May 17, 2024 at 10:53 p.m.
JCHS boys track

Alig advances in high jump

Patriot junior will compete in regional Thursday at Pike
Jay County High School junior Adam Alig slips over the high jump bar at 6 feet Thursday during the sectional meet at Delta. Alig made it over the 6-foot mark on his first attempt, which ended up giving up the third-place tiebreaker with Easton Doster of Monroe Central. (The Commercial Review/Ray Cooney)
Jay County High School junior Adam Alig slips over the high jump bar at 6 feet Thursday during the sectional meet at Delta. Alig made it over the 6-foot mark on his first attempt, which ended up giving up the third-place tiebreaker with Easton Doster of Monroe Central. (The Commercial Review/Ray Cooney)

MUNCIE — Joe Imel was hoping to just get someone, anyone, to the next level.

Adam Alig made it happen.

Alig’s effort in the high jump gave the Jay County High School boys track team its only regional berth Thursday as the Patriots finished in the middle of the 13-team sectional field at Delta.

“I was real happy for Adam,” said JCHS coach Joe Imel. “I was real happy with the jumps. He’s kind of been up and down this year.”

The top three finishers in each event earned an automatic berth to the regional meet, which will be contested at 6 p.m. Thursday at Pike in Indianapolis.

The Patriots’ 33 points put them three behind fifth-place Winchester and 13 ahead of seventh-place Monroe Central. Muncie Central won four events en route to 151.5 points and the sectional championship, with Yorktown (132), Delta (121.5) and Wapahani (86) rounding out the top four.

“We kind of did what I thought we would do,” Imel said. “I was really kind of hoping we could pick up a little more opportunities. …

Alig’s result showed that every jump matters.

With seven athletes remaining after the first two heights, the Jay County junior cleared the bar on his first attempt at 6 feet. Monroe Central’s Easton Doster missed on his first try, but made it one the second.

That turned out to be the difference.

The four jumpers who remained — Wes-Del’s Garrett Rooker, Delta’s Cade Utsler, Alig and Doster — agreed to skip 6 feet, 1 inch, and go straight to 6 feet, 2 inches. When both Alig and Doster missed all of their attempts at 6 feet, 2 inches, the difference at the 6-foot mark came into play. Alig finished third with a regional berth while Doster placed fourth and was left to await a possible call back. (There are 12 automatic qualifiers and then the field is filled with the next four best sectional performances.)

“That’s the second time he’s gotten 6 foot this year,” said Imel. “And that’s been his goal, to get 6 foot. He was really close last year. So I’m really happy to see him improve in that area.”

The only fourth-place finish of the evening came from Austyn LeMaster in the discus. He came in at 123 feet, 4 inches, just over 11 feet behind third-place Luka Pavelka of Muncie Central.

Fifth-place efforts from Jay County came from Caleb Garringer in the 3,200 run in 10 minutes, 35.79 seconds, and Alig in the 110 hurdles in 16.04. The Patriots’ 4x100 relay team of Gabe Pinkerton, Caden Gambill, Garrett Hidy and Alig posted a time of 44.47 seconds for fifth in the 4x100 relay.

“Our 4x1 PR’d be quite a bit,” said Imel. “That’s only the third time that 4x1 has even ran together.”

One of the other opportunities for the quartet came a few weeks ago when they won the Allen County Athletic Conference championship.

“They improved their time by close to a half-second,” Imel added. “I’m pretty pleased with that.”

Joseph Boggs finished sixth in the 1,600 run and eighth in the 800 run, Austyn LeMaster was seventh in the shot put and Brasen Glassford took eighth in the shot put.

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