Victory lap sweet for Eagles
Gathered near the finish line at the Borden track and field complex, members of the Lanesville squad started to show some anxiety. All they were waiting for were scores.
Some attempted a human pyramid; others paced around or hopped on a friend’s shoulders.
Once the numbers were tabulated, the Lanesville boys’ track and field team had the audible OK to celebrate Friday as the sun set. The Eagles, scoring 153 points, captured its first boys’ track and field Southern Athletic Conference title in program history. It was the 42nd annual SAC meet.
‘It’s crazy we’ve never been able to do this before,’ Lanesville senior Caleb Clifton said. ‘We kind of have a dream team going this year. We’re all psyched about it.’
Clifton came up big for his team, winning the long jump and 110-meter hurdles. He also placed second in the high jump and 300 hurdles.
‘We had a good idea we’d win,’ Clifton said. ‘One of the parents was crunching numbers the whole time, assuring us we had it, but you never know until they announce it. All of us knew we had it, but there is still nervousness.’
Lanesville coach Garrett Blackman said he was zoned in on the competition instead of the scoring on Friday, the second day (running events) of the SAC. He knew his team had a good advantage after winning four of the five field events on Wednesday.
‘There were some races we got edged out that I really thought we needed those points, but our guys came up big,’ Blackman said. ‘We got a lot of second and third places, which is where you need to build points.’
Lanesville’s 153 points was followed by Henryville’s 117 and Borden’s 107 among the main contenders.
Wednesday’s field events set up a good-size lead for the Eagles. Starting at the discus, Austin Gootee and Elijah Wilkin went first-second with throws of 118 feet, 6 inches and 108-8, respectively.
Once completed at the discus, Wilkin powered his way to a throw of 41-10-1/2 in the shot put for the top spot there.
Going back and forth between the long jump and high jump, Clifton managed to win the long jump by two feet. His leap of 21-0-1/2 to the sand pit earned his team 10 points.
Flipping to the high jump, Riley Cook and Clifton were the lone competitors to eclipse 6 feet. Cook out-jumped his teammate, clearing 6-3, while Clifton went over 6-2.
‘I scratched on my lowest height in the high jump this year, so I wasn’t sure how I would do the rest of the way,’ Cook said. ‘Then I ended up PRing. Our guys throwing and Caleb in long jump all pulled through to sweep those events.’
Cook said he skipped early heights to save his legs, hoping to go higher, which he successfully accomplished.
Collecting big chunks of points Wednesday set up the running events on Friday.
‘With the field events, Elijah Wilkin loaded on points, winning the shot and getting second in the discus. That’s outstanding,’ Blackman said. ‘Then we go 1-2 in the high jump with Riley and Caleb. Caleb turns around and gets first in the long jump. Our field events were huge.’
Setting the tone Friday, the team of Armonti Amarquez, Cameron Hardy, Ridge Hess and Jonathon Holsapple won the 3,200-meter relay comfortably with a time of 9:28.92.
Lanesville also had respectable finishes in the remaining relays, placing second in the 1,600 (3:54 with Noah Boone, Amarquez, Cook and Hess) and third in the 400 (49.71 seconds with Evan Ash, Peyton Wiggington, Kevin Despain and Greg Daly).
Steady the rest of the way, Lanesville placed a runner at least fourth in the individual running events.
In hurdles, Clifton was first in the 110 (18.40) and narrowly second in the 300 (43.27).
‘I was disappointed about the 300 hurdles, but I am OK with my performance overall,’ Clifton said. ‘I PR’d in the high jump even though I got second. In the long jump, I was about at my top. Everything felt pretty good.’
As with everyone in the distance event at the SAC, many were chasing state-contender Juilien Magallanes from Borden. He won the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 while taking second in the 800, a loaded slate.
Cook nearly ran down Magallanes down the stretch of the 400 but finished second by one-hundredth of a second (53.18). Boone was third (54.91).
Middle distance races saw Lanesville’s Hess take third in the 800 (2:18.47), while, in the distance runs, Luke Walker was third in the 1,600 (4:55.55) and fourth in the 3,200 (11:27.58).
In sprints, Daly took third in the 100 (11.71) and second in the 200 (24.9). Lanesville’s Ash placed third in the 200 (25.55).
‘We had a lot of guys, like Evan Ash in the 200, have an outstanding race,’ Blackman said. ‘He came up to get third place, which is completely unexpected when he’s an unheard of guy on the team this year. Those were big points. Ridge Hess came in big to score points in the 800. With seed times, he was seeded not to score. It was a big performance to help us out.’
All the work paid off to come out with the most points, ending Borden’s four-year run as SAC champs.
‘It feels awesome to know we’ll be remembered as the first group to put a number on that banner,’ Cook said.
‘I’m very happy to win a first conference championship as a boys’ team,’ Blackman said. ‘It’s huge. A big night.’
South Central scored a first-place finish with T.J. Boyd at the pole vault. Boyd went up and over 9 feet to out-vault three other competitors. The next best height was 8-6.
Also for the Rebels, Brady Kuchenbrod took fourth in the discus with a throw of 100-11.
Lanesville and South Central will head to Floyd Central tomorrow (Thursday) for the sectional, featuring 12 teams. The top three place finishers will advance to the regional. The events will begin at 6 p.m.
Boys’ team scores: 1. Lanesville 153, 2. Henryville 117, 3. Borden 107, 4. New Washington 58, 5. Crothersville 28, 6. South Central 18.
Individual results: 100 ‘ 1. C. Dieterlen (H) 11.37, 2. J. Janek (H); 200 ‘ 1. C. Dieterlen (H) 24.15, 2. G. Daly (L); 400 ‘ 1. J. Magallanes (B) 53.17, 2. R. Cook (L); 800 ‘ 1. C. Tanner (H) 2:09.49, 2. J. Magallanes (B); 1,600 ‘ 1. J. Magallanes (B) 4:52.47, 2. L. VanMeter (H); 3,200 ‘ 1. J. Magallanes (B) 10:35.19, 2. L. VanMeter (H); 110 hurdles ‘ 1. C. Clifton (L) 18.40, 2. H. Lind (NW); 300 hurdles ‘ 1. C. Dieterlen (H) 43.23, 2. C. Clifton (L); 400 relay ‘ 1. New Washington (N. Franklin, C. Morgan, H. Lind, B. Schexnayder) 48.27, 2. Henryville; 1,600 relay ‘ Borden (Dr. McKinley, Du. McKinley, C. Anderson, G. Thompson) 3:52; 3,200 relay ‘ 1. Lanesville (A. Amarquez, C. Hardy, R. Hess, J. Holsapple) 9:28.92; High jump ‘ 1. R. Cook (L) 6-3, 2. C. Clifton (L); Pole vault ‘ 1. T.J. Boyd (SC) 9-0, 2. C. Anderson (B); Long jump ‘ 1. C. Clifton (L) 21-0.5, 2. J. Janek (H); Shot put ‘ 1. E. Wilkin (L) 41-10.5, 2. N. Hoskins (C); Discus ‘ 1. A. Gootee (L) 118-6, 2. E. Wilkin (L).