TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
Terre Haute North’s trio of seniors — Lee Davis (discus), Cole Seward (300-meter hurdles) and Cam Stewart (110 hurdles) — are ranked near the middle of the pack in their events, but they’ll be looking for career bests in order to approach the podium.
South’s Tyler Seibert (400 meters) is a dark horse to make all-state in his event after the senior came back from injury just before the postseason began. He’ll run in the slowest projected heat in the event of three timed finals heats.
“He knows he’ll have to do it all by himself,” South coach Kyle Walsh said. “Look for him to win his heat in dominating fashion. Hopefully run fast enough to get on the podium.”
Bertoli, a junior, has a time of 9:16.92 in the 3,200 this season for the Braves. He too has had some injury issues this spring. Bertoli’s mileage base is much lower than it was a year ago, but he hopes to drop time from regional to state like he did in 2012.
Bertoli ran a 9:18 at the Evansville Central Regional last year and took a podium finish, taking eighth place with a time of 9:08.
“He’s been through a lot of adversity with his cyst [on his leg] this season, and training’s been somewhat limited but he’s cross-trained really hard,” Walsh said. “He definitely wants to be all-state this year and up in the lead pack contending with the top guys in the state.”
Stohler is ranked eighth going into the 800 based on his time of 1:56.29.
“Last year, he was second to last as the only underclassman in the race, and he learned a lot from that experience,” Walsh said. “Definitely believe he’s ready to be on the medal stand. He’s really picked up the intensity of his workouts.”
Logan Hambrock, who is making his eighth state finals appearance between track and cross country, is seeded 15th with a time of 4:25.95 in the 1,600. Walsh said Hambrock will likely have to get below 4:20 to earn all-state in a competitive event full of experienced racers.
“He’s going into it with confidence, believes he can earn his first individual medal,” Walsh said.
The Patriots’ seniors are looking for big days.
Davis came up short in the regional in shot put, maybe his better event. The future West Point linebacker made the state finals in both events in 2012 and the shot put in 2011.
The discus will require a career day to get to the top 10.
“My best so far is 161-10, I believe if I get up to the high 160s I’ll be able to get a medal. It’ll take 168 [feet] or 169 to get podium,” Davis said.
Stewart is a great competitor in the 110 hurdles, North coach Craig Gillaspy said. Gillaspy said he’d like to see Stewart make the finals.
“He’s pretty much stepped up every meet he’s been in and PR’d almost every meet. It seems like every time he’s ran against a better field, he gets better,” Gillaspy said.
Grant Stamm of Linton is seeded among the top 10 in the 110 hurdles.
Seward of North is joined by Jeremy Patterson of South in the 300 hurdles.
“His fastest time should get him among the top 15 in the state,” Gillaspy said of Seward. “Anything better than that’s great.”
North also sends its 400-meter relay team, which is all underclassmen.
Juniors Nate Carson and Tai Stratton are joined by sophomores Dominic Farr and Jordan Moothery.
“Middle of the pack would be a great showing for these guys,” Gillaspy said.
Walsh said Patterson’s situation is similar.
“His best race is ahead of him. He’s been steady and consistent this year, dropping time little by little,” Walsh said. “He is due for a big drop and I think the state meet competition. He’s in the slowest heat. He’s 23rd in the state, around 5th in his heat. He is hoping to end his season by dipping under 40 seconds. He’s been close.”
Like all of the competitors, “he’d like to go out with a season best,” Walsh added.