GHS runners confident as they return to State Finals

Friday, June 1, 2007
Greencastle's 400 relay team of Megan Clodfelter, Laura Weatherford, Dee Wood and Jamie Patterson made the medal stand at the state finals last year, finishing ninth. This year, they hope to repeat the feat, with Laura English replacing Wood.

For three of the four members of the Greencastle girls' 400 relay team, Saturday's IHSAA state finals will be a return to familiar territory.

Last year's team of Megan Clodfelter, Laura Weatherford, Jamie Patterson and Dee Wood came out of the second heat of last year's race to place a surprising ninth, ahead of two better-seeded teams from the final heat. The high placing came when the Tiger Cubs shaved nearly .9 seconds from their regional time.

This year, Clodfelter, Weatherford and Patterson return, along with freshman Laura English. The ladies look to duplicate last year's effort.

"It's nice to have three with experience," said Greencastle coach Garry Anderson.

"The one freshman (English) is a little nervous, but she draws off the confidence of the other three," he added.

They find themselves in a similar position to last year, as the 12th seed overall and the third seed in the second heat.

Last year, the girls streamlined their running and exchanges to make the dramatic drop in time. Anderson feels good about another drop in time and has laid out a specific plan for doing so.

"I told each of the girls, 'You need to drop down to this time, and we'll do well,'" he said.

The runners share his confidence and expect very good things out of themselves.

"They feel comfortable. They have confidence in doing better," Anderson said.

The relay will not be the only for two of the runners. Patterson will be running in the 100, while Weatherford will take part in the 200.

Patterson will run in the first heat of the 100 prelims. Her seed time of 12.69 has her at the 17th seed overall.

Weatherford is in the third heat of the 200 prelims. Her 26.16 places her in the 21st seed.

While the seed times would project the girls outside of the finals, Anderson likes the competitive nature of his runners and thinks anything is possible.

"Jamie and Laura both want to give all they have to get into the final round," he said. "I wouldn't put it past either one of them to make it."

The coach knows all the races will be tough, calling this a "pretty loaded state finals," across the board. He likes his girls' chances to be competitive.

"This is a tough bunch of gals," he said.

Whatever the outcome, Anderson knows all four of his runners will make themselves, their coach and many others proud.

"They'll represent the community and the school well," he said.

Patterson will run in the 100 trials at 5 p.m. The finals will take place at 6:25 p.m. Weatherford will run in the 200 trials at 5:40 p.m. The finals will follow at 8:05 p.m. The 400 relay will take place at 6:45 p.m. The IHSAA State Finals take place at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington. The finals begin with field events at 3 p.m.

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