TERRE HAUTE —
With the sectional meets just more than a week away, several of the Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South track and field athletes proved to be in postseason form already during a dual meet Tuesday at North.
Patriots’ pole vaulters Connor Curley and A.J. Hughes went 1-2 to extend the lead for the North boys team, which pulled away for a 85-47 win over South. The North girls’ depth shined with a 108-24 victory against the South girls.
Curley set a personal best for the first time of the evening when he cleared the bar at 14-feet, 6 inches, which Hughes matched on the next attempt.
Curley took it to another level, surpassing the state’s automatic qualifying mark of 14-8.
SEE VIDEO of Curley's vault with his interview at: blogs.tribstar.com/craigpearson
Curley cleared 15-0, but missed on three chances to break the school record at 15-4.
“Today, I just got on a pole I’d never been on before. I just took it up, skied it,” Curley said. “Awesome. Four inches away from the school record. I think I just took too many jumps on the day.”
Despite his own miss, Hughes cheered on his teammate’s attempt at the school record.
“We wouldn’t be near as good as we are without each other. I’m ecstatic for him. That was amazing,” Hughes said.
Curley said the two juniors have been pushing one another the past three seasons.
“I hate losing to him, he hates losing to me. We like each other getting PRs, but we always want to be on top,” Curley said.
In addition to pole vault, North’s Brother Scank and Lee Davis played a big part in the Patriots strong start in the field events.
Scank won the long jump and was a surprise second-place finisher in the high jump, setting personal bests in each event. His long jump of 20-7 1/4 edged Terre Haute South’s Travis Rubey by 4 1/4 inches.
Lee Davis also went for a new best in the discus, throwing 142-8 1/2. He also won the shot put with a 48-6 1/2.
“I guess I’m tired of battling 50-degree days for track meets,” Davis said of his performances in 80-degree temperatures.
“When your field events come through like that, it takes the pressure off the runners,” North boys coach Craig Gillaspy said.
Sprinter Dakota Schefke won the 100 and 200 though, and Milton Brinza looked strong in winning the 800 and 1,600.
John Mascari took a run at a school record in the 3,200, but the Indiana University-bound distance ace settled for a 9:15.48, about six seconds off that school record.
Terre Haute South’s boys team was coming off a victory in the Big Four Classic on Saturday, the Braves’ first title in that event since 2005.
But a dual meet can play out differently — and South didn’t have its best day, coach Mark Raetz said.
“We’re obviously a little disappointed in the outcome tonight. We were trying some guys in some different events, especially in the distance events,” Raetz said. “We had them running a little more than they did on Saturday.”
South high jumper Nick Jaeger matched his Big Four personal-record performance with a leap of 6-6, and Tyler Seibert ran a South season-best 51.6 in the 400.
“Overall a little disappointed. The whole thing is to be at our best come sectional time. Hopefully we’ve got them where we want them to be,” Raetz said.
South’s Tasia Brewer’s victories in both hurdles races was a highlight for the Braves. Brewer edged North freshman Kelsey Thomas in the 100 hurdles by one-tenth of a second.
Thomas was also impressive for North in the high jump, equaling her best of 5-2.
Lauren Borders helped North dominate the sprints with wins in the 100 and 200. South’s top sprinter going into the meet, Mari Bennett, false started in the 100, but took second in the 200.
Borders also anchored the winning 400 relay team, which ran a season-best time of 51.39.
“The 4x100 was so smooth, great handoffs,” North coach Mike Dason said.
Jessi Conley ran a best time of 1:00.84 in the 400 to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Patriots in that event, with Layne Curley and Maddy Nelson not far behind.
Sarah Fears won the long jump in 15-6.
“As I told the girls, they were all outstanding as a team,” Dason said.