With low-flying Thompson in front, BNL ready to buzz the tower during 2023 track season

BNL senior Zane Thompson expects to compete for a state title in the 300-meter low hurdles.

By Justin Sokeland


BEDFORD – Road markers near airports issue the warning “Beware of low flying aircraft.” Just in case a motorist might be startled by the sudden noise or appearance of a plane. Bedford North Lawrence needs such signage around the track.

Zane Thompson is the low-flying jet. Don’t be surprised if he buzzes the tower at the highest level.

After blasting to a sixth-place finish during last year’s IHSAA state championship meet in the 300-meter hurdles, Thompson is set for takeoff, hoping to contend for a state title in his main event. He will be a key contributor as the Stars look to contend for Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional titles in 2023.

BNL returns a solid core group of scorers and potential postseason standouts, with Thompson at the forefront. He shattered the school record in the 300, posting 39.27 seconds in the state meet. Of the top six finishers from that race, three were seniors. Thompson sees a clear path to the top step of the podium.

“He says he can win the state,” BNL coach Brett Deckard said. “He’s definitely top-five material. He’s looking good in practice and taking things seriously as a senior. He’s a hard-nosed competitor, he doesn’t like to lose. So he’s got a shot.

“We won’t run him in the hurdles every night, because he doesn’t need practice. We’ll run him in different things to get him in really good shape.”

BNL’s Christian Garciano-Curren will be a key sprinter in the lineup for the Stars.

Part of his workload will include the 400 relay, which qualified for last year’s regional. He will be joined by returning speedsters Maddex McFarland and Christian Garciano-Curren in that race. BNL will also count on points from McFarland and Garciano-Curren in the sprints, Jonah Bailey (distance races), Carter Kimmel (discus), Brayden Patterson (high jump) and Hiram Mullis (taking over for graduated star Noah Carter in the 110 high hurdles).

“We expect Jonah to have a good year,” Deckard said. “Hiram knows he has some big shoes to fill, and he’s looked good. We’ve got a solid nucleus of 10-12 kids, then we’re not sure that we have. We have 35 newcomers (out of 50-plus athletes on the roster) with freshmen and sophomores.”

Deckard will look to the underclassmen for help in the 400 race and the 1600 relay. Filling those gaps will be crucial to team depth and success.

“Our goal is to win the conference,” Deckard said. “But getting the top three is really solid.”

BNL will open the season at home with Mitchell, Orleans and Barr-Reeve on March 30.

BNL’s Carter Kimmel returns to throw the discus in 2023.