Eagle track and field runners conclude season with state championship performances

This weekend two Brown County High School juniors completed their track and field season after competing at the state championship in Bloomington.

Hadley Gradolf and Chase Austin earned spots in the top 30 at the girl and boy Indiana High School Athletic Association state championships at Indiana University on June 3 and 4.

On June 3, Gradolf competed in the 3200 meter run, covering two miles in 11:39.96, earning her a 23rd place in the field.

The next night, Austin finished 21st in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:24.20, which was his personal best, according to Coach Kirk Wrightsman.

Austin placed 21st in the field.

Both Gradolf and Austin qualified for the state championship following their performances at the Bloomington North High School regional competitions on May 24 and 26.

Three Eagles competed in the girls regional competition on May 24. Gradolf dropped her time in the 3200 meter race by 20 seconds and earned a second place spot in that race, securing a spot at the state championship. Hadley ran her best personal time of 11:29.25.

Senior Christy Sebastian also participated in the regional following her sectional championship performance the week prior in the 300 hurdles. Sebastian clocked a 50.27 and finished eighth in the competition.

Junior Xyleigh Thompson finished 10th in the high jump with 4’10 clearance. Overall, the girls finished in 18th place with nine points, according to Wrightsman.

The boys took off the evening of May 26. The 3200 meter relay team of Rafe Silbaugh, Waylon Patrick, Rhett Silbaugh and Chase Austin started the regional competition.

The team lowered their season. It was their best performance by nearly six seconds and they finished in fifth place with an 8:18.09, according to Wrightsman.

Each of the runners ran their season-best legs for the relay.

Austin returned to the track about an hour later to run in the 1600 meter race. Austin closed the last lap of his race in 63 seconds to secure third position and earn himself a spot at the state finals. Austin clocked a season best time of 4:26.19.

Rafe Silbaugh came back from a strong 4×8 leg, where he dropped his time by nearly three seconds, to run in the open 800. Silbaugh finished ninth in the race with a 2:06.40.

After a weather delay, the final regional participant of the night took the track. The 4×400 relay of Patrick, Austin and the Silbaugh brothers finished in 10th with a 3:38.90.

“This was the final race for seniors Patrick and Rhett Silbaugh who have made significant contributions to their team over their careers,” Wrightsman said.