Harvey sprints to state berths

    FORT WAYNE — Sophomore sprinter Alexis Harvey earned a second straight trip to the IHSAA State Track and Field Finals, earning second with a record-breaking time in the 200 meter dash and she took third for a state spot in the 100.
    Frosh hurdler Holly Hankenson did not have her best day, taking sixth in both the 100 and 300 hurdles, but has at least an outside shot to qualify for state if her 300 time is better than all other fourth-place finishers in the state. The BHS 1600 relay team ran an excellent race for fifth at 4:02.68, and also has a chance to to advance as the time is compared statewide.
    Bellmont finished tied for ninth as a team with 24 points, the highest total in recent years. One of the teams beaten was NHC runner-up Columbia City. Carroll took fifth and host Northrop won the area Girls Track Regional with  92 points.
    "Alexis really had a great day,," stated coach Carl Risch.
    "Her run in the 100 was a 12.41, a season's best. In the 200 she ran a great race and did break her own school record with her best-ever time of 25:03," added Risch, noting the old mark of 25.06.
    "She got beat by just a little bit by that Wayne girl (Brionna Thomas), who ran a 24.89. As far as we can tell, that is the state best so far and Alexis is just .14 behind. That's quite a performance.
    "She got a great start in both sprints. She ran strong, never gave up, and took it all the way to the finish line. She did an exceptional job. It was very impressive," praised Risch.
    The Bellmont 3200 relay team "ran respectably well. They were seeded 13th and got 12th. I can't be unhappy with that," said Risch of the 10:31, a second off of their best time. Alyssa Strickler cut three seconds off of her best time in the 800 leg and Emily Roman ran a best time. Sarah Garner and Jessica Brewer had the other two slots.    
    Bailee Hankenson went 4'10.25" in the high jump for 10th overall for BHS
    Holly Hankenson ran a 15.73 in the 100 sticks, just off of her 15.5 best time. She ran a very solid 36.56 in the 300, just one second off the state standard. Risch has checked four other regionals and her time beats fourth placers, and even some first placers, from those meets. He will know later today if Holly has earned a finals spot.
    The BHS 1600 relay squad girls brought their time back down after a disappointing 4:11 at sectional and finished fifth in an excellent field. Throughout the race the Squaws fluctuated from third to fifth.
    "The girls competed. They didn't back down from the tough competition. Every girl fought to the finish," said Risch, noting that Harvey improved on her record time in the opening leg with a best-ever 57-second lap.     "Our hope is that four gets in. It's going to be close," said the coach.
    South Adams' distance runners finished off the pace. Hannah Moore finished 13th in the 1600 and 15th in the 3200. Kristen Muselman was 16th in the 800.
    The IHSAA Girls State Track and Field Finals will be held on Saturday, June 4th, at the IU track in Bloomington.