If you plan to attend today's Northrop Girl's Track Regional, don't blink or you'll miss something.
Although there are eight regionals being conducted throughout the state tonight, a disproportionate of Indiana's best sprinters will be competing at Spuller Stadium. Tonight's competition could make the IHSAA State Finals on June 1 look like a re-run.
The regional begins at 5:30 p.m. with field events and the 3,200-meter relay. Those events will be followed by preliminaries in the 100-meters, 110-meter hurdles and the 200-meters. Finals will start shortly after 6 p.m.
The top three invidividuals and relay teams in each event earn trips to the state finals in Bloomington. But fortunately for the many sprinters on hand, there is another way to advance: by hitting the state standard. There should be a handful of sprinters advancing in the 100 and 200.
“It's going to be crazy, that's for sure,” said Bellmont's Alexis Harvey. “You are going to have to run your best or you'll get left behind.”
Harvey has the state's fourth-best time in both the 100 and 200 races, but is seeded second in both events. Harvey, Homestead's Ariane Nelson, North Side's Dyamond Morris, Northrop's Amber McGee, Dejah Arnold and Alexis Scott will all be chasing the state's best: Wayne's Brionna Thomas, who has run 11.94 (100) and 24.61 (200).
Thomas is also sixth in the state in the 400 and leads the Generals' 400 relay (third-best in state) and 1,600 relay (eighth best in state).
State-wide, Nelson is ranked fifth in the 100 and 11th in the 200. Morris is ranked sixth in the 100. From Northrop, Scott is ranked sixth in the 100 and Arnold is third and McGee is sixth in the 200.
In the 400 meters, aside from Thomas, Arnold is ranked second state-wide and Snider's Karinna Smith (eighth), McGee (11th) and Harvey (12th) follow closely behind.
What this all means is that there will also be some tight relay races as well. Northrop comes in with the state's best time in the 400 relay and second-best time in the 1,600 relay. Wayne, Snider, North Side and Concordia will be chasing the Bruins in the 400 relay and Wayne, Bellmont and Carroll will give chase in the 1,600 relay.
Even the “distance” relay should be tightly contested between Carroll (sixth), Northrop (eighth) and Concordia (15th).
In the team race, No. 2-ranked Northrop is a heavy favorite thanks to its depth at the sprints and hurdles. But if the Northrop sprinters get swallowed up by the field, look for Wayne and Carroll, led by its distance crew, to present a challenge.
The meet's most electric performer is Westview's Skyler Carpenter, who has the state's best times in both hurdles races and is fourth-best in the long jump. She is the defending state champion in all three events.