Climate feels just right for Cats to load up on PRs

Herald Sports Writer

HUNTINGBURG — Finally, the skies cleared up.


That could be one reason for all the dynamic performances that elevated the Jasper track team past Southridge on Monday night — the Wildcat boys racked up triple digits in a dual meet for the first time in seven years in their 100-32 win and the girls doubled up the Raiders 88-44.

Jasper girls coach Dean Jerger said Monday provided the best weather his team has seen all season, and he also gave the girls Saturday off, allowing them to rest. He couldn’t settle on any specific reason the girls did so well, but he didn’t have to. His team took advantage.

“I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take it,” Jerger said, referencing the Wildcats’ numerous personal-best performances.

Among others, Kirby Ruhe and Annie Stenftenagel each registered career-best times in both the 100 and 300 hurdles; Ruhe, a freshman, won each event as Stenftenagel finished third both times.
“I always try to be in the lane next to Kirby, because she’s better than me and she always pushes me,” said Stenftenagel, a junior who also finished runner-up in the pole vault behind teammate Alex Braunecker. “I feel like when I PR, she PRs, and when she PRs, I always PR.”

Ruhe, who finished in 17.4 in the 100 and 52.0 in the 300, called the latter essentially a 400-meter race with hurdles, indicating it’s a completely different race than the 100.

Also for Jasper, Darian Mehne seized the top spot in the 100, 200 and long jump, Hannah Welsh raced to wins in the 1,600 and 3,200 and the Wildcats grabbed the 400 relay (Karlie Eckert, Ally Metzger, Hannah Sibrel, Mehne) and 1,600 relay (Maria Baer, Erin Leinenbach, Laura Renner, Haley Kilian).


Southridge’s Morgan Meyer recorded a personal-best throw in winning the discus (125 feet, 8 1/2 inches) and also took the top spot in the shot put. Aubrey Main (800, high jump) and Kadie Dearing (400) also provided individual wins for the Raiders, who collared first in the 3,200 relay (Main, Casey Lamb, Jayme Lindauer, Madison Mundy).

Pointing out those individual performances on a day when Jasper swept four events was important.
“We definitely highlight what they do best, and bring them up on that,” Main said. “If they do something else that’s not as good, if they have a bad day in one of their events, we let them know that they did good in something else and bring them back up.”

“Our freshman group is really coming along,” added Southridge coach Elaine Main, whose team was without freshman Taylor Neukam, who typically competes in four events but was sick.

“Kadie Dearing had an outstanding day today, she’s running against seniors every week — week in and week out and competing with them — so I can’t ask for any more from her.”

On the boys side, everyone chipped in, as Jasper featured eight individual winners and Southridge boasted four.

Individually for Jasper, Jacob Turner (400, pole vault) supplied two wins. Also collecting victories for the Wildcats were Austin Schmidt (100), Zach Wood (200), Connor Giesler (800), Kyle McWilliams (1,600), Reid Milligan (300 hurdles), Cory Hoffman (shot put) and Luke Foster (discus).

Jasper swept the relays: 400 (Milligan, Landon Jeffers, Wood, Schmidt), 1,600 (Milligan, Schmidt, Kirk Stenftenagel, Wood) and 3,200 (Wood, Giesler, Gabe Grow, Milligan).


The Wildcat boys competed in different events, as Jasper coach Kevin Schipp did this to provide a jolt for a typically, hard-to-get-up-for Monday meet.

“We’re just trying to break the monotony of the season up a little bit for them,” Schipp said. “They got out there and competed.

“The kids came out and showed a lot of energy.”

Stenftenagel competed in the 200 for the first time, finishing second, as Milligan and Wood each ran an 800 for the first time in their careers in helping the Cats win the 3,200 relay.

“Apparently, I didn’t do too bad,” said Milligan, who tied for the best split in the event at 2:12 and recorded a personal-best time in the 300 hurdles at 41.0

Injuries hampered the Raiders, who were without Brandon Bayer in the night-ending 1,600 relay after he pulled his hamstring in the 300 hurdles; Cody Thompson also didn’t compete in his usual four events as a lingering ankle injury limited him to the high jump, which he won.

Also on the good side, Chase Bland (3,200), Baden Pund (110 hurdles) and Henry Steckler (long jump) notched victories for the Raiders.

“We did have some step up and really compete tonight, had some personal bests,” Southridge coach Leslie Denu said. “So I’m definitely proud of them.”

Contact John Patishnock at

More on