BLOOMINGTON—Long-distance race strategy is always fascinating to watch.
Last week, at the Marion regional, the girls 3,200-meter run went out at a relatively slow pace. Somewhere around 1 minute, 25 seconds or so for the first 400 meters.
Carroll's Meagan Hathaway and Abby Green ended up with a 1-2 finish, utilizing their shorter distance speed to close the final mile and finish under 11 minutes, with DeKalb's Tyler Schwartz finishing third.
At Friday's state championship in Bloomington, the Carroll duo worked together again as Greencastle's Emma Wilson defended her title in the event.
Wilson took the lead early and didn't let up at all despite Schwartz's attempt to close the gap for the middle stages of the race.
"Going in, I obviously had regret from last year so I wanted to finish and do better," Schwartz said. "I just needed to get out and not kill myself the first two laps but stay around there and key off of her and try to close the gap. I kind of gave up on that. When I saw Meagan pass me (in the final lap), I was like, 'Shoot,' and then Abby passed me and I was like, 'No, that's not going to happen.'"
Schwartz ended up on the podium as a freshman and sophomore but last year dropped early due to illness.
She ended up third behind Wilson and Hathaway and held off Green in the final lap.
Injuries have plagued the Carroll squad on the boys and girls side all year with Hathaway and Green being no exception.
Hathway returned for the Chargers for the cross country postseason while Green was out for four months.
Having each other has been the biggest tribute to each other's successes this season.
"Going from not running at all for four months and you want to be out there with your training partner as much as you can," Green said. "It's disheartening but she's there every time I broke down at practice or vice-versa. We're each other's best supporters and to give them the confidence when we don't have it ourselves. I think that's key."
Cut in half
East Noble's Lexie Moriarity's performances in long jump throughout the past four years has exposed an interesting pattern.
"I've actually cut every year in half," she said. "Freshman year, I was 24th place; sophomore year, I was 12th; last year, sixth and this year third. It's an interesting thing, 'am I going to get third? am I going to get higher than that?' I was sitting in second until the second to last jump and (Addie Wanner of South Adams) got me."
The Western Michigan recruit has developed into one of the best athletes in East Noble's history, qualifying in the 200, as well, as sectional and regional champion.
"I think the development has been good," she said. "I think the coaches have pushed me especially the last couple years, developing power strength. I lift a crap-ton, too, and that's helped me be more powerful in jumps and in sprints."
Moriarity jumped a 3-inch personal best 18 feet, 9.75 inches. It's not quite what she wanted but it's the first out of four trips to the state meet that she was able to peak at the right time.
"It feels really good especially jumping a foot farther than the state meet last year," she said. "I'm close to what I wanted but not quite where I wanted. I'll take what I can get. I wanted 19 feet by the end of the year. I got really close but I can't be unsatisfied by what I got.
"It feels really good because I've never PR'ed at state before. To know that I peaked at state, makes me feel really good."