Party like it's 1982: Southridge ends drought

Photos by Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
After winning the IHSAA girls track and field sectional title, the Southridge girls track and field team celebrated by spraying their coach Ted O’Brien with water at Perry Central High School on Tuesday evening. The Raiders hadn’t won the sectional title since 1982 and ended Jasper’s streak of seven straight sectional championships. For more photos from the meet, click here.


LEOPOLD — The Raiders made history on the track Tuesday evening, as the Southridge girls track team scored 128 overall points to win the school’s second ever sectional title in girls track and field. The last time the Raiders found themselves with the winner’s plaque was in 1982.

Southridge coach Ted O’ Brien said at the beginning of the season that this year’s campaign was about taking that next step for the team. While it is difficult to match the depth of some of the teams they have faced this year, O’Brien said the team chased history all season long and went above and beyond in terms on fulfilling the goals they set for themselves during the spring — winning their home invitational, the conference meet and now, the sectional title.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “We knew we had a shot tonight coming into it. (I’m) just really proud of our girls. These girls have been unbelievably tough when it comes to their mentality; that’s what’s given them the edge. This is a pretty special night for them.”

The Raiders were able to count on points and contributions across multiple events last evening. Kenzie Neukam (12.85) and Alexis Brady (13.13) took home the top two spots in the 100 meter dash. Neukam also won the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.48. Anna Altstadt (59.97) claimed first place in the 400 meter dash and finished second in the high jump with a distance of five feet. Grace Sickbert finished with top honors in the 100 meter hurdles (16.51) and 300 meter hurdles (49.31). Monica Steckler took second place in the pole vault, vaulting for a distance of eight-and-a-half feet. Karli Meyer placed second in shot put with her best throw going thirty four feet and five inches. And Tori Tretter placed first overall in the discus, posting a throw which measured 111 feet and five inches. Southridge also placed second in the 4x100 (50.82), and earned third place in the 4x400 (4:20.60) and the 4x800 relay (10:46.55).

Southridge seniors Karli Meyer, left, and Tori Tretter celebrated winning the IHSAA girls track and field sectional title with their teammates on Tuesday evening. Tretter was the sectional champion in the discus with a distance of 111 feet and five inches while Southridge also placed first in five other events. For more photos from the meet, click here.

The Jasper Wildcats took second place overall with 121.5 points, narrowly missing what would have been their eighth straight sectional title.

Alyssa Skorge finished first in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:23.67. Skorge also finished third in the 800 meter run, posting a time of 2:33.10. Zoe Biggs finished third in the 200 meter dash (26.96) and the long jump (15 ft., 8 in.) Kelsea Skorge took second place in the 3200 meter run (12:26.75). Olivia Biggs finished tied for third place with Forest Park’s Clarissa Weyer in the pole vault with a height of eight feet. Erin Lyons took second place in the discus with a throwing distance of 109 feet and one inch. The Wildcats also took first place in the 4x100 (50.76) and second place in the 4x400(4.19.46) and the 4x800 (10:30.11) meter relay.

Jasper coach Dean Jerger said the meet was an up-and-down affair for the team. He felt that there were some events where the girls did not score as high as he had expected, but there were other areas where some of the athletes were able to recover the points. But he didn’t take anything away from the Raiders.

Jasper's Hannah Love hugged teammate Zoe Biggs after the pair along with Haley Love and Aliyah Schwenk won the 4x100 meter relay during the IHSAA girls track and field sectional at Perry Central. Even though the Cats bid for an eighth straight sectional championship fell short, Jasper still placed first in several events including this relay along with Alyssa Skorge winning the 1600 meter run. For more photos from the meet, click here.

“It was kind of a ‘yo-yo’ type night,” he said. “There were some events early on where we didn’t score what we were supposed to, then later on we picked it up. There were some bright spots, but Southridge had a better team and had some great athletes. They deserved to win.”

Forest Park was able to take home a top-three finish, as the Rangers finished third overall with ninety-three and a half points. Ranger coach Emily Hauser knew the team faced a tough challenge in competing this season with a smaller team, but her girls proved more than able to handle the challenge. Hauser believed her team could earn a top-three finish in sectional and the Rangers answered her faith in them on Tuesday evening.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Hauser. “I took 17 girls down there and we scored ninety-three and a half points against two pretty large schools. It took all of us; everyone contributed. I’m really proud of all of them.”

Clarissa Weyer finished third in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 17.32. Claire Mehling finished first overall in the 3200 meter run (12:18.52), and second in the 1600 meter run (5:32.26). Brandee Johannemann took second place in the 300m meter hurdles (50.42). And Kylie Hasenour took first place in the pole vault with a height of nine feet six inches.

Heritage Hills finished fourth overall with 85 points. The Patriots took top honors in the 4x400 (4:13.66) and 4x800 (10:21.23) meter relays. Elizabeth Williams took second place in the 100 meter hurdles (16.69). Kiersten Schuler (1:01.38) and Kerragan Mulzer (1:03.90) took second and third place respectively in the 400 meter dash. Jenna Burns finished second in the 200 meter dash (26.87). Madison Hagedorn finished third in the 3200 meter run with a time of 12:58.79.

“I’m really happy with what the girls did,” said Heritage Hills coach Dawn Mix. “There were a lot of personal records tonight. I know we only got fourth place, but overall I’m pleased with everyone’s performance.”

Northeast Dubois finished in sixth place with 39 points overall. Jeeps coach Tammy Schulthies was focused on getting as many of her girls to qualify for regional as she possibly could but she said that this sectional experience was good for her young team.

“We were hoping to get someone to regional, and we did that with Heidi (Sander) in the long jump,” she said. “We have some strong individuals, but we don’t have the depth. Most of them are young, so I think the next couple of years we’re going to see a different team.”

Forest Park's Clarissa Weyer competed in the 100 meter hurdles during the IHSAA girls track and field sectional at Perry Central on Tuesday. Weyer placed third with a time of 17.32 while the team placed third as a whole with 93.5 points. Claire Mehling (3200m run) and Kylie Hasenour (pole vault) were sectional champs for the Rangers. For more photos from the meet, click here.

Sander finished second in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet, eight-and-a-half inches. Sander also finished fourth in the 100 meter dash (13.42).

As for the rest of the results: South Spencer finished in fifth place with 48 points, Perry Central finished seventh with 38 points, Shoals took eight place with 25 points, Loogootee finished in ninth with 24 points, and Tell City finished in tenth place with 21 points.

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