Three track athletes win titles; 10 total on to state

The ten local athletes that advanced to the IHSAA boys track and field state finals — Will Smith (Jasper), Jaden Hayes (Southridge), Garrett Voegerl (Southridge), Mitch Kaiser (Jasper), Easton Bair (Jasper), Drew O'Neil (Jasper), Jackson Miller (Jasper), Raife Milligan (Jasper), Reece Milligan (Jasper) and Grant Lashley (Heritage Hills).

From Herald Staff Reports

It was a big night for several local track and field stars at Thursday night’s IHSAA regional meet at Evansville Central High School.

Seven total Jasper athletes, two Southridge competitors and one Heritage Hills’ runner advanced to next weekend’s IHSAA State Finals at Indiana University.

The Wildcats advanced to the state finals in five different events.

Will Smith continued his dominating season with a regional championship victory in the 800m run with a time of 1:59.55. Heritage Hills’ Grant Lashley also advanced to the state finals in this event as he placed second with a 20:00.60.

Southridge also had a pair of individual regional champions. Garrett Voegerl took home first place in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 7 inches.

Jaden Hayes also continued to roll over the competition in the discus as he was a regional champion with a distance of 157 feet and 11 inches. Hayes’ distance was one of the top ranked marks in all of Indiana.

Some of the events that Jasper did the most damage in were the relays. The Cats placed second in the 4x400m relay as Raife Milligan, Mitch Kaiser, Will Smith and Reece Milligan helped lead Jasper to state with a time of 3:25.59.

The Cats’ quartet of Drew O’Neil, Reece Milligan, Jackson Miller and Drew Smith also paced Jasper to state in the 4x800m relay with a time of 8:07.44.

The 4x800m relay wasn’t the only event that O’Neil advanced in — he also ran an impressive time of 9:58.83 to place third in the 3200m run and move on to the IHSAA state tournament next weekend at IU.

Easton Bair also qualified for the state tournament as his time of 22.90 in the 200m dash was the third best time out of all of the Evansville Central regional participants.

Overall, New Albany was the regional champion with 83 total points but Jasper had an impressive showing as they placed fourth overall with 46 total points. Southridge placed 12th (21 points), Heritage Hills was 14th (18 points) and Forest Park finished 22nd (7 points).

The boys’ state finals will take place next Friday at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex at Indiana University beginning at 3 p.m.

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