Trojans sweep Columbus North Invitational

COLUMBUS

Josh Hall has taken a liking to the Columbus North track and field venue.

Last year, Hall went a personal-best 14 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault at the Columbus North Sectional. Then Saturday, the Center Grove senior went 15-9 to set a school record and win the competition to help the Trojans to the team title at the Columbus North Invitational.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” Hall said. “I kind of like how the pole vault is out of the way a little bit, and they have two runways, so we can get a nice tailwind going.”

Hall finished seventh at state last season at 15-0. But the Indiana University recruit struggled to get that high this indoor season and early in the outdoor season.

Saturday, he went for a stadium record 16-1½, and just missed on his first of three attempts.

“Indoor season was not great for me,” Hall said. “The past three weeks, I’ve been working really hard with my coaches, and I just came in with mindset that today was going to be my comeback meet, and I really need to get back to my original self.”

Center Grove swept the boys and girls competitions. The fifth-ranked Trojan boys scored 161½ points to 116 for runner-up Columbus North. Center Grove’s girls outscored Chicago Whitney Young 154-109½.

“We pretty much did what we thought we could do,” Center Grove boys coach Eric Moore said. “It’s always a shot in the dark when the weather’s been as bad as it’s been, and then you have a nice day like this. I think we’re a little bit tired because we’ve been training pretty hard, and this is one of those meets I try to train through.”

Christian Goines won the high jump (6-2) and 110-meter hurdles (14.72 seconds), and Grant Mason took the 100 (11.15) and 200 (22.20) to lead the Trojan boys.

Russ Yeast, Trevor Hohlt, Titus McCoy and Mason won the 4×100 relay (42.89). Logan Bontrager, Hohlt, Matt Gleaner and Tyler Boyer took the 4×400 relay (3:25.62).

“I thought Grant Mason was awesome today,” Moore said. “Christian Goines in the hurdles and high jump was awesome today. Our long jumper (Travis Roehling) popped off a good one. Our relay teams maybe outperformed what I anticipated because it’s the first time our 300 hurdlers were running relays. It was a great run in the (3,200) by the (Adam) Russell boy. It was just a good day.”

Haley Goines led the Trojan girls with wins in the high jump (5-2) and 100 hurdles (15.25). Deanna Dillworth took the 400 (1:04.04).

Allison Utterback, Goines, Julia Riley and Kiyah Yeast captured the 4×100 relay (49.45).

“I’m really, really pleased with the girls,” Center Grove girls coach Wes Dodson said. “They did a great job today. We did a good job of being competitive everywhere, which is great.”

Whiteland finished fifth in the boys meet with 67 points and seventh in the girls meet with 28½. Ryder Emberton swept the boys shot put (54-9) and discus (171-9).

The Warriors were a late entry to the meet after Broad Ripple dropped out last week. After Whiteland’s Thursday meet with Franklin and Southport was canceled, coach Brandon Bangel contacted North about filling the open spot.

“We didn’t have everybody because some kids had work, but I was really pleased for the most part with the results,” Bangel said. “We had some good performances, especially in the field events.”

Jake Perry, Lance Parson, Chad Shuster and Preston Phillips finished third in the 4×100 relay.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.