BY TRAVIS DAVID
MONROE CITY — It was only fitting that a pair of Monroe City athletes claim blue ribbons in the pole vault competition Monday afternoon at Langford Field during the Dennis Hancock Invitational.
The late great coach made the Panthers known for the event during his time with Monroe City. On Monday, Connor Pfaff and Carly Youngblood added their names to the growing list of successful Panther pole vaulters.
Pfaff cleared 11 feet in winning the boy’s event to help the Panthers easily outdistance Highland in the overall team standings, 202-135.
Youngblood’s winning mark was 10 ¼ feet which helped the Lady Panthers to a 148-116 team win over South Shelby. Teammate Riley Fortner placed second in the event as the senior cleared seven feet.
In the boy’s meet, Kabbot Harlan picked up a pair of individual wins as well as a pair of blue ribbons in relays for the Panthers. The Monroe City junior distance runner edged teammate Logan Lucas in the 1,600 meters by just under five seconds with a winning time of 5 minutes and seven-hundredths of a second. Lucas’s time of 5:04.93 was a new personal record for the senior.
Harlan defeated Mark Twain’s Will Owen to win the 800 with a time of 2:11.44, while Panther teammate Kaleb Griffin set a new PR with a time of 2:20.03 to claim third place.
Harlan also teamed up with Jackson Wheeler, Lucas and Korbyn Cheek to win the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 9:01.04.
Harlan joined Joshua Talton, Josiah Talton and Jaylyn Countryman to win the final race of the evening — the 1,600 relay — with a time of 4:16.02.
Lucas won the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:27.61 while Griffin placed third. Mark Twain’s Brandon Black placed second, just over nine seconds off of Lucas’ pace.
Joshua Talton picked up the only other individual blue ribbon for the Panthers as he won the discus with a toss of 143-04.
Talton teamed up with Elmer Martinez, Waylon DeGrave and Cameron Jones in winning the 400 relay with a time of 46.50.
Both Talton brothers, Kyle Hays and Jones placed second to Highland’s team of Cameron Bringer, Noah Jones, Devin Stutsman and Drew Mallett in the 800 relay. The Cougars quarter crossed the finish line in a time of 1:36.30 — just over a second ahead of the Panthers.
DeGrave picked up a pair of second-place finishes for the Panthers. The freshman was runner-up to Briger in the high jump (5-06) and to South Shelby’s Wyatt Owen in the long jump (18-10). DeGrave also placed third in the triple jump.
Other runners-up places for the Panthers included Joshia Talton in the triple jump and 200 meters, Jones (100) and Aaron Plumb (110 hurdles). Plumb also finished third in the 300 hurdles.
Highland’s Robert Goehl swept the hurdle races, winning the 110 with a time of 17.53 and the 300 in a mark of 46.02. Goehl’s time in the high hurdles was a new PR.
Drew Mallett was also a double winner for the Cougars as the junior won the 100 (11.59) and 400 (55.54).
On the girls’ side, the Lady Panthers claimed first in three of the four relay events.
In the 800 relay, Youngblood teamed with Abigail Smith, Lexie Birt and Emmalee Williams for a winning time of 1:56.88.
Smith, Lauren Smith, Birt and Williams posted a winning time of 4:34.69 in the 1,600 relay, while Lauren Smith, Hannah Wheeler, Ella Hays and Williams won the 3,200 relay by 42 seconds.
Abigail Smith placed second in the 400 meters with a time of 1:08.98 and third in the 200 (30.51).
Hays finished second in the two distance races. The Lady Panther freshman clocked a time of 6:17.08 in the mile and 13:48.92 in the two-mile race, while Williams was second in the 800 with a time of 2:33.4.
Youngblood finished runner up in the 100 hurdles with a time of 17.75 while Birth came home with a red ribbon in the 300 hurdles in a time of 50.94. Birt was edged by South Shelby’s Karyn Mitchell by half a second, while Youngblood placed third in the event.
Panther freshman Taylor Pfaff was third in the triple jump with a mark of 29 ¼.
Marion County junior Delaney Straus was the top individual performer of the meet. Straus — a three-time all-state finisher in cross country — won the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200. The junior’s posted a time of 1:06.19 in the 400, 2:28.42 in the 800, 5:53.54 in the mile and 12:44.06 in the two mile. Straus posted a winning margin of nearly 24 seconds in the mile and over 64 seconds in the two mile.
Despite the monster performance of Straus, the Lady Mustangs could only come away with a fifth-place effort in the team standings with 72 points.
Sophomore Tristen Holt picked up the only other blue ribbon for the Lady Mustangs with a winning mark of 4-06 in the high jump.
Mark Twain sophomore Matera Ellis PR’d in the 3,200 with a time of 13:54.13 which was good for third place.
Ellis teamed up with Zoe Miller, Elizabeth Northcutt and Liz Trower for a second-place effort in the 3,200 relay as the Lady Tigers placed fourth in the field of nine teams with 77 points.
Maddison Epperson placed second for Mark Twain in the shot put with a heave of 29-05.
Click here for complete results from Monday night’s invitational.