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High Schools

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Sara McKeeman of Carroll, the defending champion in the pole vault, cleared 12 feet, 9 inches to place second. Her height broke the school record by 3 inches.
Girls state track & field

Cadets senior doubles fun

Sets record defending 300 title, wins 100; Northrop finishes 4th

Photos by Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Symone Black of Concordia clears the final hurdle as she defends her 300-meter state championship in record fashion in Bloomington on Friday. Black also took first in the 100 hurdles.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Northrop’s Amber McGee, left, gets the baton from teammate Breanna Phillips in the 1,600 relay. Northrop won the event in 3:49.73.

– Symone Black defended her 300-meter hurdles state girls track title Friday at Indiana University in record fashion.

The Concordia senior finished in 41.36 seconds to break the previous 300 hurdle record of 42.03.

“I didn’t know I had run that fast,” Black said. “I thought I would break it by a couple hundredths (of a second). I surprised myself. Last race of my high school career, so I was going to go all out.”

The Purdue recruit also won the 100 hurdles in 14.17.

“It was great because last year I didn’t run well in the 100,” said Black, who finished third in the event last year. “So coming back in my senior year, I didn’t have another year for a redo.

“I just knew I had to work for it because I knew it would be a close race, so I went out and gave it my all in my last high school meet. Usually, I was more worried about who was in the race and everything else, instead of just running the race that I wanted to run. I was just focusing on the hurdles and nobody else around me, just sprint.”

Northrop failed to defend its team title as Lawrence Central won with 47 points. The Bruins were fourth with 28.

Northrop still made some noise in the final race of the meet with a state championship in the 1,600 relay.

The team of Amber McGee, Breanna Phillips, Latrice Bolton and Victoria McCuiston won in 3:49.73, just a couple of seconds off the state record of 3:47.37. The Bruins came into the event seeded fourth at 3:59.40.

“If we can’t be in the mix for a team title, at least we can make it exciting at the end,” Northrop coach Terry Milton said. “I told them nobody was expecting us to win the (1,600) but me. And we ran without Dejah (Arnold, the injured defending 400 state champion) and she runs a 55 flat.”

There were some near misses for area athletes to collect more titles.

Carroll’s Sara McKeeman, the defending state champion in the pole vault, finished second at 12 feet, 9 inches. The vault was six inches better than her previous best and beat the school record by three inches.

“It still stings a little bit, but I am still happy with how I jumped,” said McKeeman, who won the state title last year. “I came in here and just decided I was going to have fun with it, and I did.”

Angola’s Kennedy Trine, the top seed, finished fourth at 12-6.

Bellmont’s Holly Hankenson finished second in the 100 hurdles in 14.32 and third in the 300 hurdles in 43.50. Hankenson was also fourth in the long jump. She got a personal record in both hurdle races.

It earned her the 2014 girls track mental attitude award.

“You can’t ask for anything more than a personal best. I would say that’s a successful meet,” Hankenson said. “In both hurdles events, Symone Black was amazing. In the long jump, the girl (Evansville Bosse’s Yamani Hunter) went 19-7 3/4 , which is a fantastic jump. I can’t be too hard on myself, … because I did very well.”

North Side’s Dyamond Morris was second in the 100 and third in the 200. She got a personal record in the 100 in 11.96.

“It was a big improvement from my previous years,” Morris said. “Last year, I didn’t place as high as I wanted to, and this year I did so it’s a big accomplishment for me.”

Other state runner-up finishes came from Churubusco’s Katie Monk (discus, 148-7), McGee (200, 24.72) and Warsaw’s 400 relay team of Mariah Harter, Samantha Alexander, Audray Rich and Ann Harvuot (47.62).

Snider’s Karrina Smith (long jump, 18-6) and Fremont’s Abby Hostetler (1,600, 4:58.73)) both finished third.

gjones@jg.net

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