Arabians sweep Eagles in season-opening track dual

Mar. 25—PENDLETON — As the indoor season comes to a close and track-and-field teams head outdoors, the conditions become more variable and — at times — downright inhospitable.

Such was the case Monday evening when Frankton traveled to Pendleton Heights for a meeting with the Arabians on a night when a high-wind advisory may have been warranted.

"We've been in this period where it's been very, very windy, and a lot of the kids have been running indoors, so they haven't had to worry about it," Frankton coach Brian Williams said. "It wasn't ideal, but there were still some good performances for sure."

While both coaches liked much of what they saw in their season opener, it was a sweep for Pendleton Heights, 45-40 in the boys meet and 42-28 in the girls competition, over the Eagles.

Noticeable in her absence from competition was Pendleton Heights junior distance ace Ava Jarrell, who sat out this meet after wrapping up her indoor season with a second place in the large-school division of the 3,200 meters. She was third overall with a time of 10:25.15, just a week after taking eighth in the nation with a time of 10:22.8 at the New Balance meet in Boston.

A state finalist last year for PH, Jarrell said the preseason gives her confidence and is a good way to gauge where she stands against the rest of her competition in Indiana.

"It helps with the outdoor to give me a baseline to know where I'm at now," she said. "Now I want to get better from there throughout the whole season."

While not running on the track, Jarrell logged plenty of miles Monday night sprinting back and forth across John Broughton Field as she cheered and urged on her teammates in competition.

He may be running out of adjectives to heap onto his junior star, but PH coach Bill Coggins said her leadership is another reason "great" is one that will never go out of style.

"She's such a hard worker and super dedicated. She's all track all the time," he said. "As a coach, you can't ask for more than that. She's such a great leader for our team."

Jarrell's absence did not hurt the girls as their depth led to 10 wins in 15 events, led by Jaycee Thurman.

Thurman — largely overshadowed by Jarrell during her career — took first place in the 1,600 and 3,200 and ran the anchor leg for the 1,600 relay team that came out on top.

"She's really improved a lot. She had a PR in indoor and just keeps getting better," Coggins said. "I don't know what the ceiling is for her."

The Arabians also got multiple wins from freshman Maddy Pfister in the 100 and high jump and Shaelynn Dwyer, who swept the throws, going 86-foot-3 in the discus and 26-5.5 in the shot put. Ava Reed won the 400, Hadley Walker took the 800 and Paulina Skalon won the pole vault.

Wins for the Frankton girls came in the 3,200 relay, from Ann Curtis in the 300 hurdles and Lowyn Coffey in the long jump with a distance of 16 feet.

Curtis and Coffey were part of the winning 400 relay team as well, a group along with Macy Curtis and Amaya Collins comprised entirely of Frankton basketball players. Collins also won the 200 after being edged by Pfister in the 100 and adds depth to the girls team that had been decimated by graduation.

"That relay team, they practiced just one time," Williams said. "They hadn't run it before, so the newcomers helped the girls team for sure."

The boys competition proved to be much tighter on the scoreboard, but thanks to sweeps from Nolan Souders in the hurdles and Gabe Martin in the throws, the Arabians had enough to prevail.

Souders took the 100 hurdles early, edging Frankton's Thaiden Alexander. Then, despite running into the stiff wind coming down the straightaway, he took the 300 in a time of 45.19, bettering his previous personal best by two seconds.

"Nolan came out late last season, and this year we've had a full preseason with him," Coggins said. "You can see the results."

Martin joined Dwyer in sweeping the throws for PH with a 135-8.5 in the discus and 43-7.5 in the shot put.

The coach's son, Will Coggins, also had a strong evening, taking first in the 1,600 and 800, the latter by a margin of nearly 11 seconds. He nearly made it a three-win night in the 1,600 relay that closes out the meet but was edged by Frankton on the final lap.

"Will is a battler. Je's going to go out, run hard and give it all he's got," Coach Coggins said. "As a dad, I wanted to see him get that 4x4, but he still ran two really good races today, so I can't be upset."

The Arabians also got wins from Zack White in the 3,200, Elijah Wolf in the pole vault and from the 3,200 relay team.

Frankton's boys team had multiple wins from Austin Nunley in the 100 and long jump and Dillon Pratt in the 400 and 200, edging Nunley by less than a half-second in the latter. Williams points out Pratt's performance exceeded expectations as he recovers from an illness last week.

"You expect your seniors to be the ones to step up," Williams said. "We had them running some different events — Bubba, anyway. He was throwing the shot. They both did very, very well and Dillon has been sick the past week, so his performance is even more impressive."

Jack Harrison took the high jump for the Eagles while Frankton also claimed relay wins in the 400 and 1,600.

Both teams will be on the road Wednesday as Frankton visits another Madison County rival in Lapel while Pendleton Heights will measure itself against one of the state's best at Fishers.

Contact Rob Hunt at or 765-640-4886.