As a sophomore, Wayne’s Brionna Thomas burst onto the track scene with two state championships in the 100 and 200 meters, a Junior Olympic championship and a No. 4 ranking in state history in the 200 (24.18), plus a rising number of school records.
What can she possibly do an encore as a junior?
After some success during the indoor season, Thomas will try to add to her sophomore success when the track season moves outdoors. But it isn’t just about Thomas around northeast Indiana, with some quality runners, jumpers and throwers on the girls side.
For more on the other individuals, teams and stories that could produce some more state titles and top times, here is a look at the upcoming season:
Brionna Thomas, Wayne: The junior won state titles in the 100 and 200 last season and is looking to add more hardware this year.
Symone Black, Concordia: The junior was second in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the 100 hurdles at state.
Ari Nelson, Homestead: The senior placed at state in three events and is an Indiana University recruit.
Carlee Hearld, Columbia City: The senior was 10th at state in the high jump.
Abby Hostetler, Fremont: The junior was second in the 1,600 and 11th in the 3,200 at state.
Northrop: The 2012 state runner-up and No. 3 Bruins return three members from a state championship 1,600 relay team in senior Makelle Skelton and juniors Alexis Scott and Dejah Arnold, and all four members of the state runner-up 400 relay team in Skelton, Scott, junior Jaquell Taylor and sophomore Amber McGee.
Bellmont: The Braves, ranked No. 14 in the preseason poll, won the small-school division of the Hoosier State Relays behind senior Alexis Harvey and junior twins Bailee and Holly Hankenson.
Carroll: The No. 6 Chargers return all four members of a 3,200 relay team that finished fourth at state in seniors Madison Stenger, Amy Poynter, Clarissa Geiger and Olivia Hippensteel.
Wayne: Along with Thomas, the No. 16 Generals also have senior Brittney Britt, junior Teshlynn Shuttleworth and junior Sh’Toya Sanders.
Huntington North: The 19th-ranked Vikings have Machaela Mertz (100, 200, 400), Lindsey Foster (long jump, 200), Kayla Patrick (800) and Alexis Wygant (pole vault, long jump).
New Northrop leader: Harmony Ake takes over for Tom Knudson, who led the Bruins to seven state titles and a runner-up finish last year.
Erba out: Warsaw senior Ashley Erba appears to be out for the season after the defending 3,200 state champion suffered three stress fractures in the last six months.
Twin Starfires: Hannah and Leah Mitchel are identical twins for South Adams, with Hannah winning shot put in five meets last year and Leah taking first in discus three times.
State seven: South Side has seven athletes on its track roster that were part of the school’s Class 4A state runner-up girls basketball team.
New Knott? Garrett’s celebrated athlete Jordyn Knott has graduated, but could freshman Taylor Smith have what it takes to step into her track shoes?