A year ago at this time, Kinsley Castro was going through the motions. A state qualifier in the discus as a junior, she admits she doesn’t remember much from her experience.
What the Franklin Community High School senior does recall was it all sped by pretty fast as she entered the IHSAA Girls Track and Field State Finals seeded 19th — the same place she finished.
“She got here last year, and I don’t think she was really sure if she even belonged,” Franklin coach Tim Leonard said. “Once she saw she could compete, this year it became her goal to score at the state meet.”
Castro not only scored Friday night at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex, she finished seventh to earn All-State honors and a potential invitation to this month’s Midwest Meet of Champions.
“I was trying not to fall over,” Kinsley joked after stepping down from the winner’s podium to receive her medal. “This was definitely my goal all season and to be on that podium.
“It was good to finally meet my goal.”
Last year, Castro placed 19th with a seed mark of 119-3 and a finals throw of 113-1.
“I wasn’t really competing last year, to be honest. I was just here,” she said. “This year, I went for it.”
Castro came into the state meet seeded eighth this time with a mark of 127-6. While she missed out on improving upon her regional championship throw at Warren Central last week, she kept pace and moved up a spot in the end.
Castro’s best throw was 123-9 for seventh. The winning throw was registered by Essence Henderson of Lafayette Jefferson at 151-1, with only three competitors surpassing 130 among the top eight competitors.
“I’ve been throwing around 135 all week, so it was kind of disappointing to only get 123, but I know what I have in me,” Castro said. “I’m happy with the way I handled it and was able to place. It’s OK.”
The Franklin College recruit became the girls program’s first All-State performer since 2007.
“I’m really happy she was able to achieve that goal and get it done,” Franklin coach Tim Leonard said. “She’s been working for it all year. She didn’t PR, but she did score and place, which is more important. She got on the podium.”
Castro’s teammate, Ally Parramore, finished 20th overall in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.06.
Center Grove’s Valerie Clark, who wasn’t a state finalist in the 1,600-meter run last year, had little to lose, seeded at 26th. She entered with a seed time of 5:23.14. Clark pushed herself to a 23rd finale behind a time of 5:22.62.
The Trojans’ Hailey Goines didn’t advance to the finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
Whiteland’s Kerrigan Miller struggled to match her third-place long jump leap of 18-3.75 set at regional a week ago. Maxing out at 17-1.25 during the state competition, Miller finished 16th.
The Greenwood 4×100 relay team was disqualified for being out of zone. Olivia Weston was 14th in the high jump, reaching 5-3.
In the 3,200-meter run, Greenwood Christian’s Allie Dalton finished 26th with a time of 11:48.16.