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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Weatherford finishes fifth in state

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Greencastle senior Andy Weatherford finished his high school track career with a fifth place finish in the 1,600 at Friday's IHSAA State Finals.
BLOOMINGTON -- Andy Weatherford's quest for a third straight 1,600 meter state title slipped away on the last lap, he eventually finished in fifth place to cap off a spectacular high school track career Friday night.

"It's disappointing," Weatherford said. "You work all year for this and it kind of falls apart right there at the end."

As the gun fired, Weatherford fell into the pack, as he normally does and came to the line just over a minute later in a very quick beginning to the race. In the second lap he moved himself into second and looked as if the race was shaping up to be his and his coach agreed.

"I saw Andy position himself nicely for the first two laps," GHS track coach Mike Schimpf said. "He was in a really nice spot, position wise."

But during the second lap, something happened both Weatherford or Schimpf did not expect -- the pace slowed.

"It went out pretty fast like I hoped it would, but it slowed down a little bit on the second lap," Weatherford said. "It came through at 2:04, which is right about where you want it; that's a good negative split race right there."

"The second lap slowed and the third lap picked up and that hurt," Schimpf added.

The third lap also saw the pace slow, continuing to threaten Weatherford's position, then came the push as the last lap began.

"The third lap, it slowed down a little bit more there, then at the end of that lap, Drew Shields took it hard into the last lap and De'Sean (Turner) went with him and I tried to hang," Weatherford said. "I didn't have that extra gear today, I don't know where it was."

The gear may not have been there, but Weatherford was still in position to make a charge but as they entered the last turn, heading to the line, he kept digging but saw the leaders pull away.

"I was digging but it wasn't there," he said. "I didn't have the turnover I usually have."

As the runners crossed the line, Weatherford found himself in fifth-place but was quick to congratulate his future teammate De'Sean Turner on capturing the 1,600 meter title.

"If I couldn't win it, I'm glad De'Sean did. I know he worked awful hard at it and he's been wanting it for a while," Weatherford commented. "You know, if I couldn't bring it home, I'm glad he did."

"Andy hasn't lost a whole lot in racing in his life and you have to be graceful when doing that too and I was really proud of the way he handled himself," Schimpf said. "He didn't start kicking and screaming, that's not Andy."

As he tried to find the reason for not being able to push at the end, Weatherford really couldn't pinpoint what could have been the problem.

"Training, not getting enough sleep, diet, it could have been mentally....it could be a million different things," he replied. "It's a disappointing way to end the year."

With Weatherford's high school career at its end, Schimpf was fast to acknowledge his impact on GHS track and how he changed the sport in the eyes of many.

"Andy made a lot of people in Putnam County care about track and that's pretty cool. If you just think of what he did for this sport, it pretty neat," Schimpf remarked. "I've enjoyed getting to coach him."

Weatherford ends his career with two state titles, two regional titles, three county, West Central Conference and sectional titles. He has also clocked the eighth fastest mile in Indiana history.

At Bloomington

Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex

IHSAA Track and Field State Finals

1,600 meter results (Top 10 only) -- 1. Turner (WC) 4:08.34, 2. Carr (Brown Co.) 4:12.00, 3. Wilson (Franklin) 4:12.05, 4. Reifenberg (FW Dwenger) 4:13.44, 5. Weatherford (Greencastle) 4:13.71, 6. Hoffmann (Bloomingon North) 4:14.64, 7. Shields (Fishers) 4:16.70, 8. Lee (Roosevelt) 4:20.57, 9. Mercer (Northridge) 4:21.29, 10. Kaufman (Northwestern) 4:21.36.

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