By Josh Brown
TIPP CITY — Troy’s Morgan Gigandet has spent the first two weeks of track season out of her comfort zone.
She expects it to pay off later in the season, though.
Gigandet, better known as a 1,600 and 3,200 runner, held off a returning state placer Miami East’s Marie Ewing to win the 800 Saturday and placed in the 400 in her first time running the race as the Trojans continued her work in shorter races to build speed — and pulled away from the pack themselves in the team standings at Saturday’s Tippecanoe Invitational, winning the meet with 141.5 points.
Gigandet won the 800 in 2:24.7, with Ewing finishing second in 2:29.29. She also ran a 1:04.52 in the 400 and took fifth.
“I think it’s going pretty well,” Gigandet said. “I prefer longer distances, but as long as these help me in the long run, it’ll be worth it.”
“We threw her in the open 400 for the first time ever today, and she ran a 64. I was trying to make her a little tired for the 800, test her a little bit,” Troy girls track coach Kurt Snyder said. “She even bounced back and beat a tough Miami East kid to win the 800. She even ran faster than last week, which was good.
“We’re going to do a lot of shorter races for Morgan early on. We’re still trying to work on speed. We know she’s going to need to have that to compete for a state title.”
And that’s exactly what Gigandet is working toward.
“I want to work on my kick,” Gigandet said. “I can’t wait until I get in a race with (Hilliard Davidson’s) India (Johnson), because I want to see how all the hard work will play out. These first couple weeks have been hard workouts, but I’m working toward the end of the season.”
Gigandet also laughed about how she preferred warmer weather to the cold — which, on Saturday, all of the competitors present had to cope with the 40-degree temperatures.
“They’re just a tough group of kids, and they don’t let the elements bother them,” Snyder said. “Whether it’s 72 like last week or 42 like today, they’re competitive, tough kids and just a great group to coach.”
Another Trojan who had a big day was freshman Lenea Browder, who finished second in both the shot put and discus. Browder threw 38-0.75 in the shot put, second behind Covington’s Lauren Christian at 38-7, and she threw 103-3 in the discus.
“Lenea had a breakout day today,” Snyder said. “She was over the 100-foot mark in the discus and threw 38 in the shot. Coach (Aaron) Gibbons has done a great job with them. She’s learning the spin for the first time, and she’s progressing really well.”
Pole vaulter Christine Moser also picked up a victory Saturday, clearing 10-0, with Lilli Cusick finishing tied for fourth (7-6). Dasia Cole was tied for second in the high jump (4-9) and Emilie Farrier was sixth (4-6). Alaura Holycross also placed fourth in the shot put (35-1.5). In the long jump, Breann Stith (15-0) and Annah Stanley (14-5) were fifth and sixth, respectively.
And in the running events, Olivia Tyre won the 1,600 (5:31.72) and Kate Pence was fifth (5:51.39). The 4×100 team of Kiyha Adkins, Celina Courts, Kayla Hemm and Stanley won (52.32 seconds). The 4×200 team of Ashley Barr, Courts, Stanley and Caitlyn Cusick was second (1:52.85). Barr was second in the 400 (1:01.42). The 4×800 team of Tyre, Pence, Megan Myers and Emma Shigley was third (10:37.38). Caitlyn Cusick was third in the 300 hurdles (50.15 seconds). Courts was third in the 200 (27.84 seconds). Emma Shigley was third in the 3,200 (11:50.51) and Jenna Zimmerman was fourth (12:46.2). Stanley was sixth in the 100 (13.68 seconds). Myers was sixth in the 800 (2:43.14).
Covington was the runner-up with 89.5 points. Breanna Kimmel won the 100 (13.10 seconds) and 200 (26.71 seconds). Rayna Horner won the 400 (59.81 seconds). In addition to winning the shot put, Christian was third in the discus (99-4). Natalie Snyder was second in the 100 hurdles (17.12 seconds) and Danielle Rose was eighth (18.14 seconds). The 4×400 team won (4:18.57), and the 4×800 team was second (10:35.83) and the 4×200 team was seventh (1:59.5). Anna Dunn was second in the 3,200 (11:44.34) and Danielle Alexander was eighth (13:20.92). Kelsey Dysinger was tied for sixth in the pole vault (7-0). Kelsey McReynolds was seventh in the shot put (30-5.75). Morgan Lowe was eighth in the 200 (28.91 seconds).
Miami East finished third with 78.33 points.The 4×800 team of Lindsey Yingst, Kaitlyn Mack, Monnin and Marie Ewing won (10:26.34). Ewing was second in the 800 and seventh in the 400 (1:06.77), with Rachel Ondara finishing eighth in the 400 (1:07.04). Gabrielle Hawkins was second in the 100 (13.34 seconds) and 200 (27.52 seconds). Liza Bair was tied for second in the high jump (4-9) and Macy Fellers was fifth (4-6.. The 4×200 team of Jillian Wesco, Monnin, Bailey Miller and Gabrielle Hawkins was third (1:55.2), and the same four girls were third in the 4×100 (54.07 seconds). The 4×400 team of Ondera, Wesco, Bair and Ewing was third (4:35.84). Emma Linn was fourth in the discus (93-3) and Ondera was sixth (91-9). Mack was seventh in the 300 hurdles (52.41 seconds). Wesco was seventh in the long jump (14-4.75). Maria Staton was tied for eighth in the pole vault (6-6).
Host Tippecanoe was 10th with 17.43 points. Abbi Halsey was second in the 1,600 (5:36.64) and Caley DeHass was seventh (5:59.98). Lydia Stueve was fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.43 seconds). The 4×100 team of Senseman, Stueve, Taylor Jobe and Molly Spitzer was seventh (56.02 seconds). Allison Brunswick was tied for seventh in the high jump (4-3).
Troy Christian was 17th with 6.93 points. Elizabeth Deal was fifth in the 200 (28.56 seconds). Lora Current was tied for sixth in the pole vault (7-0). Sophie Pitsenbarger was tied for seventh in the high jump (4-3).
And on the boys side, Troy was sitting with 5.5 points of first place after the 300 hurdles, trailing Middletown 63.5-58, but the Trojans ended up finishing fourth with 72 points.
“Despite the weather, we had a solid day,” Troy boys coach Deon Metz said. “We didn’t load the meet, went one guy in the 100 and 200, nobody in the high jump, one guy in the long jump. And we scratched the 4×400, so we didn’t full throttle. We just wanted to get them a couple races in in this cold weather. But those who did compete had solid performances.”
Zach Boyer bounced back from a rough opening week to win the 110 hurdles (15.48 seconds). Jayden Culp-Bishop won the 200 (22.59 seconds). Travis Hall was second in the discus (129-4) and Kameron Block was sixth (118-8), with Hall also finishing second in the shot put (49-8.5) and Spencer Klopfenstein taking seventh (40-10.75). The 4×200 team was second (1:35.09) and the 4×100 team was third (46.2 seconds). Josh Browder was third in the 100 (11.45 seconds). Keenan Kinnel was third in the 300 hurdles (44.13 seconds). Anish Gollamudi was fifth in the pole vault (12-0).
The 4×800 team finished eighth (9:35.61).
Covington finished third with 79.5 points, jumping past Troy by winning the 4×400 (3:38.8). Cade Harshbarger won the 300 hurdles (41.51 seconds) and was second in the 110 hurdles (15.74 seconds). Jett Murphy won the pole vault (14-0). Zach Parrett won the high jump (5-9) and Tyler Fraley was fourth (5-6). The 4×100 team was second (46 seconds), the 4×800 team was fifth (9:10.15) and the 4×200 team finished sixth (1:42.06). Zane Barnes was third in the 400 (54.76 seconds) and Gray Harshbarger was fourth (54.96 seconds). Adam Lefeld was eighth in the 800 (2:14.96).
Miami East was eighth with 37 points. Justin Brown was third in the high jump (5-6). Blaine Brokschmidt was fourth in the pole vault (13-0) and Kaleb Nichols was sixth (11-6). The 4×800 team finished fourth (8:56.65), the 4×100 team was fifth (47.36 seconds), the 4×400 team was fifth (3:46.58) and the 4×200 team finished eighth (1:42.26). Daniel Baker was fifth in the 400 (55.03 seconds). Taton Bertch was sixth in the 300 hurdles (45.62 seconds) and seventh in the 110 hurdles (17.88 seconds).
Tippecanoe was 12th with 15 points. Isaac Hass was third in the discus (127-2). Bryce Conley was fourth in the 1,600 (4:48). Zach Dix was fifth in the 800 (2:10.4). Josh Burritt was eighth in the 300 hurdles (46.62 seconds). Austin Rogers was eighth in the 3,200 (10:46.56). Mason Doll was eighth in the pole vault (10-6). The 4×400 team was eighth (3:53.38).
Next up, Troy will play host to the Herb Hartman Invitational on Wednesday — a meet that was originally scheduled for Friday but was moved up two days due to an even colder forecast next weekend which includes the potential for snow.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.