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Posted on Fri. Jun. 06, 2014 - 12:30 am EDT


In running to win again

Area athletes head to finals looking to finish atop events once more

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State meet

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Indiana University, Bloomington

Admission: $10

Bishop Dwenger’s Jared Schipper and North Side’s Tyvon Kelley each know a little something about winning state track titles. But that doesn’t mean Saturday’s pursuit of another one will be the same.

Schipper won the boys state pole vault championship last year, but he comes into Saturday’s state meet as the No. 7 seed at 14 feet, 6 inches. The top seed is Bloomington South’s Deakin Volz at 17-3.

“I learned anything can happen and hard work pays off,” Schipper said of last year. “(Another state title is) really important, but for me personally, I like to vault because I love pole vaulting. Winning a state title is obviously important, but Deakin is out there and he is doing amazing. I am not going to go cry if I don’t win.”

Schipper won the title last year at 16-3. Volz was the runner-up at 16-0.

“I want to do my best and hope he does his best too,” Schipper said.

A senior who is headed to Hillsdale College, Schipper said he has been vaulting well in practice but has been struggling in meets while trying to work with new poles. He said he is hoping that is all behind him and greater heights are in store at state.

Kelley’s hunt for another title this year comes in a different event. The senior was on the state championship 1,600 relay team two years ago as a sophomore and enters the state meet Saturday as the top seed in the 400 at 48.58 seconds.

“My past experiences at state have helped me out a lot, but mostly they’ve taught me to just have fun and relax,” Kelley said. “And don’t change anything because whatever I was doing before is what got me there, so that’s what I plan on doing this year.”

Kelley said his goal is to win and break the school record of 47.75. He finished seventh last year in the 400 in 48.57.

The Carroll 3,200 relay team is also defending a state title, but with a different group of runners. The Chargers won their second straight 3,200 relay state title last year, but all four members of the team graduated with three of them being a part of the 2012 state championship team as well.

The Carroll team of junior Kevin Salter, sophomore Wesley Garrison, junior Jacob Schmeling and sophomore Ben Schwartz will try to make it three state titles in a row.

“We didn’t really put a lot of pressure on them and we don’t talk about being the defending state champions for that reason,” Carroll coach Nathan Fitzgerald said. “As a team we are, but those guys are gone. They are not defending a title as much as last year’s team, those four guys, were defending that title.

“For the most part, these guys have stayed pretty humble and pretty hungry. That’s how we have approached it.”

The 3,200 relay team is seeded 13th in 7:58.67, and Homestead is No. 10 at 7:55.90.

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