. Krohn (N), 3. Price (L), 4. Taylor (H)

800 — 1. Spellman (H) 2:36.45, 2. Bender (B), 3. Thomas (H), 4. Hensley (C)

200 — 1. Gilstrap (H) 27.13, 2. Prather (C), 3. Plaiss (B), 4. Pearson (B)

3,200 — 1. Hodge (H) 14:14.76, 2. Henckel (L), 3. Spellman (H), 4. Sexton (N)

1,600 relay — 1. Borden 4:34, 2. Henryville, 3. South Central.

High jump — 1. Burrier (B) 5-2, 2. Lucas (C), 3. Killey (C), 4. Hornickel (SC)

Pole vault — 1. Bender (B)

Long jump — 1. Krohn (N) 15-4, 2. Prather 14-10, 3. Gayheart (L), 4. Pearson (B)

Shot put — 1. Lundy (C) 33-0, 2. Brishaber (H), 3. Hunt (B), 4. Day (SC)

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