Jarrell wins state title in 3,200-meter run


BLOOMINGTON — Pendleton Heights junior Ava Jarrell entered Friday’s IHSAA Girls Track and Field State Finals with high expectations.

The Indiana University commit was running on her future home track, and in her event, the 3200-meter, she came in seeded in the top spot by 19 seconds.

She lived up to the expectations and ended years of state finals frustration with a dominating win to become an IHSAA State Champion.

Jarrell finished with a time of 10:10.15, and held off the 2023 cross country state champion – Indian Creek’s Libby Dowty – to secure the championship. Her time was a new personal best and a new Pendleton Heights school record.

Dowty placed third with a time of 10:15.14 and Homestead’s Addison Knoblauch followed with a time of 10:17.53. The trio outran the rest of the field by over 16 seconds.

For Jarrell, the trip to the state finals was her third in three years and was easily her best. As a freshman, she was 16th in the 800-meter and last year was 12th in the 1600-meter.

With the win, Jarrell became the third girl in school history to win a state championship. Ellie McCardwell won the pole vault in 2009 and 2010, and Alex Buck also won the 3200-meter in 2016.

It caps off a near-perfect junior season for Jarrell in the 3200 in which she won a regional title, won the sectional, won Madison County, and took the top spot at the Carmel Distance Showcase.

Jarrell was also a sectional champion in the 1600, won the 800 and 1600 at the Zionsville Invitational, was a county champion in the 800 and 1600 along with the 3200, was first in the 1600 at the Pike Invitational, won the 800 at the Muncie Burris Owl Invitational, and was runner-up at the Hoosier Heritage Conference meet and the Pendleton Heights Invite in the 800 and 1600.

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