June 1, 2013

Fort Wayne Northrop Sprints to Record 10th Girls Track & Field State Title
For the 10th time in school history and second time in three seasons, the Fort Wayne Northrop Bruins captured the IHSAA Girls Track and Field team championship Saturday night at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.

Northrop's 10 team titles rank highest among IHSAA member schools in Girls Track and Field. 

Head coach Harmony Ake’s team finished with 60 points followed by runner-up Lawrence Central with 51 and Bellmont with 41.

Junior sprinter Dejah Arnold (400 meter dash) and the 4 x 400 relay of Arnold, Victoria McCuiston (11), Makelle Skelton (12), and Amber McGee (10) turned in first place performances. Arnold also turned in a 12.3 100 meter dash, good for fourth in the event. The 4 x 100 relay team (Jailyn Krantz, McGee, Jaquell Taylor, Skelton) finished in second behind Ben Davis, while Taylor and Skelton contributed points in each of the hurdle events.

The 4 x 800 relay from Eastern (Greentown) kicked off the running events in state record fashion, finishing in 8:53.74 and shattering the previous record of 9:03.77 set by Chesterton in 2006. The performance by senior twins Bethany and Brittany Neeley, Jessica Sprinkles (9), and Sarah Wagner (12) ranks as the eighth best all-time in the nation (NFHS.org). It was also the first of three championships and a fourth place overall finish for the Howard County school located near Kokomo. The night belonged to the Neeley twins, as Bethany claimed her second straight 1600 meter title and finished eighth in the 300 hurdles; Brittany established a new state record in the 800 meters cruising to the line in 2:07.91. The Neeley's were impactful in each season this school year as they helped the Comets to a seventh place finish at the Girls Cross Country State Finals and then led the basketball team to a 2A state runner-up finish.

Fort Wayne Wayne junior Brionna Thomas was a double winner on the night, finishing first in the 100 (11.99) and 200 (24.30), successfully defending both events from 2012. She became the fourth individual to win both events in consecutive years joining Maicel Malone of North Central (1986, 1987), LaShanda Harper of Harding (1994, 1995, 1996) and Candyce McGrone of Warren Central (2007, 2008).

Lawrence Central junior Adriana Brown's mark of 168-6 set the other new state record in the discus. Her fourth place finish in the shot put (43-1) helped the Bears to the runner-up finish.

Mishawaka sophomore Anna Rohrer raced to first in the 3200 meter run, crossing the line in 10:20.68, just .02 shy of the record, and adding to the individual cross country state championship she won in the fall.

The official attendance for Saturday's event was 4,478. 

40th Annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field State Finals
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex
Indiana University, Bloomington

Top 10 Teams
1. Fort Wayne Northrop 60
2. Lawrence Central 51
3. Bellmont 41
4. Eastern (Greentown) 37
5. Carroll (Fort Wayne) 29
6. Terre Haute North Vigo 26
7. Hamilton Southeastern 25
8. Noblesville 22
9. Columbus North 21
T10. Fort Wayne Wayne 20
T10. Pike 20

State Champions
Pole Vault: Sara McKeeman, 11, Carroll (Fort Wayne), 12-03.
Long Jump: Ari Nelson, 12, Homestead, 19-01.25.
Discus: Adriana Brown, 11, Lawrence Central, 168-06. State Meet Record.
High Jump: Janae Moffitt, 10, Oak Hill, 5-10.
Shot Put:  Liz Iversen, 11, Martinsville, 46-10.50.
3200 Relay: Eastern (Greentown) (Jessica Sprinkles 9, Sarah Wagner 12, Brittany Neeley 12, Bethany Neeley 12), 8:53.74. State Meet Record.
100 Hurdles:  Sierra Brown, 11, Hamilton Heights, 14:53.
100 Meters:  Brionna Thomas, 11, Fort Wayne Wayne, 11.99.
1600 Meters: Bethany Neeley, 12, Eastern (Greentown), 4:53.37.
400 Relay: Ben Davis (Maya Caudle 11, Briana Jones 12, Ra 'Von Woodson 9, Alethia Marrero 12), 47.22.
400 Meters: Dejah Arnold, 11, Fort Wayne Northrop, 55.40.
300 Hurdles:  Symone Black, 11, Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran, 43.10.
800 Meters:  Brittany Neeley, 12, Eastern (Greentown), 2:07.91. State Meet Record.
200 Meters:  Brionna Thomas, 11, Fort Wayne Wayne, 24.30.
3200 Meters: Anna Rohrer, 10, Mishawaka, 10:20.68.
1600 Relay: Fort Wayne Northrop (Dejah Arnold 11, Victoria McCuiston 11, Makelle Skelton 12, Amber McGee 10), 3:51.53.

Bethany Neeley of Eastern (Greentown) Wins Mental Attitude Award
Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Bethany Neeley of Eastern (Greentown) High School as the winner of this year’s Mental Attitude Award in Girls Track and Field.

The multi-sport athlete is a two-time champion in the 1600 meter run and was part of the state record-breaking 4x800 relay. Bethany is a 13-time sectional champion, six-time regional winner, and in 2012 she led the Comets to the first track and field sectional championship in school history. She also helped lead the Comets to the school’s first state finals appearance in girls basketball last winter. 

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Key Club. Bethany has contributed to her community by teaching elementary classes and volunteering at Eastern’s Youth Basketball Camp. Bethany’s twin sister, Brittany, was named as the winner of the 2013 Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award for Class 2A Girls Basketball.

She is the daughter of Jill Pursifull of Greentown.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the proud corporate partner of all IHSAA tournaments, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Eastern (Greentown) High School in the name of Bethany Neeley.