NEW HAVEN—Shocking results from the opening event of the IHSAA girls track sectional Monday night have propelled the Bellmont Squaws into a top three team position heading into the rest of action tonight at Bluffton High School.
Twelve teams are entered in the Bluffton sectional but since the Tigers don't have a pole vault pit at their school, IHSAA officials decided to hold that event a night early at New Haven and the story of the night was a huge personal best performance by Bellmont's Megan Schueler that will guarantee her a visit to the regional competition a week from tonight at Northrop High School.
For the majority of the season, Bellmont has traditionally not been strong in the field events but on Monday night, Schueler cleared 9'0 which was good enough for third place out of nine participants. The amazing feat for Schueler was that her previous best pole vault this year was 8'0, thus giving her an additional one foot.
Her effort also provided the Squaws with six team points.
Schueler was seeded fifth entering the sectional in the pole vault and she finished behind Emerald Eviston of Homestead, the winner at 11'6, and Darlene Lambert of New Haven at 9'6.
Bellmont added three more team points as Rachel Klingensmith claimed sixth place and three individual points to give the Squaws nine team markers. New Haven leads the sectional after the one event with 12 points (second and fifth) but has little depth in the running events and Homestead is second. Klingensmith tied her season best leap of 7'6.
"Did I see Megan's performance tonight coming? Yes and no," commented Bellmont coach Carl Risch. Risch said "Megan certainly looked capable of jumping this well early in the season but she missed a lot of meets in the middle of the season with some nagging injuries. She came back then just last week at the NHC meet and although she didn't score in ninth place, she tied her previous season best of 8'0."
The top four placers in each event move to the regional at Northrop High School a week from tonight against the top four from the Marion, Northrop and East Noble sectionals. The top four from the regional (plus any individual or relay teams who beat the state standard in their event) will race at the IHSAA State Finals at the Indiana University track in Bloomington.