Madison’s Raven Lee (above, 63) leads a group that includes (from left) Switzerland County’s Eve Galbreath, Jeffersonville’s Nycia Ford and Scottsburg’s Megan Stewart in the 100-meter hurdles. Lee won that event as well as the 300 hurdles. The Cubs’ Emily Holland (below) defended her title in the high jump while younger sister Maddie claimed first place in the pole vault. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison’s Raven Lee (above, 63) leads a group that includes (from left) Switzerland County’s Eve Galbreath, Jeffersonville’s Nycia Ford and Scottsburg’s Megan Stewart in the 100-meter hurdles. Lee won that event as well as the 300 hurdles. The Cubs’ Emily Holland (below) defended her title in the high jump while younger sister Maddie claimed first place in the pole vault. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
JEFFERSONVILLE - Raven Lee knew it was going to be a close battle if she was going to defend her sectional crown in the 100-meter hurdles. She just didn't realize how close that would be.

The Madison junior used a late burst of speed in the final 10 meters to edge Scottsburg's Megan Stewart by six-one-hundreths of a second to win her second-straight sectional title at Jeffersonville on Tuesday. Twenty minutes later she repeated the feat by winning the 300-meter hurdles.

Lee's twin titles were the highlight of the night for the Cubs who also got sectional crowns by the Holland sisters, Emily and Maddie, and finished second in the team standings, 149-119 behind Jeffersonville.

Lee had the fastest time in the 100 hurdle preliminaries but was pushed the whole way by Stewart and Jeffersonville's Nycia Ford. She knew she was going to have to be even faster in the finals.

The three hurdlers were neck-and-neck for the first 50 meters before Lee and Stewart edged out in front. Stewart appeared to take the lead on the final hurdle but Lee used her late kick to cross the line first.

Lee's winning time of 16.75 seconds was just a blink faster than Stewart's 16.89. Ford was third at 17.16 and Switzerland County's Bre Ricketts was fourth in 17.27.

"In the prelims, (Stewart) did get in front of me but I made sure I came out stronger than she did in the end," Lee said. "I knew in the finals she would be out to get me and already being a sectional champion, I felt like I needed to come out and prove myself and be a sectional champ again. So I did whatever I could to keep running hard and do what I could for my team."

Lee needed a similar final kick to pull away from Stewart in the 300 hurdle finals a few minutes later. Her time of 50.03 was nearly half a second faster than Stewart, who finished at 50.52.

The 300 hurdles don't have the same appeal to Lee as the shorter race, but she was still happy to get the win.

"I look at my 300 hurdles as death but I make sure I do whatever possible so that my team gets points," Lee said with a smile. "I felt like today was when I was going to get my personal best and look what ended up happening."

Like Lee, Emily Holland won her signature event at the sectional a year ago but she needed tie-breakers to beat Southwestern's Nadia Moore in the high jump.

Holland didn't want to rely on tie-breakers this year and responded with a season-best jump of 5 feet, 4 inches. Moore and Jeffersonville's Candea Smith each jumped 5-2, with Smith taking second on the tie-breaker.

"It was definitely a lot different than last year because it was off of misses and it was only at 5-foot," said the Madison junior. "I'm just really happy. I haven't been doing that great this year and this is definitely a big confidence boost."

Holland's younger sister, Maddie, came into the pole vault seeded third but left with a win and a sectional record of 10 feet-even. Fellow Cub Emily Ward, who was seeded first, finished second at 9 feet, 6 inches, the second-straight year she's lost a sectional title to a teammate.

"It was really fun and Emily did great too," the Cub freshman said. "Emily is really good. She's always so nice and happy and whenever I'm nervous she talks to me."

The younger Holland almost joined Lee as a multiple winner, coming up just short in the 200-meter dash where she placed second. Holland has only been running that event the past few weeks and she opted against using a starting block on Tuesday.

"I am so proud of her. My sister is a track god," Emily Holland said. "I just can't believe how good she's going to be when she's a senior. She's three inches away from the school-record in the pole vault and she's going to regional in three different events. I'm so proud of her."

Madison qualified athletes for next week's regional at Bloomington North in 11 events. Along with the four champions, the other regional qualifiers for the Cubs were: Maddie Holland, second, 200 dash, 27.22; Emily Ward, second, pole vault, 9-6; Maddie Holland, Taylor Hysell, Raven Lee and Daija O'Banion, second, 400 relay, 52.59; Sage Sproles, third, long jump, 16-3.5; Ashlee Allen, Catherine Fisher, Raven Lee and Hysell, third, 1600 relay, 4:28.20; Allen, fourth, 400 dash, 1:04.13; and Macky Hecox, fourth, discus, 114-0.5.

Switzerland County placed fifth as a team and qualified athletes for the regional in six events including: Moriah Northcutt, third, 300 hurdles, 51.02; Megan Dasis, Eve Galbreath, Northcutt and Bre Ricketts, third, 400 relay, 54.62; Whitley Schirmer, fourth, 3200 run, 12:31.75; Ricketts, fourth, 100 hurdles, 17.27; Dasis, fourth, long jump, 15-11; and Audrey Kinne, Jade Mullins, Cameron Ray and Schirmer, fourth, 3200 relay, 10:57.92.

Southwestern, which won the sectional title two years ago, placed sixth as a team and had three athletes qualify for regional in four different events. Nadia Moore was third in the high jump at 5 feet, 2 inches and third in the 400-meter dash in 1:03.90. Bethani Kleopfer was fourth in the shot put at 36 feet, 11 inches, and Savannah Rueda was fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:34.18.

Shawe Memorial sent only three athletes to sectional and failed to score a team point. Results for the Hilltoppers were: Sarelia Garcia, ninth, 100 dash, 14.51, 10th, 400 dash, 1:08.29 and 19th, discus, 62-8; Caroline Wehner, 12th, 800 run, 2:56.50; and Bailey Wolf, 16th, long jump, 12-7.

Other results for Madison were: Carmen Velasco, fifth, long jump, 15-4, seventh, 100 hurdles, 18.55 and seventh, 300 hurdles, 53.34; Sage Sproles, fifth, high jump, 5-0 and 12th, 400 dash, 1:13.12; Olivia Crozier, fifth, shot put, 34-5; Ashlee Allen, Gretchen Andreason, Catherine Fisher and Gabby Nay, fifth, 3200 relay, 11:09.61; Emily Holland, sixth, discus, 103-01; Macky Hecox, sixth, shot put, 34-0.5; Nay, seventh, 800 run, 2:40.91 and seventh, 1600 run, 6:16.79; Fisher, eighth, 800 run, 2:42.18; Taylor Hysell, eighth, 200 dash, 29.18; Andreason, eighth, 3200 run, 14:08.26; and Grace Spencer, 10th, 1600 run, 6:30.38.

Other results for Switzerland County were: Eve Galbreath, fifth, 100 hurdles, 17.79 and seventh, shot put, 33-1; Mackenzie Covington, Megan Dasis, Moriah Northcutt and Bre Ricketts, fifth, 1600 relay, 4:46.48; Dasis, sixth, 200 dash, 27.87; Northcutt, eighth, 100 dash, 14.49; McKayli Scudder, sixth, high jump, 4-10; Covington, ninth, 400 dash, 1:06.13; Cameron Ray, ninth, 3200 run, 14:49.98; Anja Rotter, ninth, 300 hurdles, 56.96; Jade Mullins, 10th, 800 run, 2:51.82; Susie Reyes, 10th, shot put, 29-5 and 16th, discus, 75-6; Audrey Kinne, 11th, 400 dash, 1:11.09 and 14th, long jump, 13-4; and Natalie Newman, 15th, discus, 76-0.

Other results for Southwestern were: Nadia Moore, fifth, 200 dash, 27.52 and 11th, long jump, 14-3; Jordyn McNally, sixth, 100 dash, 14.23; Savannah Rueda, sixth, 400 dash, 1:05.66 and sixth, long jump, 15-2; Rebekah Anderson, seventh, 3200 run, 14:07.20; Bethani Kleopfer, 12th, discus, 81-6; Elizabeth Bramer, 18th, shot put, 21-7; and Sabrina Reno, 21st, discus, 50-5.

Team scores were: Jeffersonville, 149; Madison, 119; Silver Creek, 88; Henryville, 79; Switzerland Co., 49; Southwestern, 37; Charlestown, 33; Scottsburg, 23; New Washington, 14; Rock Creek, 12; and Austin, 11.

The IHSAA Regional will be held at Bloomington North High School on Tuesday.