Times Sports Editor
BLOOMINGTON -- When Northview senior Joel Whittington stepped into the blocks for the 300-meter hurdle timed finals on Friday night at the IHSAA Boy's Track and Field State Finals at Indiana University, he was on a mission.
Whittington was seeking a state championship in the event and though he came up less than two-tenths of a second short of that goal, he came home with a new school record and some more hardware for his trophy case by placing third against a field of the state's 27 best hurdlers.
He'll also get another shot at running as a high school competitor as his third-place qualifies him for an all-star event to be held next weekend in Fort Wayne against the best from several other states.
"State champion would have been good, but a top-three and that lets me do the all-star (race), I know I've got more people to run against," Whittington said. "We go up to Fort Wayne next Friday for a practice and banquet and then run on Saturday."
Whittington raced to a time of 38.39 in the third of three timed finals races. Nathan Mueller of East Noble won the race in 38.24 ahead of Warren Central's Arq'eil Shaw (38.26). Whittington's time broke his Northview record by three-tenths of a second.
"(Running in the fast heat) helped a ton," Whittington said. "All the heats were faster. Last year I won the slow heat with a 39.2, (this year) it was a 38.6. The guy that won the slow heat was better than my previous best."
"Oh no, because I knew everyone in my heat was going to be faster," Whittington said
Whittington, who is going to Wabash College to run competitively, had some familiar competition in the race as well.
"I'm going to Wabash and so is Mueller so I've got some good competition the next four years. We've got three strong hurdlers coming in, so no shortage of competition. I'm actually the lesser hurdler coming in so I've got plenty to work on," joked Whittington.
Whittington also competed in the 110-meter hurdles where he ran the 15th-fastest time (15.16) during the preliminaries, but admitted that the race was just a tune-up for the 300 event.
"I've never really had a shot at the 110 (hurdles)," Whittington admitted. "It was a good warm-up, it was a fun race to run."
He concludes his Northview career as one of the top sprinters that the school has produced as he adds his 2011 podium finish to last year's when he placed ninth.
There were some record-breaking performances despite temperatures approaching the mid-80's on Friday afternoon.
The most notable was the stunning 1,600 meter record run by Center Grove's Austin Mudd, who blasted the final 200 meters to overcome defending state champion, Chris Walden of Carmel, to top Rudy Chapa's 1978 record (4:04.20) with a 4:03. He wasn't finished their however as he also took down the 1977 800 meter mark held by Tom Martin of Evansville Memorial. Mudd's time of 1:49.25 broke the record by nearly a full second.
Lawrence Central's 4x800 relay team broke the state meet record with a time of 7:38.62, which was three seconds better than the 2006 mark set by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.
Indianapolis North Central's Futsum Zenasellassie captured the 3,200-meters in 8:56.73, less than half a second off Chapa's 1975 record. Terre Haute North's John Mascari placed third in 9:04.68.
Bloomington South's Gabe Hull and Drew Volz defended their individual titles from last year as Hull repeated in the discus (200-5) and Volz missed fewer times overall and cleared 16-0 to edge Fort Wayne Dwenger's Dave Schipper.
Southmont senior Jonathon Christensen also repeated as a champion, clearing 6-10 to win the high jump and narrowly missed a shot at the state record as he moved to bar to 7-1 ½ and just grazed the bar in his final attempt.
In the shotput, it was Indianapolis North Central's Anthony Bradley bringing home the top spot with a throw of 62-6.
The girls' state finals will take place this afternoon, also at Indiana University.
Indiana State Boy's Track and Field Finals
* State Meet record
4x800 R -- 1. Lawrence Central, 7:38.62*, 2. FW Snider, 7:42.78, 3. Columbus North, 7:46.98, 4. Carmel, 7:49.30, 5. LaPorte, 7:50.97
100 -- 1. Nick Stoner (CG) 10.66, 2. Cornelius Strickland (Bow Acad) 10.73, 3. Quinntyn Qualls (Pike) 10.88, 4. Eric Robinson-Berry (WC) 10.89, 5. Anthony Shelman (LC) 10.90
110 H -- 1. Shane Mikesky (Zion) 13.85, 2. Marcus Safer (LN) 13.87, 3. Brett Wehmiller (New Alb) 14.21, 4. Adarius Washington (WC) 14.30, 5. Nathan Mueller (E. Noble) 14.50
200 -- 1. Nick Stoner (CG) 21.57, 2. Tyrennzie Burgess (LC) 21.76, 3. Cornelius Strickland (Bow Acad) 21.85, 4. Jarvis McMillan (Hobart) 21.96, 5. Quinntyn Qualls (Pike) 21.98
4x100 R -- 1. Lawrence Central, 41.34, 2. Ben Davis, 41.82, 3. FW Snider, 42.02, 4. Pike, 42.19, 5. Center Grove, 42.22
400 -- 1. Chris Giesting (Bate) 47.33, 2. Jarvis McMillian (Hobart) 47.73, 3. Chris Arvia (Andrean) 48.69, 4. Ryan Dickson (Zion) 48.72, 5. Kendal Frederick (FW Snider) 49.08
300 H -- 1. Nathan Mueller (East Noble) 38.24, 2. Arq'eil Shaw (WC) 38.26, 3. Joel Whittington (Nview) 38.39, 4. D'Quan Ruth (BD) 38.56, 5. Brett Wehmiller (New Alb) 38.66
1,600 -- 1. Austin Mudd (CG) 4:03*, 2. Chris Walden (Carmel) 4:08.52, 3. Connor Martin (Westfield) 4:10.03, 4. Jason Crist (FC) 4:12.06, 5. Troy Reeder (Ham SE) 4:14.71
800 -- 1. Austin Mudd (CG) 1:49.25*, 2. Mitchell Dutton (FW Snider) 1:53.85, 3. Dillon Hinen (Fair) 1:53.89, 4. Dylan Allen (Brown County) 1:54.17, 5. Colin Holtson (BD) 1:54.25
3,200 -- 1. Futsum Zeinasellasie (Ind. NC) 8:56.73, 2. Chris Walden (Carmel) 9:02.83, 3. John Mascari (THN) 9:04.68, 4. TJ Schienbein (Union County) 9:08.69, 5. James Martin (FW Carroll) 9:09.13
4x400 R -- 1. Center Grove, 3:14.40, 2. Lawrence Central, 3:14.87, 3. Zionsville, 3:18.17, 4. Pike, 3:18.44, 5. Ben Davis, 3:18.57
Discus -- 1. Gabe Hull (Bloom South) 200-5, 2. Travis Gerding (Hunt North) 184-9, 3. Langston Newton (Carmel) 183-2, 4. John Jones (Howe) 181-2, 5. Elisa Micozzi (SB Riley) 180-7
Shot -- 1. Anthony Bradley (Ind. NC) 62-6, 2. John Jones (Howe) 62-4 ½, 3. Gabe Hull (Bloom South) 61-7, 4. Kevin Harley (WC) 61-5 ¾, 5. Travis Gerding (Hunt North) 60-11
Long jump -- 1. John Alsup (Kokomo) 23-7 ¼, 2. Larry Chain (Southwood) 23-4 ¼, 3. Shawn Jackson (Ind. Manual) 22-5, 4. Dylan Anderson (Bloom North) 22-4 ¼, 5. Ray Beverly (Pike) 22-0 ¾
High Jump -- 1. Jonathon Christensen (Southmont) 6-10, 2. Kody Galloway (Chesterton) 6-6, 3. Taylor Caldwell (Laf. Harris) 6-6, 3. Austin Jamerson (Merrill) 6-6, Steven Van Dyke (FW North) 6-6
Pole vault -- 1. Drew Volz (Bloom South) 16-0, 2. Dave Schipper (FW Dwenger) 16-0, 3. Terry Batemon (WC) 15-9, 4. Chase Payne (Homestead) 15-9, 5. Jake Knight (Shelby) 15-6