Cats cruise to third consecutive sectional crown

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Jasper seniors dumped gatorade on head coach Kevin Schipp after winning the boys track and field sectional title for the third consecutive year in Jasper on Thursday. The Gatorade has become a tradition, and Schipp said he “knew it was coming.” For more photos from the meet, click here.


JASPER — After a long, eventful night that included a rain delay due to an earlier passing thunderstorm and an issue with the timing system, a sectional champion was finally ready to be crowned.

When the Jasper boys track and field team heard the official announcement that they were the 2018 IHSAA Sectional Champs, they knew there was one thing they had to do — douse head coach Kevin Schipp with a cooler of Gatorade.

“It’s fun, it’s a tradition that we’ve had for awhile and it’s alright if we keep doing this,” said Schipp following the Cats third consecutive sectional championship. Jasper took home the title with 167 points, Heritage Hills finished second with 103 points, Forest Park was third with 74 points, Northeast Dubois placed fourth with 63 points and Southridge came home fifth with 56 points.

Jasper was able to tally up a lot of points quickly by placing multiple athletes in top three positions in several events. In the 100m dash, Malik Chatman and Easton Bair finished first and second while in the 200m dash they swapped roles with Bair placing first and Chatman coming home second. Chatman also advanced to regional for the long jump as he placed second with a distance of 21 feet and five and a half inches. In the 300m hurdles Chris Backer placed first while Sam DeWitt, who was recovering from an injury that kept him out of last week’s Big Eight Conference meet, took home third place. DeWitt also advanced to regional in the 110m hurdles which he placed first in with a time of 14.81.

Schipp said that when Jasper was able to score points in bunches like that, it showed how much depth the Wildcats have as a team.

“Pulling those big points is huge and we had some depth in events which really helped us in the middle area of the meet,” Schipp said. “People stepped up and did what they were supposed to do and that’s what you want out of guys.”

Heritage Hills’ Noah Hufnagel led Tell City’s Leo Simpson and Jasper’s Drew O’Neil in the 3200 meter run and would end up winning the race. Hufnagel and pole vaulter Jacob Luebbehusen, who broke a school record with a mark of 13 feet and six inches, were the two sectional champs for the Patriots. For more photos from the meet, click here.

Other Wildcats advancing to next week’s regional at Evansville Central are the 4x800m, the 4x400m and the 4x100m relay teams, Jackson Miller placed third in the 1600m run, Reece Milligan was victorious in the 400m dash, Will Smith was first in the 800m run, Joe Wood finished in the pole vault (personal best of 12 feet), Jadon Mehringer placed second in the shot put and Cole Weyer took home second in the discus.

Schipp believes that the Cats have upped their intensity as the season has progressed and expects to see more of that from his competing athletes at the regional.

“We train hard all year to be able to go to the big meets and handle that pressure which is something we’ve improved on over the last five or six years,” Schipp said. “These kids want that competition and in the postseason they’ve stepped up.”

Coming in second place was Heritage Hills who will be sending several athletes to the regional — all three relay teams, Mitchell Hopf placed second in the 1600m run and third in the 3200m run, Kaden Feldpausch finished third in the 400m dash, Noah Hufnagel was victorious in the 3200m run and Jacob Luebbehusen broke a school record by placing first in the pole vault with a mark of 13 feet and six inches.

Patriot head coach Pete Lashley was happy with how well his team did and is excited to see how well that the Jasper sectional will be represented at next week’s regional.

“All three relay teams advanced to regional and I think that shows our team’s strengths and our team’s depth,” Lashley said. “When you see all of the sectionals piling up into the Evansville regional, you realize this is a really talented sectional.”

Forest Park finished third overall with 74 points as they will send several athletes to next week’s regional — the 4x400m relay team placed third, Garrison Tretter placed second in the 400m dash, Trenton Bays came home second in the 300m hurdles and Andrew Schuler in both the shot put (first place) and discus (third place).

Northeast Dubois’ Tristan Myers, left, Southridge’s Jude Songer and Jasper’s Malik Chatman competed in the 100 meter dash during the boys track and field sectional in Jasper on Thursday. Chatman would go on to win the event with a time of 11.27. For more photos from the meet, click here.

Ranger head coach Philip Wolf was also happy with the performances of guys such as Ben Becher who isn’t the team’s usual long jumper but still placed fifth with a jump of 20 feet and Dustin Luebbehusen who placed seventh in the 3200m run with a personal best time of 10:26.82.

“We had some really great performances today,” Wolf said. “Even though some of the guys on the track no matter what I’ll still be proud of you.”

Northeast Dubois placed fourth overall with 63 total points and will be sending a few individual athletes to the Evansville regional — Jeb Knies placed second in the 800m run and Alan Kerstiens finished second in the 110m hurdles and third in the long jump.

Jeep head coach Vic Betz knew that Northeast Dubois wouldn’t necessarily be in contention to win the sectional championship but was well aware that they could potentially send several athletes to next week’s regional and they were able to accomplish that goal as well as some other goals.

“We came in here not really in the picture of winning it all so we tried to change some things around a bit and some of that was for the better, some not,” Betz said. “We did have a lot of personal bests tonight and you always have to feel good about those. Our distance guys came through tonight and Alan just was on tonight in both the hurdles and in the long jump. Overall, I was pretty pleased.”

Southridge placed fifth overall with 56 points but will be sending four individual athletes to the regional — Garrett Voegerl who was the sectional champion in the high jump, Jaden Hayes who won the sectional crown in discus, Brad Springer who placed second in the pole vault as well as Mitchell Carter who came home third in the shot put. Hayes and Carter also both advanced to regional last season.

Raider head coach Scott Buening was extremely impressed with both Voegerl and Springer. Voegerl was seeded at six feet two inches which he had reached numerous times throughout the season but ended up clearing six feet six inches for the crown and narrowly missed an attempt at the Southridge school record of six feet and eight and a quarter inch.

Southridge head coach Scott Buening congratulated Garrett Voegerl after Voegerl broke his personal record by three inches in the high jump at the boys track and field sectional in Jasper on Thursday. Voegerl went on to win the competition with a height of 6’6’’. For more photos from the meet, click here.

Springer’s personal best before tonight was 10 feet and six inches in the pole vault but after continuous work with pole vault coach Steve Rust, Springer continued to improve and ended up placing second with a mark of 12 feet and six inches to advance to regional.  

“I was really pleased with our performances tonight,” Buening said. “We had numerous personal bests along with two event champions and four total moving on to regional which is great.”

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