While the top four finishers in each event advanced to the regional out of the Terre Haute North girls and boys track and field sectionals last week, the likely focus will be on the sectional winners advancing to the state finals.

But that’s not to say in some specific events, the sectional and regional champions will necessarily be the same winner.

Throw in top performers into the mix from other sectional sites and it promises to be an exciting Evansville Central girls (today) and boys (Wednesday) regional. Both meets begin at 5:15 p.m. CDT at Evansville Harrison’s facility.

‘We’ll be getting into more competition [at the regional] than we’ve seen all year, except for maybe the [Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference] meet,” stated North girls coach Mike Dason.

“We won the regional last year. But my focus is trying to get as many people to the state finals.”

In the girls sectional, host team Terre Haute North won its 25th sectional title last week, highlighted by senior Amy Hamilton winning four events — 800, 1,600, 3,200 and running the anchor leg of the 3,200 relay.

According to Dason, Hamilton will run in only the 3,200 and 3,200 relay at the regional.

But sophomore Shelby Higginbottom of small-school North Central also won four sectional events, the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. Another multiple winner was Terre Haute South’s Brianne Steppe, winner of both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

In the field events, North will “field” champions Beth Liebler (high jump) and freshman Amber Wilcox (pole vault), South has Ariane Bell (shot put), while Northview features sectional winner Samantha Solomon (discus).

North won both the 400 and 3,200 relays in the sectional, while South will send its sectional champion 1,600 relay team.

The Patriots also dominated in winning the boy’s sectional, but there were also several winning performances turned in from other schools.

For North, Shaun Smith (100 and 200) was a double-winner while the Patriots also claimed all three relay titles. North also headed the four field events, winners were Zach Jenkins (high jump), Scott Weatherford (long jump), Frank Toth (discus) and Aaron Edwards (shot put).

Anthony Witt of Shakamak was a double-winner, taking sectional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. However, he could be tested once again according to the close second-place sectional finishes of South’s Andrew Sullivan (1,600) and North’s Zach Mayhew (3,200).

Another closely contested sectional battle was in the hurdles. John Haley of South won the 110 high hurdles with Gene Bradford of Sullivan claiming the 300 low hurdles. Both finished second to the other.

Other sectional titlists competing include Drew Gambill of Shakamak (800) and James Craigmyle of South Vermillion (400).

North Vermillion and Rockville will be sending athletes to the West Lafayette (girls) and Lafayette Jefferson (boys) regionals. The Falcons’ Quentin Bemis was the Benton Central boys sectional champion in the 110 hurdles.

The top three individual finishers at the regional will advance to the state finals later this month in Bloomington.

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