HNHS frosh Wiley wins state championship at 1,600

Addy Wiley, a freshman at Huntington North High School, wears the medals she won at the Indiana Girls’ Track and Field State Meet on Saturday, June 1, at Indiana University, in Bloomington. Wiley won the 1,600-meter run and placed seventh in the 800-meter run.
Addy Wiley, a freshman at Huntington North High School, wears the medals she won at the Indiana Girls’ Track and Field State Meet on Saturday, June 1, at Indiana University, in Bloomington. Wiley won the 1,600-meter run and placed seventh in the 800-meter run. Photo by Steve Clark.

Huntington North High School freshman Addy Wiley won the 1,600-meter run at the Indiana Girls’ Track and Field State Meet on Saturday, June 1, at Indiana University, in Bloomington.

Wiley, a sectional and regional champion heading into the meet, crossed the finish line in 4:46.93 to beat runner-up Abigail Lynch, of Brownsburg, by more than a second. Lynch, a sophomore, finished in 4:48.19 as she and Wiley were the only two runners to break the 4:50 mark.

Mariah Wehrle, a junior from Ritter, placed third in 4:57.56.

During the race, Wiley says she didn’t realize how far ahead of the other runners she and Lynch were.

“That was a shock to me,” remarks Wiley. “I didn’t notice until I went and watched the replay, ‘Like, oh, we had a big gap.’”

Lynch was barely in front of Wiley at the 1,200-meter mark, but the Lady Viking frosh was more than a second faster on the final lap to get the win.

Wiley went 1:06.86 for her first 400 meters and followed that up with a 1:13.39 for the second lap. She slowed to a 1:15.38 for the third lap, then came back with a 1:11.27 on the final 400.

Heading into the race’s last 100 meters, Wiley trailed Lynch. As they turned the final corner, however, Wiley sped up, closing the gap and passing Lynch. Wiley says Matt Ditzler, Huntington North’s distance-running coach, had been preparing her for such a scenario all season long by implementing sprinting in her training regimen.

“Me and Ditzler had been talking through that in the previous weeks, so as soon as I hit that spot I knew, like, this is what we’ve been training for,” says Wiley. “We’ve practiced sprint stuff just for this.

“I knew I had let her get a two to three-second gap, but I knew in my head if I can keep it two to three seconds, I have a kick to come back with her. I’ve used that all season, so it’s an advantage I have.”

As soon as she caught up with Lynch, Wiley says she was confident the race was hers.

“The second I got right next to her, I knew, like, ‘This is mine … I’m not letting her have it now,’” recollects Wiley. “And then the second I crossed the finish line, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

“I could hear all my friends and family screaming. I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever.’”

Wiley says her first thought upon winning the race was of how proud Ditzler would be of her. Entering the season, Wiley says her goals were to simply break 5:10 in the 1,600 and qualify for the state meet. It was Ditzler, however, who realized she was capable of achieving loftier goals and prepared her accordingly, states Wiley.

“Like, he’s been preparing this for me all season and he said he’d be proud of me no matter what,” she says. “I was like, I want to prove that his training is working and he deserves to have a girl that’s a state champ, because he had been preparing this all season.”

Less than an hour after the 1,600, Wiley competed in the 800-meter run. Clocking in at 2:13.26, she earned seventh place and all-state honors.
Elizabeth Stanhope, of Pike, won the race with a new state-record time of 2:06.62, breaking the mark set by Brittany Neeley, of Eastern Greentown, in 2011.

Wiley went 1:05.14 in the first 400 meters and came home with a 1:08.11.

Wiley says she hadn’t run an 800 on fresh legs all season. A desire to do so, she says, informed a decision she made with Ditzler after the race to compete in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor, set for Sunday, June 16, at North Carolina A&T State University, in Greensboro, NC.

Ditzler believes she can run under 2:10 in the 800, shares Wiley.

“He knows the 800 is something that’s really frustrated me, because, especially at regional, I didn’t get the time that I want; it just didn’t go my way,” she says. “Every time you PR (personal record) in the mile, it takes a little more off your legs for the 800.”

Looking ahead to her sophomore year, Wiley says she intends to play soccer in the fall, as she did as a freshman. However, she says there’s a good chance she’ll be participating in cross country, too.

“We’ve actually talked to the coaches about doing both,” she shares. “We’ve heard there has been kids that have done it in the past. So, it’s just going to take a lot of communication and work with the coaches to balance it out and also me listening to my body and making sure I’m not overworking myself or I’m not sore, injured or too tired.

“So, it’s going to be a challenge, but I have great coaches, so I think we can work it out.”

Wiley, a Huntington resident, is the daughter of Stacy Wiley and Brian Wiley. Her mother was a state champion for Huntington North in 1995, a starter for the girls’ basketball team that won state. Stacy Wiley says she advised her daughter to simply relish the opportunity to represent the school at the state level.

She adds that the most important advice her daughter received came from Ditzler.

“Her and Ditzler have such a great relationship and he does such an incredible job that I knew there was nothing I could say that he hasn’t already covered and given her great wisdom,” says Stacy Wiley. “So, I just wanted her to have fun and enjoy the experience.”

Wiley’s championship is the first ever for Huntington North in a track event at the state meet. State titles in the field portion of the meet were previously won by Christie Richhart and Angie Joy in 1992 and 1994, respectively; both girls topped the discus competition.