TERRE HAUTE -- While much of the focus at Tuesday's Terre Haute North girls track sectional lay in the team points battle between the host Patriots and rival South, Clay City and Northview quietly took their rather small squads and got the most from their athletes.
Both Clay City and Northview will send three individual athletes on to regional competition as a top four finisher. The Eels 4X100 relay team also will move on to regional competition.
The future certainly looks bright for Clay City's squad as all but one of their qualifiers are freshmen or sophomores.
Rachael Narlock opened the meet with a down-to-the-wire battle with Terre Haute North veteran high jumper Jennifer Macke.
Both Narlock and Macke were the lone jumpers to clear 5-2, setting up a jumpoff at 5-3 for the sectional championship.
Freshman vs. senior.
"I was pretty nervous," commented Narlock after the meet. "(Macke) had been there before and I hadn't. But I think this is going to provide me with some good experience for the regional."
Both Narlock and Macke missed their first two attempts at the height, but after Narlock had narrowly missed her third attempt, Macke was able to clear the height and win the sectional title for the Patriots.
While Narlock didn't win the event, she will take her experience on to regional competition for the Eels. "I'm very excited," said Narlock of her upcoming regional trip. "I think that I'll be a lot less nervous (at the regional) than I was here. I think the experience will help me down the road."
On the other side of the experience spectrum, Northview senior Natasha Barnett has battled a leg injury the last couple of weeks, which would normally spell serious trouble for an athlete that depends on sound wheels for sprinting.
Barnett has however battled through the pain to earn a conference championship in the 300 hurdles.
In Tuesday's sectional, Barnett earned herself a trip to the regional in the same event when she raced to a third place finish in 49.34 to place behind Macke and Carol Weatherford.
"(The leg injury) causes me pain after practice. Mentally I have to prepare myself to ignore the pain ( in races)," said Barnett. "I'm really looking forward to regionals, I've never been there before. I just want to be as prepared as possible."
Barnett, who placed seventh in last year's event, cut more than four seconds off her time from last year's sectional run, a fact that she attributes her offseason regimen to improving.
"I really dedicated myself during the summer," she noted. "I worked really hard and pushed myself to improve. The coaching staff has done a great job too."
Northview girls track coach Geoffrey Wayton commented on Barnett and his team's work in the sectional.
"I can't be more proud of these kids," Wayton said. "We hit our season bests in almost every event. For Barnett to make regionals is great. She's really had a breakthrough season. 'Tasha has made some great strides."
Northview also got a strong effort from regional veteran Emily Pugh who qualified for the regional level in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, but will concentrate on just the 3,200. Pugh raced from a sizable deficit in the last couple of laps in the 1,600 to nearly overtake Terre Haute South's Kate Goeller while Kayla Alexander won in 5:22.40. Pugh finished just nine-thousandths of a second behind Goeller.
In the 3,200 meters Pugh battled in a side-by-side race with Ariel Hall for much of two late laps before creating a gap and attempting to chase down Alexander who took off quick and hard early, surging out to a strong lead just a few laps into the race. Pugh wasn't quite able to overtake the Patriots' distance runner, but placed second in 12:10. "I felt a lot better in the conference meet," admitted Pugh. "I didn't feel as energetic today. But at the regional I'll be fresh for the two mile (after not running the 1,600)."
Barnett wasn't the only injured Knight competing in sectionals as Ashley Davis battled through a turned ankle midway through the discus event in which she placed third. The injury was too much to overcome in the shotput where she placed eighth. However, with her throw of 107-11 1/2 in the discus she will move on to the next level.
The Eels also had a thrower advance as Kasey Waite used a big throw in the discus finals to place fourth with a throw of 100-11 1/4 to make regionals. South's Ruthie Lewis placed first in both the shot (37-11) and discus (115-2).
Freshman Hannah Moore will also move on to regionals by placing fourth in the 800 meters for the Eels. Her time of 2:31.76 was nearly four seconds faster than her seeded time. Adriane Wunderlich of the Braves won the event in 2:16.90 ahead of Julia Costello of South Vermillion.
Clay City also advanced their 4X100 relay team as Danielle Steiner, Narlock, Andrea Ladd and Moore combined to run a 53.70 to place third behind North's 51.03 and South's 52.20.
Terre Haute North, who had been beaten in the MIC conference meet, Big 4 meet and in a dual meet by the South Braves, got the ultimate revenge by winning the sectional race by a team score of 177 to 162 with Sullivan in a distant third with 58, Linton was fourth at 54.5 with Northview in fifth. West Vigo, Clay City, South Vermillion, Riverton Parke and North Central rounded out the field.
Afterwards, Northview coach Wayton commented on his team's effort. "We had a lot of fifth places tonight. A lot of the little stuff came through. With just 14 girls on the team, we just ran out of steam, but I'm really proud of the effort we gave tonight."
Terre Haute North Girls Track Sectional
Girls Team Results: Terre Haute North 177, Terre Haute South 162, Sullivan 58, Linton-Stockton 54.5, Northview 53, West Vigo 43.5, Clay City 39, South Vermillion 20, Riverton Parke 7, North Central 7
3,200 R -- T.H. South, 10:23.94, T.H. North, 11:00.16, Linton, 11:06.69, Sullivan, 11:11.73, West Vigo, 11:26.75
100 -- Hutson (THN) 13.10, Exline (Sl) 13.2, Seat (Ln) 13.44, Weeks (THN) 13.53, Harris (THS) 13.73
100 H -- Moore (Sl) 15.37, Macke (THN) 15.95, Harris (THS) 16.41, Thompson (THN) 16.64, Barnett (Nv) 16.93
200 -- Hunt (WV) 26.87, Seat (Ln) 27.39, Weeks (THN) 27.70, Price (THS) 1:01.04, Seat (Ln) 1:02.54
1,600 -- Alexander (THN) 5:22.40, Goeller (THS) 5:27.10, Pugh (Nv) 5:27.19, Hall (THS) 5:39.82, Claretto (THN) 5:57.75
400 R -- T.H.North, 51.03, T.H. South, 52.20, Clay City (Ladd, Moore, Narlock, Steiner) 53.70, Sullivan, 53.88, Northview (Leslie, Thomas, Barnett, Scroggins) 53.91
400 -- Moore (Sl) 58.27, Carrick (THS) 1:00.82, Hutson (THN) 1:00.91, Weeks (THN) 1:01.04, Seat (Ln) 1:02.54
300 H -- Macke (THN) 46.34, Weatherford (THN) 48.41, Barnett (Nv) 49.34, Harris (THS) 49.63, Bucy (THS) 49.77
800 -- Wunderlich (THS) 2:16.90, Costello (SV) 2:23.05, Twitchell (THS) 2:30.81, Moore (CC) 2:31.76, Gennicks (Ln) 2:45.64
3,200 -- Alexander (THN) 11:56.28, Pugh (Nv) 12:10.08, Hall (THS) 12:20.62, Hamilton (THN) 12:38.71, Fuhrmeister (THS) 12:42.75
1,600 R -- T.H. South, 4:09.49, Sullivan, 4:12.78, Linton, 4:21.54, T.H. North 4:24.01, Northview (Barnett, Leslie, Hunter Smith) 4:31.05
LJ -- Hutson (THN) 17-2, Moore (Sl) 17-2, Dorsett (THN) 15-11, Fuhrmeister (THS) 15-2, Scroggins (Nv) 15-1 1/2
HJ -- Macke (THN) 5-3, Narlock (CC) 5-2, Liebler (THN) 4-10, Gaither (Ln) 4-10, Beard (Ln) 4-10
Disc -- Lewis (THS) 115-2, Haraburda (SV0 113-3 1/2, Davis (Nv) 107-11 1/2, Waite (CC) 100-11 1/2, Purnell (THS) 97-10
SP -- Lewis (THS) 37-11, Purnell (THS) 35-1 1/2, Roselli (THN) 34-4 3/4, Dorsett (THN) 34-4 1/2, Liechty (CC) 33-9
PV -- Price (THS) 9-0, Hutson (THN) 9-0, Thompson (THN) 8-6, Carrick (THS) 8-0, Desanto (WV) 7-0