A flair for the dramatic served Center Grove pole vaulter Kylie Falcone well on Saturday.
The final two heights Falcone cleared at the Girls State Track and Field Finals at Indiana University were on the third and final attempt. The senior placed third with a best of 11 feet, 9 inches.
Falcone was one of three Johnson County athletes who earned a spot on the award’s podium. Others were Whiteland sophomore Reagan Emberton in the discus (seventh) and Center Grove freshman Kiyah Yeast in the 100-meter dash (eighth).
Overall, the cap to an impressive season for Falcone, who will attend the University of Indianapolis to continue her academic and track and field careers.
“It’s not exactly what I wanted. I wanted to get first or second, but third is still really good and I’m happy about it,” said Falcone, who made it over heights of 11 feet and 11-3 on her second attempt and cleared both 11-6 and 11-9 on her third try.
“I’m very happy with my season. I attribute my improvement from last year to (Trojans assistant) coach (Alex) Basham. He’s really pushed me this year and always had me focused more.”
Emberton’s path to the medal ceremony in her specialty began with a discus toss of 114-2. She then fouled before uncorking a personal-best of 126-7 before eclipsing it in the finals with a 127-5.
She’s confident the experience will only benefit her the final two years of her high school track career.
“I was actually calm and relaxed the whole time,” said Emberton, who like Falcone and Yeast was making her State Finals debut. “At the beginning of the year my goal was to just to get to state, and it happened.”
“I tried getting 130 (feet), but that didn’t happen. Medaling was just a bonus, and I’m proud.”
Yeast’s busy day started in the 100-meter preliminaries with her time of 12.16 seconds eighth-fastest and therefore worthy of a spot in the finals. Competing a few lanes over from Indiana girls track royalty – four time state champion Lynna Irby of Pike – the freshman presented herself well.
Yeast didn’t make the final in the 200, posting the 18th-fastest prelim time. She would anchor the Trojans’ 4×100 relay that included Allison Utterback, Haley Goines and Julia Riliey.
This quartet narrowly missed taking home medals after placing 10th in a time of 48.72 seconds (ninth-place Avon clocked a 48.70).
“I think I handled it pretty well. I was really nervous, but once it started I was fine. It was just like another race,” Yeast said. “Our relay got 10th, but we had the potential to get sixth, so we were kind of disappointed. At the end of the day, we still had a good season.”
Others in running events were Center Grove’s Goines in the 100-meter hurdles (11th), Greenwood junior Hanna Anderson in the 400 (17th) and Trojans’ senior senior Val Clark in the 1,600 (24th).
In field events, Goines took 10th in the long jump, Greenwood junior Olivia Weston 13th in the high jump, Whiteland junior Michaela Adams in the shot put (18th) and her Warriors teammate, Chloe Sanders, in the pole vault (20th)
Emily Sonderman, a freshman at Roncalli whose family resides in Johnson County, finished 16th in the long jump.