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School-record jump earns Haught spot in State Finals

LONG JUMP: Senior Ricky Haught competes in the long jump at the Marion Regional on Thursday.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

Members of the Huntington North boys track and field team competed in the Marion Boys Track and Field Regional Meet in Marion, Indiana, on Thursday evening in an effort to punch their ticket to Bloomington, Indiana, and the State Finals.

The Vikings were represented in five events at the Regional Meet, with senior Ricky Haught competing in the long jump, junior Nate Burns competing in the 300 meter hurdles, senior Brock Spahr competing in the 1,600 meter run, senior Drew Davis competing in the 3,200 meter run and senior Nolan Hughes, junior Cody McCune, senior Jarid Miller and Burns competing in the 4x400 meter relay.

Haught headlined Huntington North’s contingent by setting a new school record in the long jump, launching himself 21 feet 1.5 inches, placing fifth in the event. Haught’s jump broke the previous school record by one inch, as Rob Sands set the mark of 21 feet ½ inch in 2009.

“When I hit the board and landed in the pit, I could just tell that was the school record and I was pretty happy about that,” Haught said. “I’ve been working for it for four years and finally got it.”

Not only did Haught’s jump place him atop the Viking all-time leaderboard in the event—and set a personal record by default—but it also earned him the final callback for the 27th and last spot in the State Finals.

Though Haught was the 27th athlete selected, his jump earned him the 19th seed in the event at the State Finals. The top three finishers at each of the eight Regional meets automatically qualify, with the next-best scores from across all eight Regionals rounding out the field.

Burns earned the highest finish of the day for Huntington North at the Regional, grabbing fourth in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 40.0 seconds. Burns’ time clocked fourth in school history and was a new personal record.

Burns just barely missed the cut for the State Finals, missing out on the third automatic qualifier by 0.29 seconds and the final callback by one spot.

“I started off good and the second hurdle was a little rough,” Burns said. “Coming around the curve on the straightaway, I was sitting around second place and started to fall apart. … It’s nice to improve from last year and get down closer to state qualifying. Hopefully I make it next year.”

Spahr completed the point scoring for the Vikings in the 1,600 meter run, where he finished fifth with a time of 4:27.74.

Though Spahr did not qualify for the State Finals or receive a callback, his time was also a new personal record.

“The first lap was pretty fast (60 or 61) and then we came through the second lap in about 67 and I did not look at the time after that, I just remember thinking I'm going to have to bring it,” Spahr said in reflection of the final race of his Huntington North career. “I had some time to think and I wrote this: Tell me what is there to cry about? What is there left unsaid? Has not every mile been run, every restless night been fought through, every race finished? What have I to be disappointed in?”

The Viking Regional contingent was rounded out with a pair of non-point scoring efforts in the 4x400 meter relay and 3,200 meter run.

Hughes, McCune, Miller and Burns placed ninth in the 4x400 meter relay by clocking in at 3:30.62, while Davis placed 16th in the 3,200 meter run with a time of 10:32.49.

Though Haught is the only athlete advancing, having three personal records and a school record set would prove difficult to call the meet anything but a success.

“We had a very good night, and more exciting now that we know that Ricky not only set a school record, but also made it to the state meet,” said head coach Scott Bower. “Brock ended his career with a personal best in the 1600 meters with a run that took a lot of guts, especially after the field took a very quick first lap. Nate ran well in the 300 hurdles, moving up our all-time list. It stinks that he just missed out on racing at the state meet as a junior, but I also know that Nate can turn this into fuel for next year.”

Haught will join freshman Addy Wiley from the girls track and field team at the State Finals in Bloomington on June 1.