INDIANAPOLIS – Angola junior Izaiah Steury had risen so quickly in distance running – from not even qualifying for the state track meet as a freshman to winning the cross country individual title as a junior a year and a half later – that winning the 3,200-meter run at the IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals at Ben Davis High School on Friday night seemed like a perfectly reasonable goal.
Steury led for a short period at the beginning of the race, then settled in behind Will Jefferson of Whiteland – and then fell behind both Jefferson and Kole Mathison of Carmel by the end of the first mile. Jefferson would go on to win in 8:54.05, Mathison would take second and Steury would battle to finish fourth in 9:13.81.
“I was really hoping I could have been first – I had such high expectations and hopes,” Steury said. “We planned out each lap – it just didn't go pretty.”
Leo senior Luigi Rivas also earned a fourth-place finish in an event, in his case the 300 hurdles, but only after suffering disappointment in the 110 hurdles.
Rivas had the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 110 hurdles, but would end up finishing in ninth place after a crash brought multiple hurdles to the ground. (John Colquitt of Brownsburg won in 14.53, and would later go on to win the 300 hurdles as well, while Angola's Garrett Sauter finished seventh in 14.95).
“The guy to my right hit my hurdle over, and then I fell over,” Rivas said. “I was pretty disappointed, but I had to forget about it and move on.”
The fall was a disappointment, but it was also jarring physically. Rivas said he had to learn how to go over the hurdles with his opposite leg for the 300, which he finished in 38.92. Braden Bixler of South Adams was sixth in 39.24 and Zander Sauder of Carroll finished 14th.
Rivas's final chance for redemption came in the 4x400, where Leo won its heat in 3:24.44 to take ninth place overall. South Adams took 11th and Concordia 16th in the final relay of the night.
Leo bookended the meet with impressive relay finishes: The Lions 4x800 team placed sixth overall in the race in 7:59.67, 17 seconds behind first-place Fishers. Northrop placed 13th, East Noble 14th and Concordia 16th.
Rivas and those relay finishes combined to give the Lions 12 points and place in a tie for 19th in the team standings, the highest for any local school. Carmel won with 68 points, followed by Brownsburg with 40.
Meanwhile, senior Zach Collins of Lakewood Park Christian proved you don't actually need a proper track to become one of the fastest runners in the state. Collins, whose school just started its track program four years ago, reached the finals of the 100 dash and took sixth place in 10.85 seconds.
“We practice in the parking lot and in school hallways. It's not the best environment, but it works,” Collins said.
Ezra Lewellen of Pioneer won the 100 in 10.67, and Tavarious Easley-Jones of Snider was two spots away from qualifying for the finals in 11.18.
Northrop senior Darrius Sanders qualified for the long jump finals and eventually took ninth place with a jump of 21 feet, 10.75 inches. Devin Mockobee of Boonville won at 23-03.75.
“I didn't do my best, but I was ranked 16th and finished ninth, so I would say I progressed. I showed that I could do better than my ranking,” Sanders said.
Mason Murphy of Bellmont took third in the discus with a best throw of 172 feet, 4 inches. Tim Macomber of Angola took 16th, and Aaron Jacquay of Carroll finished 22nd.
The shot put didn't go as well for Murphy, as he had three fouls. But Hunter Bianski of Churubusco reached the finals in the shot put and finished 10th with a best mark of 54 feet, 4 inches. Macomber of Angola finished 14th.
Tanner Stiver of Warsaw – who was awarded his diploma early as the state finals coincided with his graduation – and Daniel Adair of Concordia took eighth and ninth in the 800 with times of 1:55.09 and 1:55.25, respectively. Connor Jackson of Northrop was 17th.