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Lukasik wins 3rd straight sectional in high jump

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REGIONAL BOUND: Frankfort's Nallely Alanis, foreground, won this preliminary heat of the 100-meter hurdles at Tuesday's girls track sectional at Harrison High School. Alanis finished third in the 100 finals and also qualified for the regional with a third in the 300 hurdles. Clinton Prairie's Rebekah Lloyd, center, reached the finals in the 100, finishing seventh, with Rossville's Sarah Allred finishing fifth in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.
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3-PEAT: Clinton Prairie's Alyssa Lukasik won her third sectional high jump title on Tuesday at Harrison High School with a jump of 5 feet 4 inches. After winning the event for the third straight year, she skipped ahead to 5-8 to attempt a meet and school record but was unsuccessful.
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HANDOFF: Clinton Prairie's Kylee Maish hands the baton to Adri Isaacs in the 4x100-meter relay at Tuesday's Harrison girls track sectional. Prairie finished fourth, just outside being an automatic regional qualifier, with Isaacs also reaching the final in the 100-meter dash where she finished seventh. Maish reached the final of the 200 dash also finishing seventh.
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FINAL HURDLE: Rossville senior Sarah Allred, right, finished fifth in the 100-meter (above) and 300 hurdles during Tuesday's sectional, with her times possibly qualifying her for next week's regional.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

The high jump at Tuesday's Harrison girls track and field sectional provided likely the most expected state regional qualifier from Clinton County and the biggest surprise as well, with Clinton Prairie's Alyssa Lukasik winning her third sectional title and Frankfort's Alysha Ramey tying for second.

“Lukasik won the high jump,” Clinton Prairie head coach Greg Buschman said. “That's her third year in a row for doing that.

"She won it with 5-4 and we immediately tried to go to 5-8 just because we didn't want to waste energy and time and jumps if you go to something else, and we were not only trying to break the school record but the sectional record.”

The sectional record of 5 foot 6 inches is currently held by Clinton Prairie graduate Noel Ashwell, with the school record of 5-7 ½ held by Mary Ann Smith (Orr).

Ramey also qualified for the regional in the event with a jump of 4-10.

“I think on paper she should have been tied for sixth on the seed sheet,” Frankfort head coach Tim Galati said of her jumping competitors. “... She snuck in there and tied for second to qualify, so that was definitely great to see.”

The county's other regional qualifier was less unexpected as Frankfort's Nallely Alanis will move on in both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.

“Nallely definitely made it out,” Galati said. “She was third in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles. So, she's moving on to regionals.”

The top three in each event at sectionals qualify for regionals, as well as the next best times in the four sectionals (Harrison, Benton Central, Hamilton Southeastern and Zionsville) funneling into the Lafayette Jeff regional on May 31 to bring participants to 16.

“Probably, our only fourth place was in the 4x8(00),” Galati said. They were the first team to miss … but there's still a small chance we could get called back pending the outcome of the other sectionals.”

The team of Blazia Sallee, Carina Alanis, Ingrid Guijosa Valdes and Christina Espidio finished in 10:53.99.

The only other county fourth-place finish came from Prairie's 4x100-relay team of Shelby Myers, Lukasik, Kylee Maish and Adri Isaacs in 52.85. Maish and Isaacs each reached the final in the 200 and 100 dashes respectively, with each taking seventh place.

“Our 4 by 1(00) team took fourth place just one place out,” Buschman said. “I was very proud of that just from the sheer fact that the winning team beat their own (sectional) record from last year (Lafayette Jeff with a 48.62) and we weren't that far behind them, so I really liked that and liked our effort tonight.”

After looking at the times in the other feeder sectionals, it appeared that Frankfort's 4x800 and Prairie's 4x100 times would not qualify them for the regional, but that could not be verified before press deadline. An IHSAA spokesman advised by email that the heat sheets for regional would be finalized today. 

Rossville dealt with adversity in a school-wide sickness leading up to sectional, but head coach Darrin Haupert still had a slim hope after the meet that senior Sarah Allred might get to regional in the hurdles.

“We still have hope,” he said. “Sarah was fifth in the 300 hurdles (and 100 hurdles) and by time she may have a chance to go on. We just have to see what the other sectionals produce and go from there.”

It appeared that Allred would qualify for the regional with the second-best time in both events outside automatic qualifiers from feeder sectionals, but that could not be verified by press deadline.

Allred finished the 300 hurdles in 47.68 just behind Harrison's Leanna Getz (47.66) who took fourth. Lafayette Central Catholic's Kayla Brady won the event in 44.95, a meet record, with Alanis in second in 46.55.

The 100 hurdles produced the most county point-getters in the sectional with three athletes reaching the finals. Alanis came in third at 15.48 with Allred in fifth at 16.19 and Prairie's Rebekah Lloyd finishing seventh in 16.94, with McCutcheon's Shianne Switzer winning in 15.24.

“Tonight was tough,” Haupert said. “We ran well for what we could do. We just had a lot of sick kids tonight. Several kids that we had to scratch, several had to drop out of races because they couldn't finish. Eighty percent of our team is sick tonight, so it was really hard.”

Frankfort and Prairie's coaches were more upbeat about their teams performances.

“I thought we did score in a lot of our events,” Galati said. “Not to the extent that we did at conference where we scored in everything but two events, but we still scored in a lot of our events this year.

“I know we scored in pole vault, in discus we scored a point and in the 3,200 which we didn't do last year. We definitely improved from last year where we were ninth in the sectional maybe.

“That's great to see that improvement and hopefully that's something we can carry on for the coming years.”

Frankfort finished in sixth in the team standings with 37.5 points, with Prairie in seventh with 29. Rossville finished 10th with 10 points.

West Lafayette won the sectional with 172.5, with Harrison second at 144. McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff and North Montgomery also finished in front of Frankfort. Lafayette Central Catholic and Crawfordsville were eighth and ninth with Faith Christian 11th. Clinton Central, dealing with low numbers this year with only 10 athletes, participated at sectionals but did not score any team points.

“We had some girls that were disappointed with their effort because they thought they did worse than they actually did and the announcements come on and they say your name and you made it to the finals and it turns from, 'Oh gosh I need to go sit in a corner and cry' to 'hey, we just made it and we're good we just made it to the finals' kind of thing,” Buschman said. “... (There was) effort by all of them to not be happy with the status quo … and they succeeded. They all did very, very well tonight.”

Not knowing if Allred would advance yet on time, Haupert praised his four seniors of her, Morgan Fadness, Taylor Pedigo and Cede Sipes.

“They've meant a lot,” he said. “This group of seniors is the first group that I've carried all the way from sixth grade to seniors, so it's been a special group to me because of that. They are a group that works hard and gives it everything they've got and that showed. It's going to hurt a lot from a standpoint of talent. … It's the work ethic that's really going to leave an impact on our squad.

“We'll miss all four of them next year.”