WARSAW – Warsaw boys coach Matt Thacker expected his team to compete Tuesday night.
That’s just what they do.
The talented Tigers definitely didn’t disappoint their coach either.
Warsaw rolled to another impressive championship performance in dominating the Northern Lakes Conference Meet.
While the bad weather rolled through Warsaw earlier in the day, the host Tigers then went out and stormed their way to the title.
Warsaw piled up 188 points to easily outdistance runner-up Wawasee, which finished with 115.5.
The Tigers started the postseason in style, right where another undefeated NLC regular season left off. Warsaw has also won the Goshen Relays title and its own Max Truex Invitational crown this spring.
“It was a dominating performance,” said Thacker, whose program has captured four straight NLC championships. “I expected us to compete and do well tonight and the guys did that. It’s about their commitment level day in and day out and the evidence of that tonight speaks for itself.
“We compete in everything we do. The exciting thing is that if you don’t compete, your’e probably not going to be a part of this. We are about as healthy as all season. Maybe the healthiest and that’s exciting for us. We just have to continue to get better.
“The thing is that you look at our depth with guys like Storm Stapleton and Tanner Balazs. We’ve had some big additions this year with guys like Mike Miller, Tanner, Rashaan Jackson and Riley Rhoades. Those four have stepped up for us.”
Senior distance star Ellis Coon led the way for Warsaw. The Tulsa recruit, who missed almost all of his junior track season due to a foot injury, showed a big kick to win the 1,600 in 4:22.27. He then cruised to victory in the 3,200 in a top time of 9:45.99.
“This was a lot of fun,” said Coon, who placed third in the Cross County State Finals back in October. “It’s always fun to run versus friends like tonight.
“It’s all about getting points for the team. I feel really good right now and feel like I’m ready.”
Senior Michael Miller blazed to a win in the 100 meter dash. The first year track performer won in 11.19, edging out Plymouth senior Michael Hartman (11.33) at the finish.
Miller also teamed with classmates Tanner Balazs, Gabe Furnivall and Tristan McClone to win the 4 X 100 relay in 43.13.
Furnivall, as usual, had another big night. He also won the 400 in 50.45 and anchored the winning 4 X 400 relay team, that also featured seniors Ryan Goon and Chad Goon and sophomore Landon Perry. That foursome won in a time of 3:25.84.
The Tigers also showcased their skills in the field events.
Senior strong man Seth Fouts, who is headed on to Kentucky, won the shot put with a throw of 57-5 and was second in the discus with a toss of 137-5.
Senior Stephan Kolbe outdueled Wawasee’s JJ Gilmer to win the high jump title at 6-4. Junior Andrew Scheidt won the discus with a top throw of 140-10. Junior Rashaan Jackson went 20-5 1/4 to win the long jump championship.
Warsaw also claimed winning honors in the 4 X 800 relay with the team of seniors Ismael Calderon and Tyler Houvener and juniors Daniel Messenger and Nick Bergen in a time of 8:08.39.
Senior Dylan Campbell was second in the 300 hurdles for the Tigers. Senior McClone was second in the 200 with senior Storm Stapleton third.
Other individual champions were Wawasee junior star Clayton Cook in the 110 hurdles (14.79), the 300 hurdles (41.35) and the 200 (22.64), Elkhart Memorial senior Blake Kramer in the 800 (1:57.89) and Goshen junior Jacob Isnogle in the pole vault (12-0).
Goshen was third in the final team standings with 92.5 points. Northridge was fourth with 81, followed by Elkhart Memorial (72.5), NorthWood (64.5), Concord (61.5) and Plymouth (57.5).
The teams will compete in the Goshen Sectional on May 22.