For four Putnam County track athletes, years of preparation will culminate this weekend at the I.U. Track facility as they compete for a state title.
Greencastle has two representatives that will compete at state. Laura Weatherford will be going for two state titles while Caitlin Gannaway will do the same in the shot put.
Weatherford qualified for the 200 and 400-meter events and is tied for fourth fastest time in the 400. In the 200, her seed time is 26.41 and her time in the 400 is 57.7. Gannaway's toss of 39-feet-5.75 inches has her in solid contention for a state medal.
To qualify for a state medal, an athlete must finish in the top nine of their event and GHS head coach Garry Anderson believes both girls have a great chance at doing so.
"I am really pleased to have both Laura and Caitlin qualify for the state finals," Anderson said. "Each of these girls has worked their butts off to get there. They are both more than capable of meeting the challenge of finishing in the top nine.
"This is the first time at the state finals for Caitlin and the third for Laura. I feel the two additional times at state will certainly benefit Laura as they prepared to compete," Anderson added.
Ashley Koosman and Raine Young will be going for a state title for the Cloverdale Clovers.
Koosman is competing in the high jump and qualified for state with a jump of 5-feet-2-inches, while Young will take part in the long jump, posting a leap of 21-feet-2-inches. Cloverdale head coach Kristin Crabtree commented about the week leading up to the state competition and what her athletes have done to prepare.
"They have been practicing each day by doing light workouts and focusing on form," Crabtree said. "They seem to be excited and intimidated at the same time. It is a big deal and they are both very excited to be part of it."
Crabtree believes that both Young and Koosman will do a great job and she hopes they post personal bests at the state level. When asked how she felt having two athletes at state, she remained humble and gave all the credit to Young and Koosman.
"It is a real honor for me to get to work with two athletes as talented as Raine and Ashley. They have worked hard all year and I am just along for the ride," Crabtree commented.
The girls will compete on Friday, with Gannaway and Koosman getting started at 3:30 p.m. Weatherford will compete in the 400 meter at 7:05 p.m. and the 200 meter at 8:05 p.m.
Young will compete on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.