PRINCETON — Aubrey Nowaskie and Meredith Adams won events, leading South Knox's girls track team to a county-best, third-place finish at the Princeton Sectional on Tuesday.
Gibson Southern claimed the last event, the 1,600-meter relay, to edge Princeton for the title, 133-132. The Spartans tied with Barr-Reeve for third with 65. North Knox placed seventh among 13 teams with 37, Lincoln took eighth at 32 1/2 and Rivet was 11th with 13.
All four county schools had athletes qualify for next Tuesday's Evansville Central Regional, needing a top-three finish in an event to advance.
Those who finished second or third were South Knox's Shelby Burke, North Knox's Hayden Coats and Briley Utt; Lincoln's Maya Miller, Greer Hardin and McKenna Poyser; and Rivet's Lissa Willis. The Spartans also have their 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams advancing.
Nowaskie and Adams took any drama out of their regional qualifications with victories.
Nowaskie collected the 800 meters with a career-best 2:19.02 clocking. That was roughly 1 1/2 seconds ahead of Pike Central's Xavery Weisman's 2:20.72 time. Adams posted the best shot put throw of 32-6 1/5, 5 1/2 inches better than Gibson Southern's Chloey Graham's runner-up heave of 32-1.
South Knox took second in the 1,600 relay, with Arie Moon, Meg Phegley, Addelyn Kehl and Nowaskie combining for a season-best 4:22.87 time. Shelby Burke claimed third in the long jump at 16-2 1/2; and the 3,200 relay of Ava Toney, Daphne Kinnett, Peyton Robbins and Moon finished third at a season-best 10:37.51.
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"I was very pleased with our performances," Lady Spartans coach Sandy Dunham said. "I know Aubrey was a little nervous going into the 800. It's a lot of pressure when you are seeded No. 1, but she ran a good race to better her record again. Meredith came up with a big throw to win the shot put. We were expecting her to get out in the discus, but I'm glad she advanced in the shot.
"This was the first time this season that Shelby had to do trials and that takes a lot out of a sprinter. But she was able to get a jump good enough to make it to the regional," she said. "I'm excited that we have two of our relay teams advance. Our 400 relay was just barely edged out, and we will have to see if our time is good enough to advance next week."
Coats, the only county freshman to be a regional qualifier in an event, placed third in the 100 at 13.37. Utt, who was the top seed in the shot put, claimed third in that event with a 31-8 throw. North Knox also had a pair of fourth-place finishes, Coats in the 200 and Reegan Hammelman in the 800, which may have good enough times to be regional qualifiers.
Miller had the county's only runner-up finish, running 16.25 in the 100 hurdles. Barr-Reeve's Ellie Knepp was the winner in 15.41. Hardin claimed third in the high jump, matching her season-high of 5-1. Poyser placed third in the pole vault at 8-6.
Willis was the only county athlete to qualify for two individual events, getting third place in the 100 hurdles in 16.30 and third in the 300 hurdles at 49.86. She had all of Rivet's 13 points, also collecting a fourth place in the long jump.
Gibson Southern claimed a sectional-best five events, which included two relays. Princeton had three event wins, while Barr-Reeve and Tecumseh tied the Spartans with two. Both those schools had the only multiple winners of the meet: Knepp in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles for the Vikings and Ava Kissel in the 100 and long jump for the Braves.
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