Three years ago, Skyler Carpenter had little to no experience running hurdle races.
Today, the Westview senior is the fastest 300-meter female hurdler the Hoosier state has ever produced.
Carpenter earned that distinction Tuesday night at Spuller Stadium in Fort Wayne. Leaving the competition in her wake, the Lady Warrior standout won the regional 300-meter hurdle race in a time of 42.31 seconds. The clocking not only broke her own meet record of 43.06 which she set in 2010 as a sophomore, but also eclipsed the previous state standard of 42.51 seconds set in 1987 by Deb Sauers of Columbia City.
That wasn’t the only record Carpenter set Tuesday at the regional. She began her night by edging out Demetra Taylor of Northrop by .05 of a second in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in a time of 14.24. Both runners beat the previous meet best of 14.31 seconds set in 2008 by Chelsea Ross of Fort Wayne Wayne.
Carpenter concluded her regional competition in the long jump. Though she sailed a distance of 18-4.5 feet, it wasn’t good enough to keep Ariane Nelson of Homestead from the blue ribbon. Nelson, the top seed in the event with a season-best effort of 19-2, won the regional with a jump of 18-5.75.
Westview senior pole vaulter Jeslyn Zimmerly also dueled a Homestead competitor to the wire Tuesday. Zimmerly and Emerald Eviston were the only two vaulters to clear the bar at 12-0 feet. Due to fewer misses, Zimmerly was awarded first place.
Both Carpenter and Zimmerly will compete next Friday (June 1) in the 2012 IHSAA girls state track and field meet in Bloomington.
Fellow Lady Warrior senior Sabrina Whitaker just missed on advancing to the big show. Whitaker tied for fifth place in the high jump with a height of 5-2.25. The effort was two inches below the state meet standard and an inch less than the 5-3.25 mark made by the last two automatic qualifiers – Kyleigh Hampton of Wabash and Carlee Herald of Columbia City.
Finishing sixth in the meet was the Westview 3200-meter relay quartet of senior Janell Bender and freshmen Madison Jones, Kylie Barker and Kaitlyn Warren (10:02.53).
Three Prairie Heights entrants earned points in the regional meet. Sophomore Allison Young was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.51), sophomore Tressa Terry took seventh in the shot put (36.4-75) and freshman Aspen Dirr placed seventh in the 800 meters (2:28.57).