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Spring was special time for athletes from county

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Greenwood junior Jackie Kawamoto put an exclamation point on the local 2012-13 high school sports year by winning the IHSAA girls singles state championship. Photo by Steve McClure.
Greenwood junior Jackie Kawamoto put an exclamation point on the local 2012-13 high school sports year by winning the IHSAA girls singles state championship. Photo by Steve McClure.

In any given year, local teams and athletes enjoy success beyond mere winning seasons.

The 2012-13 fall, winter and spring campaign was no exception.

State championships, historic finishes and milestone achievements were all part of the Johnson County high school sports scene.

Yet the spring show was especially dazzling.


On Saturday, Greenwood junior Jackie Kawamoto closed the curtain on the 2012-13 season by winning the IHSAA girls tennis singles state championship.

Kawamoto finished the year 28-0. In the process, she became the county’s first-ever girls individual state tennis champion.

Moreover, her magical season was part of another terrific year for the school’s girls tennis team. The unranked Woodmen won their second straight sectional, regional and semistate titles and concluded their year at the team state finals.

They bowed out in the quarterfinals in a tough 3-2 match against No. 6 Floyd Central.

The spring season also was special for the Center Grove boys track team.

Senior Conner Stapleton won the state championship in the 300-meter low hurdles at the May 31 IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals. He also anchored the Trojans’ runner-up 1,600 relay team, which included seniors Quentin Eckert and Mario Swann and junior Justin Veteto.

In addition, Veteto finished second in the 110 high hurdles, nearly giving the Trojans a sweep in the hurdles events.

The efforts of Stapleton and Veteto and a fourth-place finish the 400 relay (Swann, Reckert, Max Norris and Veteto) launched Center Grove to a third-place team finish. It entered the meet ranked No. 6.

Greenwood senior Luke Bertolet, meanwhile, raced to a runner-up state finals finish in the 800 run, giving the county two second-place individual finishes in addition to a state champion.

Franklin’s Reid Abney had a podium finish with a seventh-place throw in the discus.

At the girls state track meet on June 1, Center Grove sophomore Taylor Pennington finished second in the high jump, and senior Tori Schoettmer concluded her standout four-year career with a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 run and an eighth-place effort in the 3,200.

On the baseball side of things, Franklin won its first sectional championship since 1995. And Greenwood senior center fielder Alex Krupa was selected Saturday in the 19th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

In softball, Center Grove and Greenwood were ranked No. 1 in Class 4A at various times during the season. The Woodmen wound up breaking the Trojans’ 14-year stranglehold on the county championship with a 4-1 win in the title game.

But Edinburgh provided the postseason softball highlight by winning its third Class A sectional championship in the past three years. The unranked Lancers lost 11-0 at No. 2 Rising Sun in regional final.

In all, it was an extraordinary spring for local teams and athletes, punctuated by Kawamoto’s straight-sets win in the state tennis final.

It was a fitting ending to another special year.

Rick Morwick is the sports editor of the Daily Journal. Send comments to rmorwick@dailyjournal.net.

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