There are not many things that Katlynn McClerkin cannot do in track and field.
The recent North Montgomery graduate fueled a Chargers team that won its fifth-straight county title. McClerkin was a four-time county champion, a Sagamore Conference champion, and advanced to the IHSAA Regional in the 200 meter dash, earning her the 2019 Journal Review Girl’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“Katlynn is extremely athletic and was able to use her skills from other sports to help her excel at track and field,” North Montgomery coach Josh Thompson said. “She is blessed with raw athleticism and was able to use those talents to her advantage.”
McClerkin was asked to do a lot over the course of her four-year career, often changing events meet to meet, both on the track and in the field.
At the county meet this spring she won the high jump with an effort of 4’ 8” and the long jump with a leap of 15’ 11.5”. She was also a part of the winning 4X400 and 4X800 meter relay teams.
“I think what makes me versatile is the mindset I had and the support from my parents, coaches, and teammates Logan Harper and Sam Knowling,” McClerkin said. “The amount of different events I was shoved in over four years was crazy, but I always enjoyed what I was doing. Being versatile was great, because I was interested in all events and wanted to do the most I could to give our team the points for each meet.”
Thompson saw McClerkin as a team player, and said they often shuffled the lineup to give her the best chance to score as many points possible on a meet-by-meet basis. That included putting McClerkin in the 200 meter dash at the sectional — an event she had never competed in before.
“Using her performances at meets and her practice routines, we thought that she had a chance to compete in the 200 and advance,” Thompson said. “We also thought that she would be able to score points in multiple events and tried to predict where she would be the most successful based on the meet.”
A new event never phased McClerkin.
“Starting out it was different and difficult, but for me getting into an event I had the mindset of striving to be the best or trying to beat the best,” she said. “Starting in new events were great because I saw them as a challenge.”
McClerkin placed third at the sectional in the 200 with a time of 27.12. She also advanced in the 4X400 relay team with teammates Kendall Humphreys, Grace McClaskey, and Brynn Anderson with a time of 4:12.29.
At the Sagamore Conference meet, McClerkin was a part of the winning 4X400 relay, placed second in the long jump, and third in the high jump.
No matter the skill-set, and no matter the distance, Katlynn McClerkin never backed down from a challenge as a Charger.
Girl’s Track and Field All-Area Team
Madison Fry, Crawfordsville
Mackenzy Linville, Fountain Central
Mady Altman, North Montgomery
Brynn Anderson, North Montgomery
Sidney Campbell, North Montgomery
Kendal Humphreys, North Montgomery
Katlynn McClerkin, North Montgomery
Shannon Isenberg, Southmont
Mia Myers, Southmont
Lexie Odum, Southmont
All-Area Team compiled by Jeff Nelson and Jared McMurry