Anyone who watches junior Haley Goines display her varied track and field talents might wonder how an athlete could be so proficient at so many different events.
If they visited her home, or a Center Grove girls practice, they might not wonder much longer.
Goines is just one of several athletes in her family who spend time on or near the quarter-mile oval in the spring and summer. Her older brother, Christian, is a standout senior on the Trojans’ third-ranked boys team. Her younger brother, Jalen, is a freshman on that squad, and their father, Monty, is an assistant to boys coach Eric Moore.
Naturally, he also spends plenty of time coaching Haley, and she credits him for getting her started in the sport.
“I first ran track when I was 8 years old and my dad wanted me to do it,” Goines said. “We’re really close as a family, but when it comes to running, we’re pretty competitive. Christian is the fastest, for sure. Whenever we race, he’s always a hurdle ahead. He’s so tall (6-foot-5; Haley is 5-7 and said Jalen is 5-10), so he’s got that length on us.”
While Goines might not dominate her family races, she’s asserted herself quite nicely in her high school meets. She qualified for the state meet as a sophomore, running on Center Grove’s 4×100-meter relay. She also qualified for the regional in the long jump and high jump.
This gives her coach, Wes Dodson, plenty of options on where he can slot Goines into the lineup throughout the season. She sticks to her best events once the state tournament begins, but Dodson might use her in other events to help the Trojans score more in regular-season meets.
“You could honestly put her in eight events,” Dodson said. “I do try to vary it up a little bit. Long jump is really hard on the body, so we only do that in the big meets.”
Goines achieved all of those feats as a sophomore despite spending most of the season recovering from a bad ankle sprain she suffered during a church basketball league game. It sidelined her for three months.
She missed all of Center Grove’s indoor season and about the first half of the outdoor season. Dodson estimates she wasn’t 100 percent yet even in the state finals.
“If she’s healthy, the sky’s the limit.” Dodson said. “The goal is to possibly get a medal (top-nine finish) at the state meet, and I think that’s very achievable. She could do that in the hurdles, high jump or long jump.”
Goines, who says the hurdles are her favorite event “because that’s what I’m best at,” boasts a personal-best time of 15.03 seconds in the event, which she ran last summer in a USA Track & Field competition. Her best effort in the long jump is 17 feet, 5 inches, which she also did at a summer meet, and she high-jumped her personal record of 5-4 during the high school season.
She’s not sure what her track and field future will bring beyond high school, adding she’s gotten a few letters from interested colleges, but she is hungry to achieve more.
“I progressed well when I was younger, but I didn’t think I would go to state,” she said. “I just want to perform to my full potential and help the team score more points.”
Center Grove Trojans
Coach: Wes Dodson
Last year: Johnson County and Franklin Sectional champion, sixth in Metropolitan Conference; tied for fourth at Warren Central Regional
Who’s back: Valerie Clark, Rachel Chan, Emily Maynard and Kylie Falcone, seniors; Haley Goines, junior; Julia Riley, sophomore
Who’s gone: Olivia Rassel, Alysha Cheek, Taylor Hickey
Key newcomers: Allison Utterback, senior; Delsi Fraser, sophomore; Julia Falcone and Kiyah Yeast, freshmen
Outlook: With 80 girls out for the team, depth certainly shouldn’t be an issue, and defending their county and sectional titles should be a reasonable expectation for the Trojans this season.
Dodson says: “I’m very excited about this year’s team; this is the biggest team I’ve ever had. I think it’s pretty cool that Allison Utterback (sprinter) came back after sitting out a year, and Kiyah Yeast (sprinter) is going to be a great addition.”
Coach: Derrick Ball
Last year: 11th at Franklin Sectional
Who’s back: Blythe Carman, senior; Katelyn Bivens and Kierra Richards, juniors; Taylor Tatlock, sophomore
Outlook: The Lancers will look to Tatlock and Bivens, both sprinters, to make the strongest individual contributions this season.
Ball says: “We want to get (Tatlock and Bivens) under one minute in the 400-meter dash this year; both ran around 1:06 last year. Taylor also started throwing discus late in the year and made it to the sectional finals (finishing eighth), so we are looking forward to her making an impact in that as well.”
Franklin Grizzly Cubs
Coach: Tim Leonard
Last year: Johnson County, Mid-State Conference and Franklin Sectional runner-ups; tied for fourth at Warren Central Regional
Who’s back: Ally Parramore, senior; Kloie Doublin, Emma Beavins, Emma Treibic and Morgan Hoy, juniors; Megan Woods, sophomore
Who’s gone: McKinley Purdy, Kinsley Castro, Brittany Hammonds and Chayse Blackwell
Key newcomers: Gracie Ressino, sophomore; Maggie Auger, freshman
Outlook: The Grizzly Cubs lost a lot of points to graduation in the field events, but Leonard is confident they’ll be solid in the running events, barring any major injuries.
Leonard says: “We currently have 36 on the roster, and most are juniors and sophomores. We want to build on the success we had last year and try to continue that into this year.”
Coach: Blaine Williams
Last year: Third in Johnson County, Mid-State Conference and Franklin Sectional meets; seventh at Warren Central Regional
Who’s back: Krista Robinson, senior; Hanna Anderson and Olivia Weston, juniors; McKenzie McClarney, sophomore
Who’s gone: Tori Harper, Taylor Neely, Maddy Renfro, Jae Taft and Cassidy Branagan
New kids on the block: Rylie Altmeyer, junior; Janae Johnson, sophomore; Julia Arruda and Mallory Watson, freshmen
Outlook: Greenwood will have to overcome significant graduation losses, a slightly smaller roster and a lack of seniors (five on the roster), but Williams believes that deep and talented junior and sophomore classes can help fill the void.
Williams says: “I like our chances with Hanna Anderson (sprints) on this team. I feel really good about the one-two punch of Anderson and McKenzie McClarney in the sprints. We don’t have Taylor Neely after she got hurt during soccer, but she is still coming to practice every day. Her leadership is fantastic.”
Greenwood Christian Cougars
Coach: Joe Slater
Last year: Eighth in Franklin Sectional
Who’s back: Anna Simons, junior; Anna Subris, sophomore
Who’s gone: Allie Dalton
Outlook: GCA has just four girls on the team as of now, but Slater has high hopes for two of them. Simons finished fifth at the sectional in the 400-meter dash last year, while Subris took ninth in the 800.
Slater says: “Our big goal is for both of them (Simons and Subris) to advance to the regionals.”
Indian Creek Braves
Coach: Steve Fleenor
Last year: Fifth in Johnson County meet; sixth in Mid-Hoosier Conference meet; 10th at Franklin Sectional
Who’s back: Izzy Dawson and Hunter Fields, seniors; Marissa Smith, sophomore
Key newcomer: Shaelyn Biddle, sophomore; Morgan Timmons
Outlook: The Braves should be relatively deep in the distance events compared to elsewhere, with Dawson, Smith and Timmons leading the charge. Biddle will compete in sprints, and Fields will participate in the jumps.
Fleenor says: “We should be improved over last year. Our numbers are up from last year, but we’ll have to wait untii after spring break to be sure of that.”
Coach: Brandon Bangel
Last year: Fourth in Johnson County and Mid-State Conference; sixth at Franklin Sectional; 15th at Warren Central Regional
Who’s back: Kaley Brewer, Kerrigan Miller and Anika Lumpkin, seniors; Chloe Sanders, junior; Regan Emberton and Savannah Sevier, sophomores
Who’s gone: Taylor Coffman, Kathleen Schlenz, Delsi Fraser and Kailee Joseph
Outlook: The Warriors will look to Lumpkin (sprints), Miller (long jump) and Brewer (distance events) to help keep pace with their competition. They figure to be strong in the field events, with Miller, Sanders (pole vault), Emberton (throws) and Sevier (high jump) all returning.
Bangel says: “Despite losing a few key athletes to graduation and transfers (Fraser and Joseph), we hope to finish in the top half of the conference and county meets this season.”