Stars see spots while chasing wins in meet with Mitchell

MITCHELL – BNL’s Colton Sons strains for the finish line during the 1600 meter race at Mitchell on Monday. Sons ran a season-best 5:02 to win that event.

By Justin Sokeland

MITCHELL – The chase has started for Bedford North Lawrence. With the sectional approaching at sprinter’s speed, the Stars have shifted into discovery mode.

Where does everyone belong, in order to maximize the number of regional qualifiers? With less than two weeks remaining until the starter’s gun fires for the postseason series, BNL is close to cementing its lineup.

The Stars didn’t run with cement shoes during Monday’s county clash with Mitchell, they floated on gossamer wings while winning all but three events and dominating the Bluejackets in the boys meet.

BNL won that half of the meet by a 102-20 count. In the girls meet, the shorthanded Stars battled to a 61-61 deadlock in the team competition.

Two years ago, the last time BNL could compete on the track, the goal was a sectional team title, and BNL coach Brett Deckard adjusted his lineup for maximum points. It paid off. Now his philosophy has shifted.

MITCHELL – BNL’s Jake Terrell launches off the runway while winning the long jump.

“This wasn’t about winning, it was about changing things around and running different things, to see what we’re capable of doing,” Deckard said. “We’re getting a better idea of where everyone belongs. It gives us more depth.

“Two years ago we were chasing points, because we wanted to win the sectional. Now I don’t think we have the depth to beat Seymour, so we’re looking at where we can put people in the sectional to get as many to the regional as possible. We’re chasing spots.”

BNL had little worries for the top spots. Some of the winners were the usual suspects, including Noah Carter (110 hurdles in 16.08), Zane Thompson (300 hurdles in 42.15) and Isaac Williams (800 meters in 2:10.26). Some of them are starting to peak for the sectional, including Colton Sons (1600 in 5:02), Jake Terrell (17-7 in the long jump) and Coleton Sears (5-10 in the high jump).

And some were busy in multiple events, with Brecken Helsley taking the shot put (41-7) and discus (113-7) to lead a team sweep of the top three spots in those events.

MITCHELL – BNL’s Makena Moore was a double winner in the girls meet.

Will Decker won the 400 (55.46) and the Stars swept the relays. If not for the speed of Mitchell’s Nate Reynolds (a double winner in the 100 and 200), they were close to grabbing all the blue ribbons.

In the girls meet, as the final score indicates, the competition was much more keen. Lindley Steele, Makena Moore and Autumn Spence were double winners on the track for the Stars.

Steele crossed first in the 100 (13.1) and also won the long jump (14-2 1/2). Spence cruised to triumphs in the 800 (2:40.69) and 1600 (5:45.27). Moore claimed the 400 (1:05.5) and the high jump (4-8).

BNL also got a win from Grace Tanksley (13:23.03 in the 3200) and two field event victories from Autumn Hall (24-8 3/4 in the shot put and 88-10 in the discus).

”I’m just proud of them, for the amount of injuries and lack of numbers we’ve had,” BNL coach Jim Lewis said. “A lot of sprinters have to be in four events. We’ve had kids filling in everywhere. I think they’re doing a really good job with what we’ve got.

“Hopefully we can get ourselves in shape for the conference and sectional coming up.”

BNL will compete in the Big Blue Relays at Jennings County on Thursday.

MITCHELL – BNL’s Grace Tanksley rolled to a runaway victory in the 3200.