Men’s track to compete in Regional meet today

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By: Jon Haslam <jhaslam@hilite.org>

With only two meets to go, the men’s track team looks for a strong push to finish out the remainder of the season. The Hounds will compete at the Regional tonight at Lafayette Jeff at 5 p.m. followed by State on May 31 at Indiana University at 3 p.m.

Joe Rippe, 400-meter/200-meter runner, long jumper and junior, said “There is more pressure at the Regional meet because every team wants to make it to State.”

Rippe has been competing in track since sixth grade and said he looks to continue into next season. Rippe said he remains confident that Carmel will come out on top in Regional.

Much like Rippe, Head Coach Chuck Koeppen said he is hoping for a win at Regional. “Hopefully the team will come out with a win, but you never really know with these meets,” he said. Koeppen said that the team’s remaining goals for the season are to do well at both Regional and State.

After being declared Sectional champs on the May 15 meet, the team looks to carry that same momentum into the final two meets.

Carmel placed first in the 12-team meet, scoring only 6.5 more points than the second place team, which was Noblesville.

Koeppen said, “Our kids competed well, knowing that every point counted. They made things happen.”

Along with Sectional the team placed first at County (nine teams) and placed second at the Noblesville Relays (eight teams), also contributing the recent success and momentum of the team.

“Most the teams I’ve coached in the past have been pretty similar, but if there was anything that set this one apart it was the character,” Koeppen said.

Koeppen said that the team represents the school well and that they worked hard. “(The team) really did everything well this season, and they were a great team to coach,” he said.

Not only is the team itself finishing its season, but Koeppen is finishing his career as coach.

Koeppen, who has been coaching for 36 years at Carmel, recently put in his resignation notice. “It’s going to be hard leaving,” Koeppen said.

Although Koeppen’s coaching for track may be over, he said he still looks forward to coaching the upcoming cross country season.

With a retiring long-time head coach and recent momentum, the Hounds said they are ready and determined to win.

“I’m going to miss these guys,” Koeppen said. “They mean the world to me, and I want to thank them for everything they do on and off the track.”

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