By Josh Brown
TIPP CITY — After only two meets, Kelsey Walters matched the shot put school record that she spent all last season chasing.
Beginning her senior year, though, she’s chasing herself.
Walters threw 38-3.5 to win the shot put Saturday at the Tippecanoe Invitational, which equalled the record that she broke at last year’s state meet. Sophomore Morgan Gigandet added a pair of victories and Dasia Cole won one individual title as the Troy girls track and field team rolled to a victory with 127 points to runner-up Butler’s 89.
“I was pretty happy about it,” Walters said of her mark Saturday, though she wasn’t completely pleased. “I think when I get in the ring, I think about it too much. I should just let it go.”
Walters set a new school record of 38-9.5 at the state meet last season — and she’s looking to better that by even more this year.
“I’m six inches away from my record. I want to beat it,” she said. “I need to get my marks up because I want to do this in college. I just get in my own head and psych myself out. I need to relax. I’ve been so frustrated that I haven’t been throwing as well as I want. I kind of beat myself up about it too much.
“Besides, I need to set that record high enough so this one doesn’t break it,” Walters added with a laugh while gesturing toward teammate Alaura Holycross, who finished second (34-9.5).
Gigandet, meanwhile, picked up right where cross country season left off, winning a pair of races. She started the day winning the 1,600 (5:17.37) and finished with another win in the 800 (2:29.06).
“I’m feeling pretty good,” she said. “I don’t want to go too hard in the 1,600 because I don’t want to be tired for the 800. I just want to keep a nice, constant speed.”
The sophomore finished fourth at the state cross country meet in the fall, and during her freshman season of track she finished seventh in the 3,200.
“It’s helping me with my nerves,” she said. “My first indoor meet in the winter, I was awful. But it built confidence for this outdoor season, and I’ve been running well. I just want to get in the 10-minute range in the 3,200 for the end of the season. I’ll begin running that when the big meets come up.”
Dasia Cole won the high jump (4-9) for the Trojans’ final title on the day. The 4×200 relay team of Walters, Miller, Celina Courts and Ashley Barr was second (1:51.02), the 4×100 team of Walters, Barr, Kayla Hemm and Courts was second (53.01 seconds) — and the Troy “B” team was third (54.28 seconds) — and the 4×800 team of Kate Pence, Olivia Tyre, Emma Shigley and Studebaker was third (10:32.8).
Caitlyn Cusick was second in the 300 hurdles (51.81 seconds), Pence was second in the 3,200 (12:21.93) and Tyre was third (12:29.24), Courts was fourth in the 100 (13.61 seconds), Shigley was fourth in the 1,600 (5:42.79) and Kylee Brooks was fourth in the discus (93-7).
Miami East’s girls were fourth with 65 points. Megan Kinnison won the discus (117-0) and Karson Mahaney was second (97-9), and Mahaney was also fourth in the shot put (31-2.25). Marie Ewing was second in the 800 (2:32.22) and fourth in the 400 (1:04.21), and Kailtyn Mack was third in the 300 hurdles (52.28 seconds). The 4×400 team of Yingst, Monnin, Horne and Ewing was third (4:36.03).
Covington’s girls were sixth with 60 points. Carly Shell won the 3,200 (12:12.05). The 4×800 team of Anna Dunn, Shell, Ashlyn Plessinger and Paige Boehringer was second (10:25.92). The 4×100 team of Rayne Horner, Kelsey Dysinger, Tori Lyle and Breanna Kimmel was fourth (1:55.84), and the same team was fourth in the 4×400 (4:36.25). Dunn was second in the 1,600 (5:36.89), Kimmel was fourth in the 200 (29.11 seconds) and Lauren Hebert was third in the shot put (34-2.5).
Tippecanoe’s girls were ninth with 26 points. Sammie Rowland had the best finish, taking second in the long jump (15-3.5), while Makenzie Dietz finished fourth in the 800 (2:39.18).
Troy Christian’s girls were 15th with 6.5 points, with Lora Current finishing fourth in the pole vault (7-0).
Troy senior Stephen Jones knows exactly what to work on for the end of the season.
Junior Travis Hall had no clue what to expect.
Both picked up individual victories Saturday at the Tippecanoe Invitational, leading the Trojans to a runner-up finish overall with 60.5 points. Dunbar won the meet with 137 points, while Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division rival Butler was third with 52 points.
Jones, still not running his specialty race, the 3,200, won the 1,600 (4:29.87) and was second in the 800 (2:06.31).
“With my stride, I’m used to opening it up,” he said. “I’m trying to work on my foot speed. Hopefully by running the mile and 800, it can help me have a better kick in the two-mile late in the year.
“My senior year, I’d love to break nine minutes in the two-mile. That’s an elite, prestigious mark. I’d love to chase that and also shoot for top three on the podium at state.”
Hall won the shot put (46-9.75), his second straight invitational victory to begin the season — his first as a thrower. He also added a fifth-place finish in the discus (119-7).
“I was just expecting to hopefully place at some meets,” Hall said. He began the season with a win at last Saturday’s Troy Up and Running Invitational. “I wasn’t expecting to get first. I raised my own bar for expectations after that.
“My goal now this year is to win GWOC and to throw over 50 feet. It’s hard to think about getting it, but I feel like it’s doable.”
Josh Browder was third in the 100 (11.87 seconds) and 200 (24.76 seconds), and the 4×100 team of Browder, Jayden Culp-Bishop, DeMarcus Moody and Robinson was fourth (46.97 seconds).
Miami East’s boys were fourth with 50 points. Daniel Everett was second in the discus (136-1), Taton Bertch was fourth in the 110 hurdles (19.25 seconds), Justin Brown was tied for fourth in the high jump (5-6), the 4×800 team of Bryce Redick, Gavin Horne, Erik Austerman and Tambert was fourth (9:00.39) and the 4×400 team of Weldy, Redick, Horne and Austerman was fourth (3:49.82).
Covington’s boys were 11th with 20 points. The 4×400 team of Zane Barnes, Brandon Magee, Jayce Pond and Lyle was second (3:43.51), and Barnes was fourth in the 400 (55.75 seconds).
Tippecanoe’s boys were 15th with 8.5 points, with Issac Hayes finishing sixth in the discus (115-9).
Piqua had a pair of wins. Tristen Cox won the discus (136-2) and Andy Mayse won the 3,200 (10:26.78).
The boys pole vault was suspended due to the wind and not scored, with five vaulters — including Covington’s Jett Murphy, Troy’s Anish Gollamudi and Miami East’s Trey Rush and Colton Kowalak — still alive at 10-6.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.