All of the long meets have come down to one final day at Indiana University’s Hayes Track at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.

Three Jackson County athletes, two girls and one boy, will compete at the IHSAA State Track and Field Meet on Friday and Saturday.

All of them are making their first trip to the big stage.

Seymour sophomore Seth Ragon will participate in the boys high jump, and Owls junior Megan Winter will run the 1,600 for the girls.

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Brownstown Central senior Jaelyn Reynolds also will finally get her shot at state in the discus.

Ragon looks for season-best

Just three years into his track and field career, Ragon will find himself in uncharted territory Friday.

Ragon, 16, hasn’t competed at the state level in any sport in his short time at Seymour.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore was the only male high jumper for the Owls this season.

Last week, Ragon cleared 6-2 and found himself in a tough fourth-place position in the high jump.

However, luck was on Ragon’s side at the Bloomington North Regional.

“At first, getting fourth was kind of disappointing,” Ragon said. “My goal was to reach 6-4. My personal record was 6-3. I realized, when I talked to my coach, that the guy who finished third would scratch.

“It’s really exciting. I didn’t realize I was the only male heading to state from all five (county) schools. It’s pretty neat and will be a cool experience going as a sophomore.”

Of the 29 participants headed to state, nine cleared 6-2 to make it to state.

Kevin Porter of Evansville Bosse heads into the meet with the highest seed, as he cleared 6-10 at the regional.

“I would like to get over my personal record,” Ragon said. “There’s a lot of great jumpers at state. I would just like to do good for myself. It will be tough to place at state. I just want to get higher than I have before.”

During his eighth-grade year at St. Ambrose, Ragon decided to practice with the Seymour Middle School team.

“I don’t know what got me into it. It just seemed kind of cool, and it wasn’t running,” Ragon said with a grin. “I decided to go over there and just try it. I realized I was pretty decent at it. From my eighth grade to freshman year, I had a six-inch personal record. I think that basketball really helped me with my jumps and balance.”

Winter goes the distance

Coming off the fastest 1,600 time in her career, Winter looks for continued improvement at the state meet.

Winter ran a 5:25.26 during the regional for third place to make her first state meet.

At the regional, Winter slightly altered her approach.

The junior came out strong with a 1:15 on the first lap and was able to pick off a number of runners on the third lap before finishing strong.

“I was really in shock and really excited that it finally happened,” Winter said. “The third lap is usually the hardest mentally, and it’s usually your slowest. I was finally running with girls that were on my level if not faster and got to feed off them.”

Winter’s time from the regional is ranked 24 of 27 racers heading into state.

Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer comes into the race with the fastest time of 4:53.41.

IU’s track has longer turns and shorter straightaways, the opposite of Seymour’s track as the Hoosiers’ loop isn’t around a football field.

Today, Winter will attend a practice session to get a feel for the track.

“It’s like Columbus North’s track,” Winter said. “We’re used to training on the long straightaways. The track at IU will be down in a pit, so that might be a factor, too.”

Winter expects to break her personal record.

“I think it will come down to the crowd and the energy,” Winter said. “They will carry me through on the homestretch. Also, having the girls in front of me will help me. I like the bigger meets. I think I perform better in that atmosphere. I can figure out how much I have in me.”

This past fall, Winter also was a part of the Owls cross-country team that attended state.

“Going with the cross-country team this year was a little more exciting that your teammates are going with you,” Winter said. “(State track) is still exciting. It’s just more fun to be able to go with your teammates.”

Winter said she isn’t focused on where she places.

“I want to break 5:20,” she said. “I don’t really have a goal, placing-wise. I’m just really happy that I’m going to be there.”

Practicing hasn’t changed for Winter leading up to the state meet.

“I’m just going to maintain where I’m at,” Winter said. “At this point, I can’t get that much faster. When I get there, it will come down to my mental and gut.”

Reynolds overcomes regional hump

As soon as Reynolds knew she was heading to the state meet, she breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Since her freshman year, Reynolds’ lone goal has been to throw at IU. The senior made regional three straight years, but state eluded her during that path.

Following a sectional title in Seymour this season, Reynolds threw for 120-8 at regional to qualify for state with a second-place finish.

The regional throw was Reynolds’ first personal record since her freshman year.

“I liked the way I threw, but it could be a lot better,” Reynolds said. “Mostly my feet and my height are what I want to be better.”

Reynolds, who recently signed to throw at Vincennes University, looks forward to her last high school track and field event.

“I was really happy. I honestly didn’t even care what my last throw was like,” Reynolds said. “It was kind of bittersweet knowing that I was going to go and it would be my last meet. Now that Saturday is my last meet for sure, it gives me more excitement to compete at Vincennes.”

Reynolds hopes to throw at least in the 120s when she takes the field in Bloomington.

“I want to do well, but I’m just glad I can go. It’s a little bit of both,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to seeing some of the girls who can throw up to 150 feet. I want to pick up some things from them so I can become a better thrower.”

Reynolds is seeded 16th out of 27 discus throwers headed to state.

Sophomore Kloee Fitch of Lakeland comes in as the top seed at 148-5.

At her final meet, Reynolds looks forward to throwing in front of a large crowd.

“I’ve been there before, but it was more relaxed because a lot of teams weren’t there,” Reynolds said. “I think the atmosphere is going to be great to compete in. I know a lot of people who are excited to come and watch.”

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Boys state track and field meet

When: Friday

Where: Indiana University’s Hayes Track at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex

Start time: 3 p.m.

Admission: $10

Girls state track and field meet

When: Saturday

Where: Indiana University’s Hayes Track at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex

Start time: 3 p.m.

Admission: $10


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