JV track teams close out season with final home meet

Claire Schultz | Staff Writer

Click on the pictures to learn more about each athlete at last night’s meet. 

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

Girls Basketball The girls basketball team concluded a great season this past Saturday, falling  to Bedford North Lawrence 51-33 in the regionals. The Trojans finished 22-4 overall, which was good for second place in the MIC. They were also county and sectional champions, as well as the Columbus North Holiday Tournament champions.

Wrestling At semi-state this past weekend, Center Grove had two wrestlers come out victorious and punch their ticket to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the state wrestling finals. Brayden Littell and Peyton Pruett will wrestle in the first round of the state finals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Girls Swimming and Diving The girls swimming team also concluded their season as well this past weekend. The relay team of Gracie Marsh, Emma Pawlik, Jaden King and Devin Trammell swam a 3:39.59 to finish 22nd at the state meet, one spot better than their seed time. Diver Kenzie Mills, in her first state finals appearance, advanced to the state semi-finals, finishing 18th overall.

Boys Swimming The boys swimming and diving team will swim in sectional semi-finals this coming Thursday with finals on Saturday. Center Grove has had a great year and will go into Saturday with a chance to win the meet and can undoubtedly send multiple swimmers to the state finals.

Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin) The Trojans (13-7) are coming off a week that included a 85-41 win over Roncalli and an eleven point defeat to No. 4 Lawrence Central. This week the Trojans will look for victory at home against Mooresville (13-6) on Tuesday and on the road against North Central (5-14) on Friday. The Trojans will likely be the toughest competitor Mooresville faces until the tournament, and the Pioneers will be coming into the Vandermeer Gymnasium looking to pull off an upset. Assuming Center Grove can take care of business on Friday night, they should walk away with a road win in the conference.

Boys and Girls Track Both track teams will start their first official practice this week. It should be an amazing season as they are bringing in lots of young talent as well as returning a sprinkle of veterans such as Kiyah Yeast, Julia Riley, Makensie Kramer, Sebastian Martin, Gavin Matheson and Sam Hohlt to help compete in their first meet, Indoor MIC, on March 15.

Track athletes begin indoor season outside of school competition

Aaron Toland | Staff Writer

It is a dreadful day outside. It is certainly not the occasionally scolding spring track season; even with heavy coats and proper running attire for cold weather, one can not escape the piercing, frigid blows of Winter. Nevertheless, there are still runners anxiously awaiting their upcoming race. The runners do not have to be worried about getting hypothermia from the frigid winter abyss outside.The runners peruse the two hundred meter indoor track ahead of them with a look of total focus. This track seems oddly small compared to the four hundred meter track the runners are accustomed to.These runners are not running at a school-sanctioned event;these runners are apart of a completely different world: the USA Track and Field (USATF) program.

  USATF is the United States official governing body for track, cross country, race walking and road-running. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and represents some of the best runners in the nation: USATF runners won thirty-two gold medals in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games.

  Along with the cream of the crop, the USATF program also consists of youth sprinters and distance runners nationwide.

  Several Center Grove High School students are members of USATF and race in their indoor track program.

According to Kiyah Yeast ‘20, “ The indoor track season is usually about 4 or 5 months; it goes from December to March.”

 Doing indoor track throughout the winter allows athletes to stay in shape before the outdoor track season.

     “I run indoor track to work on speed and conditioning over the off-season. Indoor also allows me to train on a team with other guys that all want to improve and push each other,” Sebastian Martin ‘18 said.

  Echoing his sentiments,Yeast said, “ I do indoor because it is kind of a jumpstart to the outdoor season and it keeps me conditioned. I also do it for the competition.”

  Runners feel the environment of indoor track differs from the environment of the outdoor track season.

  “Indoor is a little more competitive because I run against people from out of state a lot and people in USATF are usually faster than people around the county,” Yeast said. “I don’t think it is that much more competitive though because running in the MIC almost feels like USATF because of the level of competition. Indoor USATF meets are bigger and more crowded most of the time… I like indoor track more because indoor is never too hot or too cold and sometimes you get to run on banks tracks which are really fun to run on.”

Martin said, “ Indoor track is a different environment in that people have to seek it out, so everyone who you train with and compete against is really trying to be the best; that creates a culture of healthy competition and improvement. As far as the actual events, indoor times are usually a little slower because of the tighter turns,the air is more dry with less oxygen, but running is running no matter where you do it… I prefer outdoor track because of the scale of the sport, but indoor track is all preparation for that.”

  Both Yeast and Martin have set high expectations for their own upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons.

  “ In indoor, I run the 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash individually and for the school I do the 60 and the relays. This season I expect to set multiple PRs throughout the season and make it to indoor state,” said Yeast.

  Martin said, “ I run the 800 and the mile, but I will sometimes run the 400 for foot speed training. My goal is to get close to 4:30 in the mile by the end of indoor,and set an 800 PR which would be under 2:05.”

  The launching pad that is indoor track often gives athletes an insurmountable head start over athletes who instead decided upon “taking a break” before outdoor track season starts. The elite level of competition of USATF can allow a subpar runner to become elite while elite runners can widen the gap between them and the next man up; any runner that is committed and wants to maintain peak shape or continue to get better in the offseason should consider running with USATF or any indoor track program.

  

Track Teams Turnouts

By: John Richardson

The girls track team won back-to-back sectional titles last night including individual winner Taylor Hickey in the open 800-meter run and the 4×800 relay team of Hickey, Alexa Kovacs, Morgan Wright and Rachel Chan.

Girls coach Wes Dodson said, “The girls are really hard workers and have improved throughout the year. They continue to amaze me with the dedication they show.”

The top three finishers in each event qualified for the regional, meaning CG would advance an athlete in nearly every event. The girls track team will compete next Tuesday at Warren Central in the regional, with the Top 3 finishers in each event advancing to the state meet.

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The boys track team looks to compete at a high level during their upcoming sectional track meet.

 

The goal for sectionals is clear.

 

“We have always had a goal to win state,” boys track coach Eric Moore said. “We have continued to just work hard as a program and be as close as a team that we can be.”

 

That closeness works during long practices that include an emphasis on stretching and strides and hurdles, preparing for the intensity of the competition.

 

“My goal has been to focus on continuing to run my best and make sure I left it all on the track after every race,” Jackson Hohlt, 300-meter hurdler and anchor for the 4×400 relay,, said. “I have thought of our football slogan ‘One More’ as well. Just one more race, one more second, one more place, etc. It has seemed to work so far and I am sticking with it.”

 

Moore also is keeping his eye on the state competition.

 

“I think that the boys will definitely get their shot at a state championship this year,” Moore said.

 

“I think we have a great chance at winning,” Titus McCoy, a member of the 4×100-meter relay,, said. “We all have played a huge part in the success we all have. It has been a blessing to be a part of such an amazing group of guys and a great coach.”

 

The boys sectional gets underway Thursday night at Columbus North, with field events starting at 5:30 p.m.

 

Track Season Begins with a Bang

(no pun intended)

Both the boys and girls track teams competed in the indoor MIC meet at the University of Indianapolis last night. The girls team finished in second place behind Warren Central while the boys finished in 4th. Freshman J.T Hodges turned on the jets in the last 400 meters of the 2-mile race to earn a 1st place finish in the 3200 meter run.

“J.T Hodges stole the show tonight by winning the 3200 coming right out of middle school; he’s definitely a welcomed addition to the CG track team,” Principal Doug Bird said.

Junior Grant Mason also scored big points in the 60-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 6.97.

“I got a Personal Record tonight; the MIC is home to some of the greatest athletes in the Indiana. I’m proud to be one of the bunch,” Mason said.

The boys sprinting relays showed promise for indoor state and the upcoming outdoor season. The 4×200 meter relay team consisting of  Russ Yeast, Mason, Zak Smith, and Jackson Hohlt finished 1st. Also, the 4×400 meter relay team including Logan Bontrager, Mason, Smith and Hohlt placed 2nd.

For the girls, Senior Alysha Cheek placed 1st in the shot-put with a throw of 37’3. Rachel Chan started off the season by placing 4th in the 3200 meter run, with a time of 11:58.31; a personal record by 20 seconds. Kylie Falcone helped the team by placing 2nd in pole vault with a personal record of 9’6”.  Falcone also ran on the 4×4 relay team that placed 1st with Olivia Rassel, Ashley Wheat and Julia Riley.

“It’s a different mindset, you have to learn a new strategy. Running on a relay team you can never give up no matter how hard it gets,” Falcone said.

The indoor MIC was just one meet that can qualify individuals and relays for the Indoor State Championships on March 26 at Purdue. The fastest 24 times in each event will compete for the indoor state title.