COVID cancellations were the big sports story of 2020. These cancellations and fan limitations declined dramatically in 2021, paving the way for other big stories to rise to the top of the Republic’s Top 10 sports stories. from 2021.
1. Michael Brinegar competes in the Tokyo Olympics.
Brinegar has had an unforgettable summer. The Columbus native and junior in a red shirt from Indiana University qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in two swimming events in June, becoming the second Columbus athlete to make an Olympic team . At the end of July, he finished 17th at the Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle and 1,500 freestyle. In October, he and other Olympic athletes from Indiana received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Governor Eric Holcomb.
2. The Columbus North women’s team and men’s individual Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff win state titles in cross country.
While the Northern Boys didn’t repeat themselves as tag team champions, Kilbarger-Stumpff, a senior, was a surprise individual winner in the national final, leading the Bull Dogs to a third tag team in late October. Hours later, the Girls from the North won their second state team title in school history and their first since 2009.
3. North’s Tucker Smith sets state records in the shot put, wins Indiana Track and Field Player of the Year from Gatorade and All-American honors.
Although he was just a junior at Columbus North in the spring, Smith rewrote the record book in the shot put. He broke the all-time state record twice with a best of 69ft, 7in in late May and broke the state competition record with a 67-11 1/4 throw in early June. In July, Smith was named Indiana’s Gatorade athletic player of the year and in December, he was named All-American by Track and Field News.
4. Josh Holley qualifies for the Boston Marathon.
Holley has been trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon for several years. In early November, he became one of the few Special Olympics athletes to qualify for the iconic race when he broke the three-hour barrier, which was the norm for his age group with a time of 2: 53:55 in Indianapolis. Monumental marathon. The Columbus North and Purdue graduates plan to run the Boston Marathon in April.
5. Ali Patberg helps lead IU Women’s Basketball to Elite Eight.
Patberg was a driving force behind the Hoosiers’ best season in school history. The Columbus North graduate was the third leading scorer for an IU team that made the Elite Eight for the first time. Days after the season, Patberg announced that she would take advantage of the extra year given to athletes by the NCAA due to COVID, and again place the Hoosiers in the nation’s top 10.
6. Tony Stewart wins the TQ Midget race on the night track which is renamed “Tony Stewart Speedway”.
Last fall, local racing officials started talking about renaming the Bartholomew County 4-H fairground track in honor of Tony Stewart, and in late June it came to fruition. Hours after a dedication ceremony and a delay in rain and lightning, Stewart won the midget three-quarter race at the fair.
7. North’s Emily Moore wins state title on beam and finishes second in gymnastics all-around.
Moore had come close to winning a state title in her first two years, but as a junior she won the elusive crown with a victory on beam. Moore was also second in the all-around and third on bars and floor to lead the Bull Dogs to sixth place tag team in the state final in March.
8. The Tough Mudder and Mill Race Half Marathon events return after a one year hiatus.
The Mill Race Half Marathon returned in September after taking place only virtually in 2020, but the full marathon was canceled due to concerns over COVID and the search for enough volunteers to staff the entire course. of race personnel. The Tough Mudder race was also back in July in Ceraland after a one-year hiatus after its 2019 debut.
9. Alan and Chris Walsh’s horse, California Angel, competes in the Breeders Cup.
Four months after their trainer bought a filly for $ 5,500 at an auction in Florida, Columbus couple Alan and Chris Walsh watched California Angel win $ 120,000 for winning the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Grade event. Two in Lexington, Kentucky. This qualified California Angel to compete in the prestigious Breeders Cup on November 5 in California.
10. School records fall.
Several long-standing school records were broken by athletes and local teams in 2021. Among the most notable, Columbus North softball won 25 games en route to a regional title, and pitcher Maddi Rutan defeated a school record of 15 circuits as a second year. In the fall, Columbus East senior Chris Quisenberry broke school records for career goals scored and goals scored in a single season, and senior North Jenna Lang broke the school record for career goals scored. before sustaining a season-ending MCL and PCL injury.