The TN State
Indoor Championships is Sunday February.
For me, the hardest events to train for during the winter are the field
events. Very few schools have indoor high
jump or pole vault, let along shot put facilities. So, these athletes have to be creative and
really, most of the time just hope for a decent weather day to get
outside. Wet sand, wind, and cool
temperatures are the norm. Come Sunday though,
the Vanderbilt indoor track and field venue will have perfect temperatures as
usual. So, let's take a look at the
contenders at the upcoming KYA sponsored TN State Indoor Championships.
In the girls Triple jump, East Literal's Jalena Curbeam is coming into this meet with a 37-3.25 jump she had at the Vandy HS Indoor early February. That third place finish at the Vanderbilt indoor is a good indication she's coming into this meet with confidence. Morgan Louderback of Brentwood Academy also jumped at the Vanderbilt meet and had a 36-3 mark. Both these marks are in the top 3 for TN indoor rankings and I'm certain both will want to set a mark even higher. Not sure the meet record, set by Jordyn Lesh in 2015 will get toppled, but you want to be sure to keep at least one eye on this event Sunday.
Now here's one area that baffles me when it comes to indoor track and field. The throws. I don't know of any thrower that really likes to stand out in the cold and misty winter days and toss the shot. I know there's the indoor shot you can use, but I've yet to see an AD or a basketball coach watch a thrower toss those on the indoor (basketball court for those without multipurpose rooms) and smile. Wince is more like it. So, it's tough to train for this event and yet, we see some throws that are just incredible in these winters months.
The girls weight throw here is going to be a showcase for Victoria Caldwell of Brentwood Academy. She's only thrown once this winter, at the UK Invite, but 48-8.25 is well, not too shabby at all! She is likely the one to beat on Sunday and BA isn't too far away from the Vandy campus, so a home advantage might also make this athlete tough to beat.
In the girls shot - Katherine Coffey looks like the headliner here coming in with a best of 42-3.75 for the indoor and almost 44 in the outdoor. She's a state champion in both the discuss and shot at last years spring meet. Um... she's got 140-1 in the discus! Ok, that's a pretty darn good throw and her indoor shot is just a few inches from her outdoor best. Odds are, this Brentwood High thrower is a good bet to handle the pressure and come out on top in this meet. This could be incentive to pull some of the other athletes into setting some personal bests here Sunday. And isn't that what the best competition does to athletes!
The boys shot, well, I'm not sure how to say this - and I don't think I need a crystal ball either - but Joshua Sobota is not going to lose Sunday. Currently holding the spot as the #2 ranked thrower in the nation will make you a favorite at this meet for sure. The question will be just how far can he throw at this meet. With a top toss of 67-5.4, you can practically set up a normal living room in between him and the next competitor and not worry about getting hit with the steel ball. Sixty-Seven feet five point seven five inches. Yea, that's home run territory! And the thing about that is the second and third place throwers are no slackers coming in with tosses over 47 feet. Even though they may be overshadowed by Joshua, Elihjah Phillips of Heritage and South Doyles Michael Redding will be battling it out for the runner up spot and that should be fun to watch as well.
Staying with the throws for a minute, Jeremiah Sullivan of Daniel Boone is coming into this meet with a weight throw of 47-11.25. He did that toss early in January at the KYA Indoor Classic. This is a tough event since it's only in the indoor for TN and very few facilities are set up for this. It'll be interesting to see how the slate of guys here do on Sunday. Micah Hayes is coming in with a 45-6 mark behind Jeremiah and that could make this an interesting event. I'd say it's at least going keep Jeremiah looking a bit.
Here's another event that I find interesting to see how well some athletes perform during the winter. The pole vault. Love this event! Kindersport and Brentwood Academy athlete Alexandria Swindle is the top seed for Sunday with a 12' vault she's posted recently. Last year her best was 10-2 indoor and didn't compete much outdoor. She is coming into Sunday's meet, and likely the spring season, on a huge roll this year though! That 12-foot vault was at the Indiana Track Club open where she tied for first. That should be a big confidence boost and make her a top contender at the Vanderbilt complex Sunday.
Another familiar name in the vault is Anderson county's Brittany Bishop who is consistently in the discussion when it comes to vaulting. Having a AAA state championship 12-foot vault on her resume and getting 11-6.25 so far this winter does make her a real contender for the top spot as well. One thing with Brittany, she rarely, if ever loses when it comes to vaulting! Another big performer and vaulter that has improved significantly this indoor is Kate Sander. The St. Agnes athlete went from a 9' best last outdoor to 10-6 during indoor. She vaulted that at the Arkansas Invitational and then matched it in February at the Big River championships. Her lowest height this indoor was 10-3.25 in December, so you know that consistency is going to help her chances on Sunday as well. Once the bar goes up at 9am Sunday, she could be having some really positive thoughts about her chances.
I was looking over the metric numbers for the boy's vault and doing the conversions. Bottom line, we have some vaulters here that are going to be impressive to watch. Let's see... Shea Cole of Mt Juliet has vaulted 15-0 indoor in early February, Jett Kinder of Kindersport went 14-10 a couple of weeks ago, Lee Garrett was 14-6 at the Vanderbilt indoor and Nikhil Jogal did 13-11.25 early in the season. These four guys are the top four vaulters in the state indoor rankings and are all competing Sunday. If you even remotely like watching the pole vault, come out and watch this competition... it will be exciting, that much is certain!
Normally the long jump for indoor is one of those events that, well, you don't see that many great jumps. I'm not sure why, but a lot of indoor meets just don't scream great long jump time! But tomorrow should be pretty interesting to watch with Tyler Jacobs of University School of Nashville jumping consistently over the 20-foot mark. Tyler's 21-8.75 indoor best came at the Vanderbilt HS invitational and so this venue is one that he's familiar with and one that he has done pretty well at. Last year, his best indoor jump was at this Vandy complex as well. And as great as the Vanderbilt complex is, that long jump area just seems a bit tight to the eye to me, but I'm not jumping and Tyler for sure is someone that has taken great advantage at this venue! I'm looking forward to see how well he does this weekend!
Cleveland's Keegan Jones could possibly be a spoiler for Tyler in this event. Keegan has a 21-8.25 best this indoor but with just the one jump, that might be a bit mis-leading. Keegan has a 23-foot jump to his resume that got him a Sectional win last outdoor and if he can get his steps down, could even be considered the favorite here.
Then you can never rule out Jett Kinder in any event. This young decathlon star keeps improving in all he does. I wouldn't say the long jump is Jett's weak link, as he's showed he can post a 22-footer, but during indoor it isn't always his best. But considering the gene pool this young athlete comes from, a bad day might just be enough to stand tall on the podium. And of course, when it comes to the horizontals, West HS always tends to turn out some stars. The duo of Samahd Salehe and Sebastian LaTorre are going to be near or at the top as well. Samahd has a 22-mark set at his outdoor sectional and Sebastian just set his career best mark of 21-1.25.
That's some of the events to watch this Sunday. Next up will be a preview of the Sprints and Distance events. If you're in the Nashville area Sunday, hope to see you at this meet.
See you on the track,