South Adams’ Addie Wanner named 2018 News-Sentinel.com Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year

South Adams senior track & field athlete Addie Wanner prepares for the state finals meet during a May 31 practice. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com
Addie Wanner, South Adams
South Adams senior track & field athlete Addie Wanner prepares for the state finals meet during a May 31 practice. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com

It is the day before the state finals and Addie Wanner is clearly at peace.

If there really is such a thing as the ‘calm before the storm,’ this had to be it. She motivates herself during the warm-ups, prompts herself through various decision making processes and smiles a little bit as she she thinks about what lays ahead.

“I just trust my abilities and whatever happens, happens,” Wanner said with a matter-of-fact grin that day.

A day later, Wanner finds herself on the podium at the state finals not once or twice, but three times for three different individual events and earning her place as the 2018 News-Sentinel.com Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

When it came to the state meet, Wanner ended up being on another level. Despite not bringing home the top spot in Indiana in any of the events, she podiumed in all three and marked personal bests in two of the events. Her placement also meant that South Adams earned a top 10 spot out of 71 participating schools with 19 points.

In her final long jump attempt of the day, she hit just over 19 feet and beat a former best of 18-04. It earned her a second place finish behind Warren Central’s Prommyse Hoosier.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to pull it off. My last jump is usually not my best,” Wanner said. “I wasn’t expecting much, but I decided to not really think about it too much and just go do it.”

She hit five feet, nine inches in the high jump, placing her third behind Noblesville’s Shelby Tyler and Zionsville’s Katie Isenbarger, both of whom hit five feet, 11 inches. It broke her Regional mark of five foot and eight and a quarter of an inch, which was also a personal best.

It was in the 100 meter hurdles that Wanner felt most disappointed, still placing sixth with a time of 14.60, just four one-hundredths off of her personal best. It also put her ahead of any other area competitor in an event where the Northeast Indiana area was especially strong this season. Northrop’s star hurdler Dylan Kirkwood finished at 14.64 in seventh place.

“Having three big PRs would be the perfect meet for me and nothing is ever perfect but I was still happy with how everything ended up,” Wanner said.

Wanner was also honored with the coveted Mental Attitude Award by the IHSAA for her senior year. She is just the second South Adams athlete to ever win the award in any sport. The last time a Starfire was honored with a mental attitude award was in 1972 when Alan Beitler won it for baseball.

The season as a whole was successful for Wanner, who was a top performer nearly every meet despite not being happy with many of her early performances in the frigid temperatures that hampered the start of the season. And as Wanner puts it, “nobody runs good in the snow.”

“It was really hard to get things going. I was constantly disappointed with my slow times and short jumps,” she said.

Despite the weather and her own lack of comfort in her performances, Wanner still found herself on the winning end of her events more often than not. She added two Sectional titles as the postseason began and as the weather warmed up, so did Wanner’s confidence.

It all led Wanner to the Regional meet where she took second in the long jump and first in each the high jump and 100 meter hurdles. And while her trip to state in three different events covering both the track and the field was not unprecedented, it was an impressive feat for a talent from such a small school.

“I felt like I finally made a name for South Adams because they always ask me ‘where is South Adams’,” Wanner said. “So for the future, they are going to know where they are from and that South Adams isn’t going to be someone to be pushed over at the state level. I hope I made a lasting impression on everyone.”

Her marks in Regionals would have been good enough to qualify her for the state finals no matter which of the state’s eight Regionals she would have been in. She would have won the high jump in seven of the Regionals, the 100 meter hurdles in six and the long jump in four.

Next up for Wanner is a summer running with her club team, Indiana Blast. She ran just last week in the Midwest League of Champions for team Indiana and will run in USATF meets all summer long, wrapping up with the national meet at the end of July. When the summer ends, it will be time to head off to Louisville.

She will continue her career at Louisville starting with indoor season this winter. She plans to compete in the heptathlon next spring.

No matter what may lay ahead, it will be hard to forget her day at the state meet and the culmination of a career at South Adams that raised not only her stock, but that for the entire program into the future. It was enough to bring what she may call a rare wide grin to her face for more than just an instant.

“I was lying in bed that night and there was just a smile on my face,” Wanner said. “I never do that. I was just so happy with how everything turned out and I felt so honored and blessed for sure.”

It was a different kind of peace than one day prior. But, it was a perfect peace nonetheless.


Addie Wanner, South Adams

Dylan Kirkwood, Northrop

Aniya Harvin, Northrop

Jo’Deci Irby, Northrop

Alicia Tiney-Williams, Northrop

Alexis Grider, South Side

Payton Gorman, Snider

Tonyia Fitts, Wayne

Lexie Moriarity, East Noble

Meagan Hathaway, Carroll

Julia Dvorak, Homestead

Haley Swing, Homestead

Tyler Schwartz, DeKalb

Aleka Ernsberger, Westview

Karmen Koch, Huntington North


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