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High Schools

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Girls track
Area regionals
At Northrop, 6 p.m.
Feeder sectionals: Northrop, Madison-Grant, Marion, New Haven
At Warsaw, 6 p.m.
Feeder sectionals: Bremen, East Noble, Rochester, Warsaw
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Homestead’s Lindley Kistler, center, won the 100-meter dash as well as the 200, 400 and the 1,600-meter relay at the New Haven girls sectional.

Spartans’ Kistler a 4-event surprise

The Homestead girls track coaching staff looked at Lindley Kistler and saw a tall, athletic girl who could do well in the high jump.

So they recruited the sophomore off the basketball team before this season.

What they got instead was a fast, multitalented track athlete with the ability to win four events. She has also set a school record.

Sometimes you just never know.

“I surprised myself a lot, and I surprised all my coaches, too,” Kistler said.

Homestead distance coach Anne Tiernon, also a physical education teacher, recruited Kistler during one of her PE classes.

“I was, like, ‘I will give it a shot and see what I can do,’ ” Kistler said. “(Tiernon) had faith in me.”

After watching Kistler during preseason time trials, indoors, the Spartans started to get a sense of what they had.

“We were, like, ‘she’s pretty fast,’ ” Homestead coach Amy Barnes said. “We just kept watching her.”

And Kistler has been in top form so far during the postseason, which continues today at the Northrop Regional.

Kistler captured victories in four events – the 100, 200, 400 and the 1,600 relay – at the New Haven Sectional.

“She was a little panicked (about) running four events at the sectional and didn’t think she could handle it,” Barnes said. “We said, ‘You have the times to move on, and that’s why we are doing it because we want to see you medal at the state meet, and you are capable of doing it.’ She was, like, ‘OK.’ ”

Kistler also won four events at the NHC meet in early May.

“There’s no questions asked, and she does what we ask of her,” Barnes said. “She doesn’t like to be beat, so she pushes herself 100 percent all of the time.

“She had some form issues early on, but we are working on that. It looks a lot better than when we started. Realistically, she has a lot to learn, but you couldn’t tell by watching her. She’s a competitor. We are just thrilled with how well she has done.”

Kistler broke the school record in the 100 at the Lime City Relays with a time of 12.15 seconds.

Kistler wasn’t totally new to running track; she did it for about three weeks during middle school. But with travel basketball and soccer taking up a lot of her time, she opted to drop track with the vow to give it a chance in the future.

“In middle school, I had never used blocks, and that was the biggest thing I worked on at the beginning of (this) season,” Kistler said of her return to the sport. “At the first couple of meets, I didn’t use blocks at all. I just worked on them in practice, and I got a lot better at them.”

Kistler has a good chance of reaching the podium at the state track meet June 6 in Bloomington.

“She doesn’t have the track knowledge to know not to go all out, and we just let her go,” Barnes said. “We wanted to see what she could do. She has shown us she can do it. She is capable.”

gjones@jg.net

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