TERRE HAUTE —
Saturday was a great day for Terre Haute South High School’s track and field program.
Not only did South serve as host for the annual Big Four Classic, the Braves won the boys meet by a 79.5-70 margin over runner-up Terre Haute North — even with running standout Jackson Bertoli barely trying — and their girls knocked off perennial power North 105-98 for the championship.
South’s boys set two meet records — senior Riley Stohler in the 800 meters (1 minute, 58.10 seconds) and junior Spencer Danielson in the 1,600 meters (4:22.28) — plus it had a double winner in senior Junior Berry.
Berry went 46 feet, 8 1/2 inches in the shot put and 148-0 in the discus.
The Braves’ other male winner was Logan Deady in the 200.
This was the fourth straight year that South has captured the Big Four boys title.
“Everyone came out and worked really hard today,” South boys coach Kyle Walsh told the Tribune-Star afterward. “We had some good performances.
“Spencer is really coming on. … Now he’s healthy and he’s training really hard with Jackson and Riley. Now he’s breaking records and running at a higher level than I’ve ever seen him run. We’re looking forward to him having a good rest of the season.
“Riley is way ahead of where he was at this time last year, which is promising as we look forward to the postseason tournament. If he broke 2 minutes today, I was going to be very happy.”
As for the Indiana University-bound Bertoli, a senior and the 2013 IHSAA boys champion in cross country, he placed second in the 1,600 (4:28.94) and 10th in the 800 (2:12.19).
But Walsh insisted there’s no reason to panic.
“Jackson’s training extremely hard right now,” the Braves’ coach explained. “He’s racing on very tired legs, hoping it will pay off in the long run. … He’s going to try to run a fast time Tuesday at Bloomington North.”
Walsh praised Bertoli for helping pace Danielson to the 1,600 meet record. Danielson passed Bertoli for the lead with one lap remaining.
“He just wanted to make sure Spencer had a good time,” Walsh emphasized.
Elsewhere in the boys meet, Northview won a pair of relays (1,600 and 3,200) and beat out West Vigo for third place in the team standings. Individually for Northview, Ian Heffner won the 300 hurdles and Travis Beil won the pole vault. The Vikings’ primary bright spot was a victory by Tyson Tolerson in the 400.
Meanwhile, coach Ernest Holman of runner-up North sounded pleased with his team’s effort.
“A lot of our kids performed pretty well,” he assessed. “We went one-two in the 100 [with Jordan Moothery and Dominick Farr]. Hopefully by sectional time, my 200 guy [A.J. Smith] will be back from injury.”
Also for North, Caleb Paauwe won the 3,200, Ben Fletcher won the 110 hurdles, Matt Jenkins won the high jump and Aaron Amerman won the long jump.
Turning to the girls competition, South coach Ed Jarvis wasn’t sure when the Braves last earned the Big Four team crown.
“The dinosaurs were here,” he said with a chuckle. “I have no idea. It’s been a long time.
“It’s kinda nice for the seniors. Today was Senior Day. It was a great day for seniors Brooke Deighton [won the high jump], Nikki Thiede [won the 1,600 and 3,200], Katie Schmidt [won the 800 and helped South win the 3,200 relay], Sam Holmes [also helped South win the 3,200 relay] and Maddy Tetzlaff [won the 400 and helped South win the 1,600 relay]. … It was all about them today.”
From the North girls perspective, veteran coach Mike Dason said there were different reasons why his team didn’t post as many points as some may have expected. He mentioned one as the school’s junior/senior prom, which took place Saturday evening and evidently caused “about five” of his usual key performers to skip the afternoon meet.
“For the girls that were here, I was very, very pleased,” he said. “We had a lot of success. DaShana Johnson got a meet record [in the 100]. Keirra Porter got a meet record [in the 100 hurdles]. DaShana won two events [100 and long jump]. … Rachel [Gutish] is back up to her 11-foot mark [in winning the pole vault]. Bri [Burgess] got a win in two events [shot put and discus].”
Another North girls winner was Keeliegh Stigall in the 200. North also finished first and set a meet record in the 400 relay. Members of that foursome were Porter, Johnson, Stigall and Stephanie Williams.
But South made up for that with triumphs in the previously mentioned 1,600 and 3,200 relays and in the 300 hurdles, where junior Tamarrah Pitt crossed the finish line first.
Northview edged West Vigo by one point for third place in the girls meet.