Voegerl, Hayes medal at IHSAA State Finals

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Southridge's Garrett Voegerl (left) and Jaden Hayes both got to represent the Raiders on the podium at the IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals at Indiana University by placing in the top nine of their respective events. Voegerl placed fifth in the high jump with a new personal best height of 6'8'' while Hayes placed ninth overall in the discus with a distance of 157'2''.

From Herald Staff Reports

Friday night was a special one for the Southridge boys track and field team at the IHSAA State Finals in Bloomington.

Senior Jaden Hayes and junior Garrett Voegerl both came away with medal placements as they finished in the top nine of their respective events.

Voegerl placed fifth in the high jump with a new career best height of 6’8’’ (also tied the school record) while Hayes placed ninth overall in the discus with a distance of 157’2’’.

Earlier this week, Hayes wasn’t too worried about whether or not he would medal. But after it happened, it’s safe to say the Southridge senior was rather excited.

“Just to be able to go out on a high note after all of the hard work I’ve put into this for the last three years, it just feels good,” Hayes said. “To hang up my sports career by being an All-State member of track and medal in state is really cool.”

But what made Hayes the most excited wasn’t his own personal accomplishment, it was what his teammate accomplished in the high jump.

“That kid just works so hard,” Hayes said about Voegerl. “He’s dedicated to his craft and for him to go out there in those circumstances and tie the school record, it’s just the best show someone can ask for. I know he has the potential to go out and win that thing next year as a senior.”

In his first ever state finals appearance, Voegerl admits there were a little bit of nerves at first. But thanks to coach Cody Thompson, those jitters went away rather quickly.

“He kind of helped me out by calming me down and telling some jokes,” Voegerl said with a laugh. “After I got my first jump in, the nerves went away and I just trusted my training. If anything was going wrong, I just asked Cody (Thompson) what to do and he helped me.”

Voegerl, who was seeded fifth in the event, reached his new career height and tied the school record after clearing the other jumps with relative ease.

After realizing he was going to be on the podium, he had to take a look around and realize how grateful he was to have the support of those around him.

“Celebrating with my family and my coaches that helped me throughout the whole season was just really special,” Voegerl said. “There’s been ups and there’s been downs but they’ve helped me out and it was such an amazing moment to see them in the stands celebrating with me.”

It was also a special night for Jasper senior Will Smith. Smith, who competed in the 800m run, placed 13th overall with a time of 1:56.36 — good enough for a new personal best. His seed time was 1:59.55.

Friday’s track and field meet was full of Jasper Wildcats. Easton Bair ran a 23.04 in the 200m dash to place 26th while Drew O’Neil ran a 9:57.60 to place 26th in the 3200m run — that’s a new personal best time for the Jasper junior.

The Cats also competed in two relay events — the 4x400 and the 4x800. In the 4x400, Raife Milligan, Mitch Kaiser, Will Smith and Reece Milligan placed 25th with a time of 3:29.67. The 4x800 group of Drew O’Neil, Reece Milligan, Jackson Miller and Sam Leonard placed 22nd with a time of 8:15.63.

It was also the final career event for Heritage Hills senior Grant Lashley.

Lashley finished his impressive four-year track career with the Patriots by placing 22nd in the 800m run with a time of 2:00.72, just 12 seconds off of his seed time.

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