A handful of Montgomery County track and field athletes will compete in Thursday’s Lafayette Jeff Regional with hopes of qualifying for the state finals. The top three individuals in each event will qualify for the state finals next Friday at Ben Davis High School.
Jones has eyes on State
Southmont’s Trent Jones has his eyes set on becoming a state qualifier.
Jones qualified for the meet by placing second in both the 200 and 400 meter dash. The junior will look to be the next Mountie track star to qualify for the state meet. Jones knows all of the hard work is over and he’s just excited to go out and compete.
“My mindset going in is it all comes down to this,” Jones said. “I’ve ben trying to keep my body in tip-top shape and just fine-tuning some of my training so I can be at my best on Thursday.”
Jones will have the luxury of competing in two separate events which allows him a greater chance of advancing to the state meet and that’s how exactly he sees it as well.
“If I don’t perform well in one event, I know have the chance to make up for it in the other,” he said. “The two events are close together so I won’t have much time to rest in-between but regardless I see it as two opportunities to get to state.”
Jones got the chance to compete at the stat meet in swimming during the winter and now he looks for the chance to do it again, this time though out on the track.
“It’d be an amazing accomplishment and a dream come true,” he said. “I do want to thank my friends and family for coming to support me at all of my meets because them doing that really means a lot.”
Southmont Coach Desson Hannum has seen the work that Jones has put in all season and regardless of what happens Thursday night, he knows that Jones has had a very special season.
“He’s held his own all season,” Hannum said. “Against the best competition he’s seen all season last week at the sectional he was able to get out in two different events which is pretty amazing. I’m expecting the same thing to happen on Thursday.”
Jones will be seeded sixth overall in the 200 and fourth in the 400.
McClerkin and Laws to represent Chargers
North Montgomery’s Gabe Laws and James McClerkin will join Jones at the Regional. McClerkin placed third in the pole vault at last week’s sectional while Laws received a call back in the 300-meter hurdles.
Both athletes have helped guide the Chargers team all season and coach Josh Thompson is excited to see what both of them can do at the Regional.
“We’ve relied on these guys all season and they’ve came through each and every time,” Thompson said. “They’ve both put a ton of hard word and effort in over the years and for them to both of them to have a chance for that work to pay off and advance is always a good thing. We’re hoping that they both can set some season PR’s (personal records).”
No matter the sport that Thompson coaches, he always preaches about performing at your best when it matters the most. Both McClerkin and Laws have done just that and are poised to continue their strong performances Thursday night.
“They both understand that this is a process throughout the year and throughout their entire careers,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t happen overnight and you have to put the time and the work in to get to this point. It’s going to be no easy task if they want to get out and get to that state meet. They both have realistic goals they want to achieve and hopefully they can accomplish them.”
The meet is scheduled to get underway at Lafayette Jeff High School at 6 pm.
Lynas not satisfied with surprise success
Entering his senior track and field season, Ty Lynas had never hurdled before.
Tonight he will compete in the IHSAA track and field regional with the a trip to the state finals on the line.
“At the beginning of the season, coach Jones wanted me to run hurdles just to see where I was and I immediately turned out having good form, so I just followed through with that and worked on it everday in practice,” Lynas said.
In the regular season, Lynas swept the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Montgomery County meet and was the Sagamore Conference champion in the 110 race earlier this month.
Lynas improved his speed on the basketball court the last two seasons, but with no junior track season in 2020 — the success this season has come as a surprise, especially in a new event.
“Not for hurdles,” he said. “I knew I had the speed for other races, and I didn’t think I had the speed for the 400 either. I didn’t come into the season thinking I was going to run hurdles, but it’s one of my favorite events now.”
And now heading into the regional seeded eighth with a time of 15.64, he’s not satisfied with the success this far.
“At least a third-place,” Lynas said. “I want to advance to state. I didn’t run my best race at the sectional and I think I can beat the kid who beat me (at the sectional).”
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