Squaws dominate at Franklin; SAâ€™s McIntire shines in mile
THE BEST...HANDS DOWNâ€”Bellmontâ€™s 4 X 400 Relay team (no particular order) of Holly Hankenson, Alyssa Strickler, Bailee Hankenson, and Emily Gunsett celebrated with a handstand Friday night. The Squaws peformed admirably in the Franklin Central Invitational, a special meet with only three events but comprised of only the fastest relay teams in the state. (Photo provided)
INDIANAPOLIS—The Bellmont Squaws served notice to other teams from across Indiana Friday evening they intend to be a force to be reckoned with at the IHSAA state finals in July as they won two of the three events staged at the invitation-only Franklin Central Flashes Showcase.
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The Squaws won both relay events on the night breezing to victory in the 4 x 800 relay with a time of 9:28.16 (winning by over 12.5 seconds) and then posted a 2.51 second triumph in the 4 x 400 relay with a 4:03.23 finish.
The Franklin Central event includes only the top talent from the state of Indiana and those involved must have met a certain time this year. For example, teams in the 4 x 800 had to have recorded a time of 10:15 or better while the 4 x 4 relay had a standard of 4:20.
"We either have the best time in the state this year now in both events or we are very close to it. We'll get some attention with this effort," lauded Bellmont coach Carl Risch.
Bellmont started the track season ranked 14th statewide but after successfully defending their indoor small school state track title, the Squaws were unceremoniously dropped to 16th. Risch said he expects Friday's showing against "the bigs boys of the state (many of whom are ranked higher than Bellmont)" will have an effect on the next poll released.
The Franklin Central Showcase involved only three events with the other race being a mile run (just slightly longer than the normal 1600 meter competition).
Bellmont's Bailey Beery was in the "Miracle Mile" event and finished third out of 17 runners in her pool with a 5:13.34 clocking, a lifetime best for her and a Bellmont school record for the mile run. Beery took the lead on the second lap of the race and held it for most of the race before Sierra Lax of Columbus North (5:11.08) and Alexandra Dalton of Greenwood (5:12.00) edged past her in the final 100 meters.
To be invited to run in the mile race at Franklin Central, an athlete had to have run at least 5:15 or better this year. Beery was in the "slow" heat of the three heats run and when all times were put together she was 23rd out of 53 runners.
"I honestly believe that if Bailey had been in the fast heat that she would have gone faster and would have at least been in the top 15," Risch analyzed.