TOP OF THE FIELD: Brownstown Central advances pair of pole vaulters, Seymour to send long jumper to state meet



Athletes representing Jackson County schools turned some heads at the Bloomington North boys track and field regional on Thursday.

Two athletes rose to the top of their respective events, and another is also going to state.

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Brownstown Central Colton Ritz was crowned champion in the pole vault by clearing 14-feet, 6-inches while Seymour sophomore Lance Roark claimed top honors in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 3 inches.

BC junior Caleb Bollinger also advanced to the state meet by finishing third in the pole vault at 13-0.

Top-three finishes automatically qualified athletes for the state championships at Indiana University on June 2, and the top-eight scored team points.

Forty-one different schools were represented at the regional meet.

Bloomington South won the regional with a score of 90 points, Edgewood were runners-up at 61 and Bloomington North got third with 51. Seymour’s 18 points were good for 13th, and Brownstown Central’s 16 points got 15th.

Ritz will make his second appearance at the state meet, while Bollinger will rep the Braves for the first time on the big stage.

“It means a lot to me,” Ritz said. “ I’ve worked really hard to get here. I didn’t get the height I wanted, but I got the placing I wanted. It means a lot to go back and advance in the state race.”

Bollinger said that it hadn’t set in that he was going to state.

“It’s amazing,” Bollinger said. “We’ve been working hard all year. I’ve been hurt for a year and one-half, so it’s good to come back and have some success. I was really nervous today. I jumped well. It really hasn’t set in, but I’m excited.”

Roark will also make his first appearance at state next week.

“It’s another opportunity to compete,” Roark said. “Last year I didn’t make it out of sectionals. It will be different jumping at a college.”

Owls coach Randy Fife said Roark has been consistent all season.

“It’s impressive to go undefeated,” he said. “Especially in a field event where things can go wrong. You have to get your steps down and sometimes you scratch a jump or two. He has been consistent all year. He actually scratched more tonight than in any meet all year. He had a nice 22-foot jump in the trials that sealed it early. I’m proud of him, you don’t get a regional champion very often.

University of Indianapolis commit Trent Hohenstreiter wrapped up his career at Seymour by setting a personal record in the 800, clocking 2-minutes, 1.66-seconds.

Seymour sophomore Luke Plummer finished seventh in the 1,600, timing 4:41.33.

The Owls’ 4×100 relay team of Max Otte, Dustin Metz, Roark and Josh Pennington combined for 44.05 for sixth place.

Later in the meet, Otte ran a 23.59 for 11th in the 200 and Pennington clocked 16.43 for 12th in the 110 hurdles.

In the 3,200, Jacob Voss clocked 10:19.42 for 11th place overall for the Owls.

In the shot put, Seymour’s Haden Mettert was 14th at 41-5 1/2 while Brownstown Central’s Lendon Underwood took 15th at 40-9 1/4.

In the final event of the night, Brownstown’s 4×400 relay team of Grant Stuckwisch, Robbie Branaman, Reece Covert and Brandon Wilson were 11th in 3:25.33.

Trinity Lutheran junior A.J. Goecker placed 14th in the 800 (2:05.74), while his cousin, Tyler Goecker, got 16th in his regional debut in the 400 with a time of 54.81.

Fife said that he was proud of the team’s efforts on the day.

“Overall, we did just great,” he said. “Lance was an inch off of his P.R. (personal record) and our 4×100 beat four teams from the fast section. They had a P.R. by over a second. Luke Plummer had a personal record in the mile and Trent Hohenstreiter was seeded 11th and finished sixth while managing a two-second P.R. I think Josh Pennington had a P.R., too, in the hurdles. We had very good performances. It’s a really nice way for most of our guys to finish their seasons.”

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