Distance double leads Owls to sixth-place finish

For The Tribune


Ashton Chase is used to running four events in a track meet, so Tuesday’s Hoosier Hills Conference girls track championships wasn’t a whole lot different for the Seymour senior.

One main difference, though was a step up in competition, but Chase was up to the challenge. She won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters to lead the Owls to a sixth-place overall team finish.

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“We have a tough conference, so I love competing with these girls,” Chase said. “I knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but I stuck with it. It’s always hard having the (3,200) and back-to-back, the 4×400, but my team needs me, so I was there for them. I can enjoy it after it’s all done. I feel pretty accomplished.”

To begin the meet, Chase anchored Seymour’s 4×800 relay team to a third-place finish in 10 minutes, 18.94 seconds. She was joined by Brett Kleber, Samantha Jacobi and Makenna Sunbury.

Chase then ran to her third third HHC 1,600 title in 5:19.22 and later in the meet, her second second HHC title in the 3,200 in 11:30.09.

Just a few minutes after her 3,200 victory, Chase ran on the Owls 4×400 relay team that finished sixth in 4:32.30.

“I gave her the option this year, and she said she wanted to go with the (1,600) and (3,200) instead of the (800) and the (1,600),” Seymour coach Spencer Sunbury said. “It was a big night for her.”

Floyd Central won the team championship with 160 points. New Albany took second with 114, followed by Jeffersonville (89), Columbus East (85), Jennings County (59 1/2), Seymour (58), Bedford North Lawrence (33 1/2) and Madison (25).

The Owls likely would have finished fifth if not for an injury to four-event sophomore Lara Skaggs. Skaggs finished fourth in the high jump (4 feet, 8 inches) and pole vault (8-0), but had to withdraw from both after spraining an ankle after nearly missing the pit in the pole vault. Skaggs also had qualified fifth in the 100 hurdles trials, but was unable to compete in the finals.

“Hopefully, she’ll bounce back from that,” coach Sunbury said.

Avery DeHart finished third in the pole vault (8-6) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (17.40). Makenna Sunbury was third in the 3,200 (11:59.00).

“I thought we had some good performances,” coach Sunbury said. “All the way across the board, I think the girls came out and competed hard. We’re looking forward to next week, and tonight was a chance for us to go up against some good competition to get us a little more sharp for next week at sectional.”