EVANSVILLE — Rivet's girls track team, with its limited numbers, didn't have the regular season schedule of meets like the other teams in the county.
But the Patriots made up for it in the postseason. Sophomore Morgan Alderton leaped a career-best 16-6 3/4 in the long jump to finish third in the Evansville Central Regional on Tuesday, qualifying her for the State Finals next weekend in Indianapolis.
Athletes had to finish in the top three to advance, and Alderton went 1 3/4 more inches than fourth-place finisher Shalandria White of New Albany. South Knox's Talia Small and Shelby Burke also scored in the event with fifth and seventh place distances of 16-1 1/4 and 15-10 1/4.
"Morgan knew she had a chance, and she was nervous. She was worried about scratching because she did that a couple times at the sectional," Rivet coach Bailey Niehaus said. "But she did really well and got her pr. I know she watched everyone else closely after her jump, but she was surprised that she advanced and excited.
"Morgan has worked so hard. Before practices she would go to (Vincennes University assistant coach) Tim Marsee and work on her pole vaulting. Then go through our practice, then would stay to do things after practice."
The county had a couple close calls to have more than Alderton reach the state meet.
South Knox freshman Aubrey Nowaskie placed fourth in the 400 meters, breaking one minute for the first time at 59.88. She was .35 of a second behind Princeton's Laci Spore for third place.
The Spartans, which led the county with an 11th-place finish among 33 teams that scored with 20 points, also took fourth in the 3,200 relay. Gretchen Carie, Daisie Kinnett, Peyton Robbins and Ava Like combined for a season-best 10:31.05 time. Princeton had the third-best time at 10:07.84.
The team was also sixth in the 1,600 relay with Nowaskie, Daphne Kinnett, Meg Phegley and Burke going a season-best 4:21.08. Lincoln's Maya Miller had a seventh-place finish in the 100 hurdles in 16.81. Carie scored in the 3,200, taking eighth in 12:20.03.
Other county athletes who were regional-qualifiers were North Knox's Reegan Hammelman, Alexis Petelle, Aubrey Smith and Brittany Page, Lincoln's Jayda Hovland and South Knox's Kelsey Kramer.
Floyd Central was the regional champion with 105 points, and New Albany the runner-up with 89. Rivet scored six points and Lincoln two.