Brownsburg, Carmel aiming for boys’ state track titles

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From the 400m dash through the 3200m run, athletes from Brownsburg and Carmel look to dominate their events at Saturday's IHSAA state track & field meet.

"It's my last chance, it'd be a great way to end my senior year," Brownsburg senior Hari Sathyamurthy said. "I've dominated the 800m the past few years, so I'd love to go back-to-back."

Brownsburg has a defending state champion in the 800m in Sathyamurthy, as well as the state's top-seeded 400m runner in Tyler Kirtz, both will also run the 4x400m relay, an event they won two years ago.

Brownsburg quarterback and Clemson commit Hunter Johnson will step of the plane from the Elite 11 Quarterback combine in California and immediately exchange his helmet for a baton, running the lead leg of Brownsburg's 4x400m relay.

" Hunter is a unique individual, and I think he handles it because I think he knows these guys are depending on him," Brownsburg sprints coach Andre Kirtz said.

Alongside Tyler, who will play football at Ball State, Hari who will run at Stanford in the fall, and Johnson, freshman Bryce Kirtz will run a crucial second leg.

"I think me, Hunter and Hari are going to have a little more confidence going in that we know how to run this," Tyler said of his younger brother. "He knows how to run it to but he'll be a little bit more nervous than we are."

"There's definitely a lot of pressure, because I'm young and I'm running with three D-I athletes," Bryce admitted.

Despite being the rookie, the level of competition they've faced throughout the season has the Bulldog quartet primed for the finals.

"Regionals, that was basically state because five teams qualified, so that means I'm pretty much going to be racing against the guys we raced at regionals," Bryce said.

A familiar foe on the track, the Carmel Greyhounds, are looking to defend their state team title.

"I'm more focusing on the team, if I can score 20 points for the team, that would mean the world to me because we're going to need every point," Carmel senior and defending 3200m state champ Ben Veatch said.

Veatch attempting to accomplish a feat only one other athlete has in the past 20 years - the 1600m, 3200m double.

"I realize that would be a great accomplishment, winning the mile and two mile, but I'm more concerned about the 20 points I could possibly get for my team," Veatch said.

A testament to the team mentality of the Greyhounds, defending 300m hurdles  state champ Jalen Walker will be doing double duty as well, running the 4x400, which could be a shoot-out between Carmel and Brownsburg, who own the first and third seeds, respectively, entering the meet.

"I think it says a lot about our teammates," Walker said. "They're selfless, they're all for the team. They want to win the team state title and they put that above themselves, which I think is really good about their character."

The field events are set to being at 3pm, with the running events slated to begin at 4:15 pm on the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University. The meet will also be available via livestream.

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