Jeeps remain on top as Wildcats return there

From Herald Staff Reports

Jasper completed the transfer of power after a couple years. Northeast Dubois remains the incumbent yet again.


In Thursday’s boys track conference meets, Northeast Dubois (172) was all alone at the top of the field with South Knox (116) a distant second as the Jeeps kept the Blue Chip title for a third straight season, while Jasper unseated two-time defending Big Eight champ Princeton on the Tigers’ home track. After last winning the Big Eight in 2014, the Wildcats reclaimed the crown with 150 points, thanks to Will Smith’s school-record run in the 800 meters plus a relay sweep. Princeton (126) finished second while Mount Vernon (81), Vincennes Lincoln (43), Boonville (33), Washington (32) and Mount Carmel (31) completed the field.

The Cats banked on shared success to capture the program’s fifth conference title overall, winning all three relays by comfortable margins. The 400 quartet of Sam DeWitt, Reece Milligan, Malik Chatman and Jacob Small hit the finish line in 44.46, which was 2.4 seconds clear of the runner-up. Milligan, Chris Backer, Elliot Prange and Noah Mehringer darted to a 10-second 400 relay win in 3:31.22, and the Cats’ 3,200 quartet (Tristan Backer, Smith, Corbin Kaiser and Jackson Miller) clocked an 8:17.02 to win by more than a dozen seconds.

The Cats broke off for solo success, too. Prange (51.38) defended his Big Eight title in the 400, and Cale Kilian (10:02.69) led Jasper’s 1-2 finish in the 3,200 ahead of teammate Drew O’Neil. DeWitt also churned out a title in the 110 hurdles (15.52) by finishing more than a second better than any other runner.

In the 800, Smith (1:58.36) settled for second place behind Princeton’s Justin Niederhaus, who came in exactly one second faster. Kilian (1,600), Chris Backer (300 hurdles) and Chatman (high jump) provided second-place finishes, and Chatman was third in the long jump with Kaiser (800), Reece Milligan (200), Raife Milligan (300 hurdles) and Cole Weyer (discus) tacked on third-place points as well. DeWitt also collected fourth in the 200 and fifth in the long jump.


At Dubois, the Jeeps won half of the 16 individual events on their home track, with North Knox (761⁄2), Barr-Reeve (62), Wood Memorial (341⁄2), Loogootee (26) Shoals (7) and Vincennes Rivet (2) filing in behind South Knox. Six Jeeps won individually to contribute to the championship haul: Tristen Myers (11.31 in the 100), Tjidsger Postmus (52.96 in the 400), Jeb Knies (2:02.96 in the 800), Logan Dodd (6 feet in the high jump), Eli Betz (11 feet in the pole vault), and Luke Fuhrman (39-01⁄2 in the shot put). The Jeeps also scurried to relay wins in the 400 (Myers, Alex Harder, Dodd, Stone Wright) and the 1,600 (Betz, Knies, Wright, Postmus). The Jeeps also picked up second-place showings from Myers in the 200, Knies in the 1,600 and Alan Kerstiens in the 300 hurdles.

In the Pocket Athletic Conference meet at Tell City, Forest Park’s Garrison Tretter (400) and Zach Cline (discus) reeled in conference titles individually while the host Marksmen swiped the team title with 1321⁄2 points. Gibson Southern (90) was second and Heritage Hills (83) snagged third, with South Spencer (79), North Posey (761⁄2), Forest Park (75), Pike Central (54), Southridge (25) and Tecumseh (8) completing the nine-team field.


Cline’s top distance of 152 feet, 2 inches topped the discus field by 18 feet, while Tretter (52.42) nosed out North Posey’s David Bender by 12-hundredths of a second to rule the 400. Cline and Andrew Schuler grabbed second and third, respectively, in the shot put, and the Rangers rolled in third in the 3,200 relay with Dustin Luebbehusen, Evan Hamilton, Ben Becher and Austin Welp.

Freshman Garrett Voegerl secured Southridge’s top individual finish with his 6-foot leap in the high jump. Also for the Raiders, Jaden Hayes was fourth in the discus, Mitchell Carter earned fifth in shot put, and Treyton Hedinger and Nathanial Pendley each ran legs on Southridge’s 1,600 and 3,200 relay squads that both earned sixth.

For Heritage Hills, Mitchell Hopf sped to second in the 3,200 and merged with Noah Hufnagel, Grant Lashley and Kaden Feldpausch on the Patriots’ runner-up 3,200 relay squad. Lashley and Slade Hoffman also zipped to second and third, respectively, in the 800.

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