As someone who played in The Fieldhouse the past four years, Kyle Goolsby admits it’s hard to hail from New Castle and be noticed for anything other than basketball.
Even after throwing 55 feet, 2 inches to break the Mount Vernon Sectional record and finishing second in the shot put at the Ben Davis Regional, Goolsby said people are just starting to recognize him for his accomplishments in track and field.
“It is a lot different in the sense that I don’t have 2,000 people out there watching me at meets like I do at basketball games,” he said.
Perhaps a strong finish in today’s IHSAA state meet at Indiana University will change that.
Goolsby is one of nine East Cenral Indiana athletes to qualify for the meet, joining Blackford’s Trace Oswalt (high jump), Daleville’s Dalen Beck (long jump), Delta’s Mason Bechdolt (110 and 300 hurdles) and Ryan Bickford (400), and Yorktown’s 3,200 relay team of Blake Collins, Michael Silvidi, Chris Lowry and Dan Smith.
While Goolsby’s individual goals include breaking New Castle’s school record of 58 feet and becoming a state champion, his coach, Travis Callaway, said the main focus for his thrower going into today’s competition is earning All-State honors.
“That would mean he finished top-nine,” Callaway said. “If we can lock ourselves into that in the first round, then we can do whatever we need to do to at least compete for a state title after that.”
To prepare, Goolsby said he’s been working with throwing coach Dave Allen on little details like his keeping his elbow up and proper foot placement on full-circle throws to gain an extra couple of feet.
Two other Trojan throwers have also stuck around to keep Goolsby engaged and motivated in practice and before meets. Callaway said both teammates will travel to Bloomington to lend extra help.
“It makes it a lot easier on me and it makes practices a lot less awkward with teammates being there, friends being there,” Goolsby said. “It shows a lot of support and I greatly appreciate it.”
While Goolsby’s teammates volunteered their support, Delta and Yorktown had the luxury of training with athletes also competing in today’s meet.
Bickford found out he’d be joining Bechdolt at state last Saturday, two days after the Eagles’ last qualifier was completed.
After not finishing in the top three at the Ben Davis Regional, Bickford missed the 400 meter standard of 49.55 by less than five-tenths of a seconds, forcing him to wait for results from the seven other regionals around the state. Since no one else met the standard, Eagles’ coach Josiah Parker said Bickford’s time of 50.41 was fast enough to secure one of the last three spots available at the state meet.
Much like Bickford, Yorktown’s 3200-meter relay team missed the state standard of 7:54.72 and had to wait to see about its future.
Coach Jared Turner said the Tigers’ time of 8:04.41 beat their previous best by 10 seconds, and the mark allowed them to sneak into the last possible spot in the field of 27 at the state meet.
“It was a lot like waiting for a ticket to the Big Dance,” Turner said. ‘We were sweating it out, but we’re in now, so we’ll see if we can do something.”