Pike captures team crown as locals shine at girls State track championships

Human InterestSarah BennettAmusement and Theme Parks

As the Pike Red Devils girls track squad clapped their hands in unison, the team belted out one of the top songs of 2012 in Fun.'s "We Are Young". Perhaps Queen's "We are the Champions" isn't on any of the lady Red Devils Ipods, but when you win your program's second girls track championship, you are more than welcome to sing whatever you please.

"I'm just excited for them," said Pike Head Coach De Dee Nathan. "They did such a good job this year and I am proud of them. They ran to their potential, and that is all I could have ever asked for them."

Nathan probably would have liked to have asked to have been given a clear warning on the sneak-attack Gatorade shower she received Friday night at the girls IHSAA State track and field championships in Bloomington, but the overall depth in the sprinting events which the Red Devils showed must have left her without any complaints at all.

In total Pike managed to place three in the top four spots of the 100 meter dash (Senior Morgan Yeadon finished in second with a 12.08, Junior Chelsea Yeadon finished in third with 12.20, and Sophomore Morgan Haney finished just behind in fourth with a 12.21); three in the top six of the 200 meter dash (M. Yeadon finished second with a 24.42, C. Yeadon finished fourth with a 25.07, and Haney finished sixth with a 25.16); C. Yeadon finished fourth in the long jump with a 18-02.75; and the 400 meter relay team of both Yeadons, Haney, and Senior Jasmine McFadden won the 400 meter relay with a time of 46.75.

"This was just the icing on the cake", said the Junior Chelsea Yeadon about the Red Devils taking the 400 meter relay race. And then of course, she screamed the Red Devils were going to Disney World.

Though the Yeadon sisters finished with impressive performances, individual-wise the day belonged to Westview Senior Skyler Carpenter. For the second year in a row Carpenter competed like a woman among girls, defending all three of her State championships from 2011 with blue ribbons in the long jump (18-10.5), 100 hurdles (14.13), and the 300 hurdles (42.20).

"I just feel so blessed," said Carpenter on her accomplishment of three State championships. "I mean this happened last yearm, and for it to happen a second time, I just feel like it is a dream."

Locally Central Indiana had some stand-outs along with Pike, starting with Bloomington South Senior Hannah Acton taking the pole vault with a jump of 12-3. North Central Senior Morayo Akande joined Acton as a champion in the field events, taking the high jumping crown with an attempt of 5-8. After just clearing the bar on her final attempt on the 5-6 height, Morayo opted not to compete in the 100 hurldes and cleared 5-7 on her very first jump, and then cleared 5-8 on the third try once again.

Before the championship clinching jump Morayo talked about how she was thinking of former North Central high jumper and recently deceased Rahee Johnson, asking if he could help give her the wings to officially push her over the bar.

"On my third jump I felt it and I knew it was going to be close," said Morayo. "I think because I felt like I was going to make it, is what got me over for the jump."

The Carmel Greyhounds kicked off the events on the track in style, winning the 3,200 meter relay by over four seconds as seniors Sarah Bennett, Taylor Cotherman, Lauren Kahre, and Junior Ariel Hune won the State title with at ime of 9:14.39.

"It is such a blessing to be on this team," said Greyhounds' Sarah Bennett. "I could not have asked for better teammates, and to do it with them is just something special."

Eastern (Greentown) Junior Bethany Neeley came into the State championship meet the favorite in the 1,600 meter run, and would not disappoint by leading the entire race on her way to her first State title. Neeley had Fremont Sophomore Abigail Hostetler on her heels all race long, finishing the first three splits with times of 1:14.1, 2:31.2, and 3:46.0, before ultimately spriting away from the pack for a time of 4:53.95.

"It is definitely better than standing in second like last year," said Neeley who finished second in the 2011 800 finals. "I just feel like the hard work has paid off this year, and just the training has been so much better. It just feels great to be able to say I'm a State champion now."

Rounding out the list of champions from Central Indiana would be a sprinter defending her title as Lawrence Central Senior MonTayla Holder out-kicked Bishop Chatard Senior Maggie Bell 56.26 to 56.92 to win the 400 meter dash.

"The second-half of the race I was just trying to use the ending and just try to catch up," said Holder. "I just wanted to get my lead in and try to catch the stagger to finish the race really hard. It just feels great, I am truly blessed."

Here are the entire list of the State champions from the meet:

Pole Vault: Hannah Acton, 12, Bloomington South, 12-3.

Long Jump: Skyler Carpenter, 12, Westview, 18-10.5.

Discus: Rachel Dincoff, 12, DeKalb, 143-07.

High Jump: Morayo Akande, 12, North Central (Indianapolis), 5-8.

Shot Put: Cassie Wertman, 12, Southridge, 50-1.25.

3200 Relay: Carmel (Sarah Bennett 12, Taylor Cotherman 12, Ariel Hune 11, Lauren Kahre 12), 9:14.39.

100 Hurdles: Skyler Carpenter, 12, Westview, 14.13.

100 Meters: Brionna Thomas, 10, Fort Wayne Wayne, 11.91.

1600 Meters: Bethany Neeley, 11, Eastern (Greentown), 4:53.95.

400 Relay: Pike (Morgan Haney 10, Jasmine McFadden 12, Chelsea Yeadon 11, Morgan Yeadon 12), 46.75.

400 Meters: MonTayla Holder, 12, Lawrence Central, 56.26.

300 Hurdles: Skyler Carpenter, 12, Westview, 42.20.

800 Meters: Taylor Wiley, 12, Evansville Central, 2:11.85.

200 Meters: Brionna Thomas, 10, Fort Wayne Wayne, 24.62.

3200 Meters: Ashley Erba, 11, Warsaw, 10:24.94.

1600 Relay: Fort Wayne Northrop (Alexis Scott 10, Makelle Skelton 11, Dejah Arnold 10, Demetra Taylor 12), 3:51.45.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times