LAFAYETTE – All three Montgomery County schools had runners compete at the Boys IHSAA Regional at Lafayette Jefferson High School Thursday night. Trent Jones for Southmont, Ty Lynas for Crawfordsville, and James McClerkin and Gabe Laws for North Montgomery.
Jones came who competed in the 200 and 400 meter dash had expectations of advancing to the state meet. Those expectations were met in a big way as Jones placed fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.88 seconds, which was a personal best for the junior. He was able to advance by meeting the state standard of 49.24 seconds.
“This is what I’ve been training for my entire career and it finally has paid off,” Jones said. “I’m very satisfied with my performance. Coming in I put all of my focus into the 400 because I knew that’s the best chance I had of getting to state.”
Jones now joins a special group of athletes at Southmont with getting to participate at the State Meet. However, getting to state isn’t enough for Jones. He knows that he is one of the fastest runners in the state and has goals of hearing his name called on the podium.
“My coaches have told me that it’s do-able” he said. “They along with my friends and family and everyone have supported me the entire way and that’s what drove me to get to this point. To be up there with the names like Brooks Long and others is an absolute honor.”
“Trent deserves this and he’s worked so hard because that has been his goal to get to the state meet,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “To run his personal best in the 400 and have four guys in his heat all make the standard including him, we couldn’t be more proud of him and are excited to see what he can do at the state meet.”
Lynas competed in the 110 meter hurdles for the Athenians. This season was his first running the hurdles. Despite his season coming to an end Lynas took the positives away from not just his performance but the season as a whole.
“This was a brand new experience for me in track,” he said. “I’ve had a pretty successful season with not losing a meet up until the sectional so I did come here expecting to do well. I just enjoyed the overall environment because I had never ran on a track this big and it was fun to be here.”
Arguably the toughest regional in the state with schools such as Avon, Carmel and Fishers just to name a few, Crawfordsville coach Sean Gerold was pleased with the way Lynas competed against the toughest competition he’s seen all year.
“I’m very proud of him,” Gerold said. “Hurdles ended up being what we focused him on and he excelled at it. To see how far he’s come not only on the track but as a leader on our team has been awesome. He’s extremely coachable and that’s one of the reasons he’s here. He listens to your advice and applies what he hears and what he learns and that’s huge. Other people see what he does on the track and they want to be like him.”
For the Chargers McClerkin competed in the pole vault while Laws set a personal best in the 300 hurdles. Chargers coach Josh Thompson was pleased with both of his guys as getting multiple people to a regional isn’t easy.
“It’s always nice to see them finish on a high note at a meet like this,” Thompson said. “James had a good night in the pole vault and it’s a great end to his career. Gabe looked very good in the hurdles and the hard work he put in during practice this week paid off by setting a personal record almost two seconds.”
While McClerkin’s track career does come to an end, Laws will have one more opportunity next year as a senior to continue the progress he’s made this season.
“One of the best qualities about Gabe is he’s a competitor in whatever he does,” Thompson said. “He wants to come out here and compete and improve and that’s one of the best things I can say about him.”
“I came in just wanting to set a person best and that’s what I was able to do,” Laws said. “I was a little nervous all week coming in knowing that I was going to be competing against all these big schools but I think I ran well and that’s what matters.”
Jones will compete at the IHSAA State Meet at Ben Davis High School. The 400-meter dash is expected to get underway around 7 pm.
Official results were not available at deadline. This story will be updated.
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