With indoor season behind us, ECI Runner is taking a look at who to watch out for this season as outdoor season begins in the ECI area.
2023 ECI Runner Boys to Watch Grey Backus (Freshman, Delta) The younger of the two Backus brothers will provide dominant depth in the sprinting events for Delta against ECI foes this season. Quinn Backus (Senior, Delta) Backus was already the state runner-up in the 60M this year at the Small School State Meet this spring and will be looking to advance to the IHSAA outdoor state championship again this June where he advanced in the 200M last season. Clay Batio (Senior, Delta) Batio, who decided to trade in his baseball glove for track spikes this spring, is Delta’s top 3200M runner this season and is a key leg on their 4x800 Small School Hoosier State Relays qualifying relay team. Eli Chamberlin (Junior, Monroe Central) Chamberlain is returning as Monroe Central’s top distance runner and will look to have another successful season as he qualified for regionals in the 1600 last season. Ashton Chambers (Senior, Muncie Central) Chambers is a returning sprinter who will look to have a strong senior season as a top ECI sprinter. Nick Cook (Junior, Wapahani) The two-time defending Delta Sectional Champion in the 1600 will look to make it a three-peat this May in the same event as well as advance in the tournament in the 3200M and 4x800 team. Ephram Daughtarly (Sophomore, Yorktown) The Yorktown sprinter placed 4th in the 400 in last years sectional and will look to improve on that this year. Tyler Dillion (Junior, Delta) Dillion has already gone sub-two minute for the 800M on an indoor track this year and will continue to look to drop time to possibly qualify for the IHSAA state meet in June. Easton Foster (Sophomore, Monroe Central) Foster was already the indoor small school state runner up in high jump and will look to continue to improve and advance in the state tournament in May. Curtis Hansard (Senior, Cowan) Hansard returns this year as Cowan’s top sprinter where he is expected to have a heavy workload including the 100M, 200M, 4x100 and 4x400. Kory Lingenfelter (Junior, Wapahani) Lingenfelter has qualified for regionals in the 110 hurdles both is sophomore and freshman season and will look to make it there again as a junior. Alden Mahaffey (Senior, Monroe Central) The Monroe Central senior placed 3rd last year in high jump in sectionals last year and will look to qualify for regionals again this year. Dylan Manor (Senior, Delta) The Delta Eagle started off his senior season strong by placing 12 in shot put in the small school indoor state. He will be looking to keep the success going to help a strong Delta team this year. Mason Molton (Junior, Yorktown) The defending sectional champ in both shot and disc a season ago has already placed 3rd in small school indoor state and will have the continue on that success as outdoor season starts. Cole Munchel (Senior, Monroe Central) Munchel the Ball State football commit placed 2nd in shot a year ago at sectional and will look to make it to the regional again. Aidan Moystner (Senior, Winchester) The Winchester distance specialist is a two-time semi-state qualifier in cross-country and will be hoping to advance to track regionals in the 1600M this season. Kolton Nanko (Senior, Yorktown) Nanko is back for his senior season he will look to make it back to the state meet where he qualified in pole vault. The senior also was regional qualifier in the 300 hurdles last season. Jon Shrock ( Senior, Wapahani) The Raider senior placed 2nd in high jump in last years sectional and will look to help the raiders in many events this spring. Abram Stitt (Senior, Delta) Stitt is the top returning long jumper in Indiana based on the results of last year’s IHSAA State Meet. Stitt has also made noise already this year by winning the long jump at the Small School Hoosier State Relays State Championship. Stitt will also have big goals in the high jump and the relays as well. Emmanuel Taylor ( Sophomore, Muncie Central) Returning from a 2nd place finish in shot put in the sectional a year ago will look to improve even more this year. Brandt Thornburg (Senior, Cowan) Thornburg will be Cowan’s top thrower in the shot put in discus this spring and will be on the short list of regional hopefuls in discus. Conner Walser (Junior, Union City) The Union City runner and jumper will look to improve and have a successful junior season in the 300 hurdles and long jump. Quintin Williams ( Junior, Yorktown) Williams qualified for regionals in both the 100 and 200 last spring and will look to do it again this year in his junior season.
2023 ECI Runner Girls to Watch Kadence Aikin (Senior, Daleville) Aikin is the top returning sprinter for Daleville this year and will be a catalyst on the Bronco 4x400 team that narrowly missed a regional qualifying spot a year ago.
Haileigh Allen (Freshman, Randolph Southern) The 2022 ECI Runner XC Freshman of the Year will focus on the 1600M and 800M races for the Rebels this year as Allen will have goals to win at the county and conference level and make a lot of noise when the post-season arrives.
Jillian Barr (Freshman, Delta) Barr has already made some noise in her freshman season qualifying for the Indiana Small School State Indoor Meet in long jump. Barr will also be sprinting for what should be a pretty strong Delta team.
Gabi Bilbroy (Senior, Jay County) Bilbroy was a regional qualifier in two events (shot put and discus) in 2022 including being the Delta Sectional Champion in discus.
Olivia Bohanon (Senior, Delta) The 2022 800M Delta Sectional runner-up is back for her senior season where she will be a very important part of the Lady Eagle’s success this season.
Alaina Bowman (Junior, New Castle) Bowman was a two-time regional qualifier in 2022 in shot put and discus, the latter of which she was the Pendleton Heights Sectional Champion.
Caitlyn Campbell (Junior, Winchester) The 2022 300H Delta Sectional Champion will hope to advance through the tournament in both hurdle events with the end goal of punching a ticket to the IHSAA state meet in Bloomington.
Amya Carr (Senior, Wapahani) Carr, who was an IHSAA State qualifier in the high jump last season is back and has already had success in 2023 qualifying for the Indiana Small School Indoor State Meet in high jump.
Rhian Cline (Senior, Delta) After being out the 2022 season, Cline is back for the Lady Eagles as a sprinter and high jumper. Already this spring Cline has high jumped 5’3.75, just missing her 2021 PR of 5’4.
Ella Garvin (Senior, New Castle) The Miami University commit is looking forward to getting back on track in 2023 after her 2022 season was cut short due to injury. Prior to that, Garvin was a state qualifier in both the 300H and high jump in 2021.
Charlee Gibson (Sophomore, Blue River) Gibson was a 2022 regional qualifier in the 800M and will plan on using the success she had during a stellar 2022 cross-country season to build on for this upcoming outdoor season.
Victoria Hardnett (Senior, Muncie Central) Hardnett was a double Delta Sectional Champion in the High Jump and 100H last season (and also placed 2nd in the 300H.) Look for Hardnett to be one of the top point getters in the entire area this spring.
Lydia Harvey (Senior, New Castle) Harvey was the 2022 3200M Pendleton Heights Sectional Champion and qualified for regional in the 1600 as well. This indoor season, she was a 3200M Indiana Large School State Indoor Meet Qualifier.
Madi Howell (Senior, Cowan) Gearing up for her senior campaign, Howell will look to build off of her 1st place finish in the 100M at the Delta Sectional last season.
Kendra Keesling (Senior, Delta) Keesling was the Delta Sectional Champion in long jump and 2022 and also advanced to regionals in the 100H. Expect a big season out of Keesling as she already has had success this season advancing to the Small School Indoor State Meet individually in both long jump and the 60H.
Brooke Miles (Senior, Yorktown) The 2022 200M Delta Sectional Champ is back at it in 2023 leading a stable of fast Yorktown runners this season.
Gretchen Moore (Senior, Yorktown) Moore was the 2022 Delta Sectional Champion in shot put and finished 4th in that event this past weekend at the Indiana Small School Indoor Meet.
Faith Norris (Junior, Daleville) Norris was a 2022 regional qualifier in both the 800m and 1600m last season and had a strong indoor season this spring narrowly missing all-state honors finishing 9th at the Indiana Small School Indoor State Meet in the 3200M.
Emilee Pugh (Senior, Daleville) Pugh returns this season as one of the top throwers in the area and has already shot put almost two feet further (32’9.75) than she did all of last season at the Indiana Small School indoor meet last weekend.
Missy Riegle (Senior, Muncie Burris) One of the most decorated athletes in the area, Riegle returns this season as being a 400M and Pole Vault sectional champion from a season ago. Riegle also won the Small School Indoor State Pole Vault Champion this past weekend.
Kylee Robles (Freshman, Delta) Robles will look to continue to build off a successful freshman cross-country season as she hopes to fill the Eagle void left by her sister graduating a season ago.
Brianna Smith (Junior, Randolph Southern) Smith, the lone returning regional qualifying athlete for the Rebels from a season ago will look to lead their team to more success in 2023.
Nicki Southerland (Junior, Delta) The 2022 3200M State Champion will have her eyes set on more championships, school records and perhaps state records in the upcoming 2023 season.
Avery Thomas (Freshman, Monroe Central) Thomas will look to lead an exceptionally strong Lady Bear distance contingent as she continues to build off a successful cross-country season that saw Monroe Central win a sectional championship.
Kendyl Thrasher (Senior, Wapahani) The Ball State commit was a regional qualifier in the 1600M in 2022 and just missed qualifying in the 3200M finishing 4th. Thrasher will look to be one of the area’s top distance runners again in 2023. Natalie Wehrly (Senior, Jay County) After qualifying for regional in both the 100M and 200M races last season Wehrly is one of the top returning sprinters in ECI this spring.
Brynn Wright (Cowan) After dealing with injuries for most of the 2022 track season, Wright got back on the right track this past fall with her third semi-state appearance.