BLOOMINGTON | Chelsie Meeks' track career has been a cage match of emotions.
But that light at the end of the tunnel has gotten larger, brighter.
The Rensselaer junior overcame a fifth-place state finish in discus last season, a sprained MCL this spring that forced her to change her throwing style, then capped it off Friday with a runner-up finish at the girls state finals at Indiana University.
Meeks' effort of 142 feet, 5 inches was beaten by DeKalb's Rachel Dincoff, who threw 143-7.
She couldn't hide her disappointment.
“It was a tough loss,” said the misty-eyed Meeks. “I had a hard time finishing on my throws. It was just everything. There's stuff I still have to work on.”
The daughter of Bombers' football coach Chris Meeks refused to use her knee problem as an excuse.
“It set me back earlier because I couldn't practice, but it feels fine now,” she said. “I'm going to the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., later this month. There'll be more competition and maybe I can do better.”
Lake Central's Kaitlyn Moricz, also a junior, was ecstatic over her third-place finish in the long jump, sailing 18 feet, 3 ¼ inches.
“I had a rough start (to the meet). I was tight and nervous. But I stayed positive,” Moricz said, all smiles.
Moments after stepping down from the awards stand, Moricz was off to join the Indians' 400-meter relay, which she anchored.
“Coach (Ron Fredrick) told me to have fun, stay positive, and just do my best. I'm real happy with the results,” Moricz said.
A chilled crowd of 3,872 under charcoal skies watched as Pike edged defending co-champ North Central, 55-49.
Westview senior Skyler Carpenter was a triple winner -- taking the long jump (18-10 1/2), 100 hurdles (14.13) and 300 hurdles (42.20). She was named the meet's Mental Attitude Winner, to no one's surprise.
The region had three other individual medalists in Merrillville's Jaleesa Holmes, who was eighth in the 100 hurdles (14.84); Munster's Alex Meier, ninth in the 300 hurdles (45.22); and Lowell's Allison Manchester, ninth in the high jump (5-4).
Highest team finishes, locally, were Lake Central (23rd), Rensselaer (29th) and Merrillville (29th), and Chesterton (47th).