News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 6, 2009

Amey Takes Aim: Some standout MIC track performances slipped through the cracks

I know it’s a don’t-get-out-of-school-early thing, which I can appreciate, but I still wish there were a way to get the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school track and field championships over a little sooner.

When the meet’s final events are pushing my deadline every year — I didn’t get to see either 4x400 relay race this year, and those are usually my favorites — it’s hard to do the meet justice.

Laptop problems at 11 p.m. make the situation even worse.

Had I more time for reflection late Friday night, I’d have included a couple more things in the story of the meet, probably the main one being the performance of two of Terre Haute South’s boys who didn’t earn a line of type in Saturday’s paper.

Mention certainly should have been made of John Haley, who placed seventh in the 100-meter dash, seventh in high hurdles, third in the 200-meter dash and was part of a seventh-place team in the 4x100 relay for the Braves.

“Seven races [including trials in all but the relay]; he’s a busy guy,” coach Eric Graves noted that night. And if you’re a high school track aficionado, you’ve probably noticed something else — the 100 and the high hurdles are events that are run back-to-back.

Oh, and he also had the fastest qualifying time in the 200, his third round of trials — in the rain.

The other Brave worth mentioning was Shane Bauer, who was runner-up in the 400-meter dash and who helped the Braves finish fourth in the 4x400 relay (they came in seeded eighth).

A couple of North boys exceeded their seedings in the longer races too. John Mascari’s record-breaking 3,200-meter run — he was one of four runners to break the old record — was mentioned Saturday, but his distance partner Brandon Query had a couple of strong finishes in both the 1,600-meter run and on the anchor leg of the 4x800 relay. Both performances were good for fifth place, both higher placings than he or the Patriots had been expected to finish.

Athletes or relay teams who have already made the state qualifying times in their respective events are automatically eligible for the MIC championships too, which is how Carmel occasionally had three distance runners or Warren Central’s girls three sprinters in individual events (otherwise the limit is two per school). Yes, it’s a tough pair of track meets.

The most noticeable athlete at this year’s event — by design — was Warren Central high jumper Derrick Spight (one of three Warriors in that event thanks to state-qualifying heights too). As Spight prepared for each jump, he and his teammates began a rhythmic clapping.

I don’t know if it helped other than from an attention standpoint, but he did clear 6-foot-8 and barely missed breaking the conference record of 6-10.

• • •

• Congratulations — Here’s a pat on the back for Oblong High School basketball player Ashley Rich, who was one of the representatives of the Little Illini Conference recently in the Central Illinois All-Star game.

But that’s not why I’m congratulating her. She earned honorable mention last week on the Chicago Tribune’s Academic All-State team.

Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. for comments or news items at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.