BROOKVILLE – To no one's great surprise, East Central's Trojans stood on the winners' podium following the annual Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference track/field invitational held at rainy Franklin County High School May 9.
However, EC's young men were pushed in their fight for top honors. The Trojans totaled 125 points, only 4.5 ahead of the Rushville Lions with Batesville's Bulldogs standing at 108. The Lady Trojans posted a more comfortable margin, claiming 154 points; the host Wildcats were next at 95 and the Lady Bulldogs in third at 92.5.
East Central combined for 13 conference titles, Batesville and Greensburg had 6 apiece, Franklin County 4, Rushville 2 and South Dearborn 1.
The story of the night for Batesville came in the intermediate to long-distance races. While Greensburg sensation Brenner Hanna was busy capturing the 800 (2:23.46) meters, 1600 (5:28.6) and 3200 (12:24.06), the Bulldog boys were golden from the 400 on up to the 4x800 relay.
JJ Kuisel held on for the 400 win, defeating FC's Hunter Tschaenn by .21 seconds (52.46 to 52.67). In the 800, Adam Moster left his competition in the dust to the tune of 1:58.79 – Rushville's Isaac Lawrence trailed at 2:06.07. Joshua Myers was nearly as dominant in the 1600 run, taking first in 4:42.15; Rushville's Andrew Miller came in at 4:42.98.
Although she was quick to congratulate all her EIAC champs, head coach Lisa Gausman was enamored by one performance in particular.
Freshman talent Ean Loichinger had been out since March's indoor season, battling a foot injury. He'd been itching for a triumphant return.
"Ean proved he was determined to stay in top shape – cross training and doing whatever he could – to be ready when he got the clear from his doctor," said the coach. "He then amazed the crowd, beating the competition by almost 11 seconds at 10:10.97 in the 3200 run for his first race of the outdoor season." Rushville's Cole Dixon was plenty of steps behind, finishing at 10:21.64.
The Dogs were just as impressive in the 3200 team event to start the night. Moster, Kuisel, Benjamin Moster and Johnathon Lynch passed the baton for a 8:23.07 time, destroying their personal record by 27 seconds. Rushville was next at 8:28.56.
The other BHS champ was Kent Meyers, clearing the high jump bar at 5-foot-10-inches. Teammate Gabe Gunter was runner-up at 5-8.
Sprints to intermediate were kind to EC's Trojans. Double winners in the 100 and 200 dashes were Eva Grimm (12.48 & 25.92) and Alex Hornbach (11.19 & 22.67). Emma Fey was 400 champ (1:01.37) and Megan Sierra won the 100 hurdles (15.87). In the boys 4x100, the Trojans' Erik Perkins, Chase Ludwig, Hornbach and Luke Hornbach edged Greensburg (44.27 to 44.75). A. Hornbach, Ludwig, Perkins and Clayton Deitsch were 4x400 titlists, finishing at 3:31.24 to the Batesville quartet of Tyler Myers, A. Moster, Lynch and Kuisel (3:34.96). EC's girls made it a 4x4 sweep as Grimm, Lily Greiwe, Fey and Ellie Lengerich raced through at 4:04.43, topping FC.
Greiwe, Lengerich, Fey and Emilee Wedding claimed the 4x800 relay (9:54.73), even as the 2nd-place Bulldog crew of Liz Loichinger, Trysta Vierling, Katie Olsen and Lily Pinckley set a personal mark of 10:11.12. Ludwig was first in 300 hurdles (41.59), fractions ahead of FC's Brady Bogan. Michael Medlock was a 2-time field champ for EC (shot put; 50-04 & discus; 146-01).
Pinckley was runner-up in the 3200 (12:31.04) while teammate Stephanie Nobbe grabbed 3rd in both the 100 (13.06) and 200 (27.13). L. Loichinger was white ribbon winner in the 1600 (5:35.89pr). Nobbe teamed with Gabby Gibbs, Callie Main and Lily Meyer for 3rd in the 4x100 (53.51). Lynch ran to 3rd in the 800 (2:06.44).
Joining Hanna in the winner's circle for Greensburg was Lily Grimes, easing to titles in the discus (110-02) and shot (40-11). Pirate Daimon Austin won long jump (20-06.75).
The host school garnered four crowns; Ashlan Hill took long jump (17-00.5), Anna Schatzle pole vault (10 ft.), Bogan 110 hurdles (15.78) and Schatzle, Hill, Katelyn Meyer and Audrey Reister in the 4x100 (50.43).
Rushville's Charity Griffith was high jump champ (5-02) and fellow Lion Keith Hallgarth took the pole vault contest (14 ft.). South Dearborn saw Eva Quinlan win the 300 hurdles (46.39).
BHS added several more point-earners. Carley Pride was 4th in the 400 (1:03.18) and Olsen the same in the 800 (2:29.66). Also, Gibbs (high jump; PR of 5 ft.), Nobbe (pole vault; 8-06), Meyer (long jump; 15-01.5), boys 4x100 (Isaiah Riffle, Justin Heiser, T. Myers, Sam Haskamp; 46.22) and girls 4x400 (Gibbs, Pride, Olsen, Loichinger; 4:21.32) placed 4th.
Vierling was 5th in both the 1600 (5:42.53pr) and 3200 (12:55.95) and Haskamp raced to 5th in the 100 (11.96).
In 6th were L. Loichinger (800; 2:35.61), Katie Bedel (long jump; 14-10.5), Gibbs (shot; 31-04), B. Moster (1600; 4:56.05pr), J. Myers (3200; 11:01.04) and Meyers (pole vault; 10-06).
Bedel was tied for 7th in pole vault (7-06pr); Meyer (100; 13.36) and T. Myers (300 hurdles; 45.53) added 7th results.
Scoring in 8th were Pride (high jump; 4-08), Bedel (discus; 82-04pr) and A. Moster (long jump; 18-02.25).
The BHS teams prepped for sectional week (girls at Franklin County May 14 and boys at East Central May 16).
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.