Morgan County Correspondent

Area girls fare well at state

Becca Leitzman, a Mooresville senior, puts the shot during Friday’s IHSAA State Finals for the girls at IU. Leitzman finished with a best of 41-3.25. (Steve Page photo / MCC)

BLOOMIINGTON — Mooresville’s Becca Leitzman celebrated her comeback.

Martinsville’s Emily Fluke found a foundation.

Monrovia’s relay girls enjoyed yet another school record.

And Indian Creek’s Libby Dowty learned how difficult the state finals can be.

Those were the highlights as area student-athletes competed in Friday’s IHSAA State Finals for the girls at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University last week.

Leitzman, a Mooresville senior, is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back, and it has been a long road to recovery.

“My sophomore year, I was seeded 19th,” she said of her previous appearance here. “I rolled my ankle. Foul, foul, then 34 feet.”

Then came the stress fracture.

“I had to rebuild everything,” she explained. “No surgery, but physical therapy — almost two years. Now, I’m still doing it to get back. But I’m down to one appointment a week. That’s from three to one, so that’s better. It still comes and goes.”

According to throwing coach Mark Burry, Leitzman shattered the old school record of 39-6 by putting the shot 41-7 in a three-way meet at Plainfield.

“She made it to state in the discus last year,” noted Burry. “She’s the first Mooresville girl to make it to state twice.”

On Friday, Leitzman had throws of 39-4 and 34-7 on her first two attempts.

And for the third attempt?

“Don’t mess up,” she told herself. “I’ve just got to clear my head. So I did.”

 She did, uncorking a throw of 41-3.25.

“I worked most of the season to get here again,” Leitzman said. “It’s good to be back.”

Next year, she will be going to a new place.

“I’m going to Indiana Wesleyan to throw for them,” Leitzman said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Fluke flies

Like Leitzman, Fluke had two not-so-good efforts in her event, the long jump, but one that she will remember.

Her first long jump wasn’t so much, going 16-3.25 feet. Ditto for her third jump, 16-2.

But in the middle, she found much of her range, sailing 17-1.

While that didn’t put Fluke among the leaders, it helped her look into the future.

“My second jump felt good. The first one, OK. The last one, not so much,” she said.

“I didn’t expect there would be this many people. Now I know what it’s like here, so I’ll be ready. I’m excited.

“I’m pretty disappointed, but I’m OK. Thank God for my accomplishments. I still have next year. I can build on this.”

Bulldogs racing

Monrovia’s 4×100 relay girls are one speedy bunch.

“They broke the school record again,” coach Donna Keefer said after the Bulldogs lowered that record to 48.86 seconds Friday. “They really worked for this. Getting out of the (West Lafayette) regional was tough, so that says something.”

The girls agreed.

“We practiced for this,” said sophomore Nellie Standeford, the leadoff runner. “It’s a great accomplishment. We wanted to break the record again, and we did!”

Junior Emery Newlin, who runs the second leg, could not be found after the meet.

“We could have done better with our handoffs,” said Sam Kluemper, the third leg. “But we did all right. We set the record, and we’re here. That was a tough path for us. But we’re here. And we have the record. It’s exciting!”

Senior Reagan Stader, the anchor, agreed, saying, “It was all right, really. It was a great season.”

“Three of them return next year,” said Keefer. “Looking forward to it.”

Dowty second

Libby Dowty came into the meet as the defending cross-country state champion.

But she’s just a sophomore, so she’s still learning.

In the 3200, she ran with the leaders, Addison Knoblauch of Homestead and Ava Jerrell of Pendleton Pike, for much of the race.

She fell off the pace, then stormed back on the final lap to take second in 10:15.14, much faster than her regional qualifying time of 10:56.76. Jarrell won the race in 10:10.05, with Knoblauch third in 10:17.53.

“I didn’t win, but I gave it my all,” Dowty said. “I think I gave up a little bit, but I got it back on the last lap.

“I’m blessed to be here. It was a great learning experience. You learn a lot from running track.”

When asked what she learned, Dowty replied, “Pushing yourself the last few laps. I want to be able to push harder. This showed me there’s room for improvement.”

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