BLOOMINGTON – Bedford North Lawrence won the Unified track state championship on Saturday at Indiana University.
The Stars scored 116 points to edge Lafayette Jefferson (114) and Valparaiso (107) in the 13-team field for their first state title in the eight-year history of the competition. BNL is also the first school to win state titles in Unified track and flag football.
Sections winners (who also earned All-State honors) for the Stars included Gunner Connaughton (400 meter dash in 1:03.73), Jesselyn Fisher (400), Koltyn Clute (long jump) and Tori Longsdon (long jump).
Fisher and Tanner Robbins won the Bobby Cox Spirit of Unified Sports Mental Attitude award.
BNL’s Julie Bartley was second team All-State in the shot put, along with Kris Kunkle (long jump and 400), Alice Bair (100), Rylan Sheeley (100) and Brax Huber (400).
“Our kids have had one goal this year, and that was to win the state championship,” BNL coach Mike Branam said. “We have been close in the past (second place in 2019), but they decided this year they were going to go all the way. All 18 kids have worked hard all season long, and over the last three weekends, every one of them have acheived a personal best, and several have done it each weekend. I am so proud of these kids.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the mental attitude award than Jesselyn and Tanner. They have been with the program for several years and have grown into amazing leaders, examples, and all-around tremendous young adults.”