Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Four SHS athletes compete at track and field regional

By B.J. Hargis

With senior Sydney Akers as a late addition in the pole vault and Whitnee Newby an add on in the 200 meters, four athletes from Sullivan competed in five events at the Bloomington North girls track and field regional on Tuesday.
The top three finishers in each event qualified for the state finals on June 1. Also, girls could advance to state if they achieved the state standard in their event.
“I could not be more proud of the girls,” said Sullivan coach Jackie Ridge. “I’ve had relay teams, but this is the most individuals I have ever had at the regional.”
Akers, who was fourth at the sectional, tied her personal best of eight feet, six inches in the pole vault. She was unable to clear 9-0 and finished 10th.
Whitnee Newby ran 13.08 seconds in the 100 meters, but did not qualify for the finals.
She did make the finals in the 200 meters, finishing fifth with a career best time of 27.06.
“Like Sydney, Whitnee was a call up in the 200,” said Ridge. “She was not expecting to be running in that, but she qualified for the finals.”
In the 300 low hurdles, sophomore Shelby Hall, who was seeded sixth, placed eighth. Her official time was 48.83 seconds.
“Shelby did not run a season or career PR,” said Ridge. “But sometimes that happens with younger runners.
“She was undefeated this season, through the sectional. She had a great season.”
Madi Followell competed in the high jump, but did not clear the opening height of 4-10
“That is quite an opening height,” said Ridge. “Madi had maxed out going 5-1 at the sectional.”
 Ridge said she couldn’t be more proud of the girls.
“They were absolutely incredible,” she said. “They persevered over every obstacle.
“All of them return except Sydney. She and our other seniors will be missed and leave big shoes to fill, but I am excited for our future.”

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