The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 17, 2013

Harrison, Phillips take different paths


OXFORD, Ind. —  Sectional time means different things to different teams. Some battle for the title while others fight to get any points at all.

It is the same way for individuals. Some such as Wade Harrison of North Vermillion were gunning for sectional records while others such as Weston Phillips were wrapping up their careers with a race within a race.

Harrison broke his own sectional and school record with a jump of 22 feet, five inches. The leap was a quarter inch shy of two-and-a-half feet ahead of second place.

Phillips is a distance runner who also high jumps. Over his four-year career, he has run whatever his coaches have asked to run.

In the 1,600 meter race, he battled Jeff Broedel of North White in the middle of the pack. When the race was over, the two walked off congratulating each other for running a good race.

Phillips said that when he was in junior high, he never expected to be an athlete.

“I went out for cross country as a freshman and enjoyed it. So I ended up doing it and track for four years. I really enjoyed doing it.”

Damon Hegg of Covington had a pair of good runs in the 200 and 400 but took third and second respectively in the two races.

He had the unfortunate luck of running against Garret Gray of Benton Central who set sectional record in both races including breaking a record belonging to John Inman of Covington from 1992.

“Gray is tough,” said Hegg of his opponent. “He’s got great form. I gave it all I had and it wasn’t enough.”

Sometimes the races are an individual battle and other times they require teamwork.

The North Vermillion 400 relay team took second by 0.05 in 45.78 seconds – a time that would have won in 2012.

Seeger sent a group of seniors into the 1,600 relay and the squad qualified for regional with third place finish.

The team was made up of Casey Craft, Nathan DeVillez, Michael Anderson and Kyle Massey. The latter was a 100 and 200 runner competing in his first 400 and he found it tough.

“I’ve never run this before so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Massey. “At the 300 mark, I felt like my legs were going to fall off. I’d hoped we’d get second, but I just couldn’t catch him.”

Massey, a senior, said he had only started to run track in this, his senior year.

“He got me to do it,” he said, pointing to teammate Hermilo Jaimes. Asked about doing the 400 again, he replied, “You bet, it was hard but I loved it.”

Attica saw favored Kenny Little win the high jump, narrowly edging James Foley of Covington.

His older brother Zach who reached the podium in the event at state will be helping him get ready for the regional according his coach, Sarah Mattern, who said, “Zach saw two or three things and will be working with him all next week.”

When the night was over, the top area finisher was Covington who took fifth, but also suffered disappointment in the 1,600 relay when they dropped the baton.

“We had some good performances,” said Trevor Dickerson, the Covington coach. “But I’m sorry for Zeb Newlin and Brennan Wright because I think we could certainly have finished fourth and advanced.”

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at