While the storm clouds gathered Thursday, Lincoln and Richmond track-and-field athletes competed in the annual dual meet between the two Wayne County schools at the RHS Lyboult Field track complex.
And in the end, before the weather worsened, each school had earned a team victory, with Lincoln’s girls edging the host Red Devils 61-59, and the Red Devil boys posting a decisive win over the Golden Eagles 81-42.
For Richmond, seniors Ben Parrish and Antonio Blackstone dominated the boys sprint races, as Parrish took both the 100 and 200 meters, along with the long jump. He also was the first runner in the 400-meter relay foursome which won for the home team.
“I was happy to win the races, and at this point in the season, I hope to lower my 100 and 200 times, and really focus on the long jump, because I think I can make state in that event,” Parrish said after the meet.
He recorded a distance of 20-2 in the long jump Thursday, bettering strong efforts from Lincoln’s Ben Singer (second) and Tyler Brown (third).
Blackstone held off Golden Eagle standout Evan Underwood in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle races.
“I feel like I’m getting better in this senior season,” Blackstone said. “I think I am getting more confident, lowering my times, and hopefully building up my performances meet by meet.”
Strong Lincoln performances came from Underwood in winning the high jump, Houston Cornett in taking both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and Trevor Gabbard in pulling away to victory in the 800 meters.
“Trevor (Gabbard) is doing a great job, working hard, and both Cornett and Underwood were competitive in their races tonight (Thursday),” Lincoln boys track coach Tom Locke said. “But we have to get better results from some of our other runners. Those that may not win, but get us points from lower places. Our depth needs to improve.”
“Lincoln has a strong team, and I was impressed by how they ran,” said Richmond coach Ken Hittson. “I hope to continue to see improvements in our kids, both the boys and the girls, lowering times and competing well. The meet Saturday at North Central (Invitational) will be a test to see how our top athletes measure up against the strong kids from the Indianapolis area.”
Richmond concludes the home and dual-meet portion of the season at 5 p.m. Tuesday, hosting Muncie Central at Lyboult Field.
“It will be interesting how we (the boys) do against Muncie Central this time. We were close to them recently at the Marion Relays, what with the conference meet coming soon.”
For Lincoln girls coach Zac Zurwell, it was a stepping-stone night toward big meets to come for the Golden Eagles.
“It was good that we did so well against top competitions, and I’m looking forward to our girls dropping some time and trying to finish in the top two or three in the TEC (Tri-Eastern Conference).”
Thursday, senior Kayli Burke won both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles for Lincoln, while sophomore Kassidy West took the 100 meters and the long jump. In addition, the Golden Eagle girls had winning performances from Laci Burchett (high jump), Bekah Delks (shot put) and Jessie Ringwald, who crossed in a virtual tie with Kelsy Cupp in the 3,200.
Lincoln competes next in the Wayne County Relays event Tuesday night, hosted this year by TEC girls favorite Hagerstown at the school’s track complex at Cory Field.
For the Red Devil girls on Thursday, there were strong multiple-event performances from freshmen Taylor Newton and Piper Gleeson, first and second in both the 800 and 1,600 meters, plus single event wins by Chloe Conley (400), Brooklyn Taylor (200) and Sarah Richards (discus).
Plus Richmond relay teams won the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, as Taylor ran legs for both foursomes, as did Merab Murphy. In addition, running on the RHS 400-meter foursome was Tahsiah Ferguson and Lanaeya Hogg, while Conley and Stormy Carlin completed the 1,600-meter foursome.