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Eagles sweep CIC track titles

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SPRINT QUEEN: Mississinewa junior Carli Fones runs along side Elwood senior Kaylee Lane during the 400 meter race in the CIC championship on Wednesday at Oak Hill. Fones edged Lane by .06 seconds and set a new Ole Miss and CIC record by finishing in 57.25 seconds.
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FLYING EAGLE: Oak Hill's Tahj Johnson strides away from the 400 meter field during the CIC championship meet Wednesday at Oak Hill. Johnson won the 100, 200 and 400 to help the Eagles win their second-consecutive conference title.
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DISTANCE RULERS: Oak Hill's Mollie Gamble (right) and Kinzie Robey run away from the field in the 1,600 meter race at the CIC championship Wednesday at Oak Hill. Gamble and Robey finished 1-2, respectively, in both the 1,600 and 3,200 while Gamble added a third win in the 800 to help the Eagles to a ninth-straight team title.
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DISTANCE RULERS: Oak Hill's Mollie Gamble (right) and Kinzie Robey run away from the field in the 1,600 meter race at the CIC championship Wednesday at Oak Hill. Gamble and Robey finished 1-2, respectively, in both the 1,600 and 3,200 while Gamble added a third win in the 800 to help the Eagles to a ninth-straight team title.

BY SCOTT HUNT - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

CONVERSE — The Oak Hill girls and boys track teams left no doubt as to who the class of the Central Indiana Conference is in the rapidly winding down 2019 season.

Led by junior Mollie Gamble who won three events, Oak Hill's girls won six-total events and once again dominated the distance races to earn a ninth-consecutive conference title with 167.5 points to distance themselves from Grant County rivals Eastbrook (136) and Mississinewa (98).

Senior Sammy Sommers and junior Tahj Johnson each won three events for the Golden Eagles and the boys team earned its second-straight title and 11th in the 13 years its been part of the CIC. Oak Hill finished with 193 points to beat Eastbrook (122.5), Mississinewa (97) and Alexandria (77.5).

Sommers (22-05.5) edged Johnson to win the long jump by just over two inches then captured then beat teammate Gabe Overmyer to take the 110 hurdles. The highlight of then night for Sommers came in running a 39.34 in the 300 hurdles to set both CIC and Oak Hill records in the event.

"I'm grateful for that and I want to give all the glory back to God for that." Sommers said about etching his name further into the Oak Hill record book. "I just went out and ran. ... We've been working on the 300s and tonight was the night to run that good race and I finally didn't have a headwind in the homestretch which was nice.

"It was definitely different from the start, the pace was a lot more aggressive," he added. "My form was flawless over the hurdles and I really drove and attacked the hurdles. It was me actually racing, not going out there lolly-gagging like I sometimes do, but shouldn't. It was definitely faster and I felt strong."

Johnson started his night by winning the 100 in 11.10 seconds. But even in winning the 400, the event he finished runner-up in the state last spring, there was disappointment with his time of 50.65, more than a second slower than his fastest time of the season that he dropped at the Lafayette Jeff Sprinter Showcase.

Johnson fed that disappointment into his 200 meter run and set a new school and CIC record with a 22.00 sprint. He just edged Madison-Grant's Sinjin Turner (22.09), who set an M-G record with runner up and Johnson's time was .01 faster than the previous CIC record set in 1995 that was set by Kendall McCoy, a state champion from Peru.

 

"I feel like the 200 time just came from being confident in my race," Johnson said. "I was also very upset with how the 400 turned out so I was running that race with something like I need to get this off my shoulders and get something back."

Gavin Holz and Caiden Lake finished first and second in the pole vault. The Golden Eagles also won the 4x800 relay (Dillon Mitchell, Colin Harts, Sol O'Blenis, Jacob Winger) and 4x400 relay (Luke Van Bibber, Winger, Mitchell, Mason McKinney).

Brennan Butche gave Mississinewa's boys its only two event wins in capturing the 1,600 (4:28.86), where he edged Eastbrook's Ben Neideck by a half second. Butche also ran away with the 3,200 (10:00.85).

Eastbrook's lone event winner came with it's 4x100 relay team of Wyatt Stephenson, Zeke Binkerd, Xaine Kirby and Justin Singer. The quartet ran a 45.50 to edge Mississinewa (Heisman Skeens, Gage Peterson, Elijah Standridge, Tabias Mead) by 0.53 of a second.

 

 

Madison-Grant finished sixth in both the girls and boys team competitions, but the Argylls had a pair of double champions. Payton Freel won both the shot put and discus for the girls and AJ Jones accomplished the same double for the boys.

The most exciting races of the night in either meet came between Mississinewa junior Carli Fones and Elwood senior Kaylee Lane, and it happened in three different events.

Fones ran a 12.65 to edge Lane by .01 to win the 100. Both girls then broke the previous CIC record in the 400, which was set by Oak Hill's Janae Moffitt in 2015 (59.20), with Fones finishing in 57.25 to edge Lane by .06. 

Fones and Lane ran stride-for-stride throughout the 200 meter race as well before Fones went down in agony just as the duo reached the finish line. Lane finished in 25.56 to set a new CIC record and win while Fones recorded a 26.47 and runner-up in the event. 

Fones was helped off the track and was walking gingerly with an ice pack wrapped around her hamstring as the meet wound down. Mississinewa coach Leonard Arbogast said he doesn't believe Fones' injury will jeopardize her sectional performance on Tuesday.

"She'll be fine. We've got to get her electolytes up, it's just a cramp," Arbogast said. "We thought it was the quad because of where she reached down and grabbed. The trainer here did a nice job working with her."

Mississinewa senior Beth Lucas won the 300 hurdles and set a new Ole Miss record in the process by finishing in 46.03. Haleigh Skeens was runner-up in long jump with a 14-10.50.

 

Gamble won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 for the Oak Hill girls while Selah Jackson (800) and Kinzie Robey (1,600 and 3,200) each ran to runner-up finishes to help Eagles extend their conference dominance.

The Golden Eagles got a surprise winning performance from freshman Zoe Revennaugh, who improved her long jump PR by nearly a foot to jump 14-10.50 to take the CIC crown. Ireland Dodson and Taylor King finished 1-2 in the pole vault for the Eagles.

Oak Hill also won the 4x800 relay (Jackson, Grace Geller, Kate Hornocker, Robey) and the 4x400 relay (Alyssa Thompson, Brittany McCorkle, Revennaugh, Dodson).

"You are who you are and our strong suit on a high level is our distance girls especially in this meet or the county right now," said Oak Hill coach Paige Brunner. "We challenge them, we have to go 1-2 in those events and get a ton of points, just like in the county we knew Eastbrook early would have a good margin on us.

"Grace Rowland PRs by more than 20 feet in disc to finish fourth, she wasn't expected to score," he continued. "Zoe Revennaugh, a freshman was barely seeded to score in long jump, wins the thing and PRs by almost a foot. There's two girls that are kind of unknown commodities that stepped up big. ... You can't win meets with just the big dogs. Some teams can, bigger schools may have that opportunity, but we knew it was going to be a total team effort and they did nice job."

Eastbrook senior Audrey Altum won the 100 hurdles (16.32) just ahead of freshman teammate Emma Neargardner. The Panthers also won the 4x100 relay (Altum, Camden Chellis, Chloe McDaniel, Shauna Singer) in 52.28 seconds. 

 

Oak Hill, Eastbrook and Mississinewa will compete in the Marion Sectional next week. The girls meet is Tuesday and the boys is Thursday at Indiana Wesleyan. Madison-Grant's girls will compete in the Eastern (Greentown) Sectional on Tuesday and the boys will compete at Kokomo on Thursday.