PLYMOUTH- Track and field superiority was up for grabs at Plymouth High School on Saturday as the Rock Pile played host to the 2014 North East Lakes Middle School Conference Championships.
The boys meets were exciting and exhilarating for four local schools, Edgewood, Lakeview, Wawasee and Whitko. A scrappy Wawasee team played an underdog role and managed to tie for first with Riverview in the seventh grade meet as both teams finished with 74 points. Lakeview tied for third with Crestview with 65 points, Edgewood finished sixth with 62 points and Whitko took seventh place with 31 points.
In the eighth grade meet it was Riverview that claimed top prize with a score of 100.75 points. Edgewood (93), Lakeview (69.75), Whitko (56) and Wawasee (26) finished second, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
In the seventh grade meet each of the four area schools won at least one event but it was depth that helped Wawasee claim first place.
The Warrior seventh graders took first place in the 110 hurdles with Luke Griner (17.70) finishing first in front of Jon O’Dell (17.80) of Indian Springs. Wawasee also took first in the 4×400 relay. The relay team made up of Griner, Braxton Alexander, Dylan Hepler and Bennett Hoffert finished with a time of 4:15.39 to beat out Riverview’s time of 4:16.54.
Hepler took second in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes with times of 12.69 and 26.14, respectively. He also placed third in the long jump 15’8.75″ to help boast the depth for the Warriors.
Griner (2:21.23) and Hoffert (2:27.55) took second and third, respectively, in the 800 meter run for Wawasee. Braeden Schlabach also picked up a fourth place finish for Wawasee in the high jump with his height of 4’6″. The second through fourth place finishes across the board were what ultimately put Wawasee into first place with Riverview.
The win for the Warriors came as a surprise to many but made nobody happier than Wawasee head coach Jay Smith.
“Coming in we weren’t real sure how our boys would do,” said and very pleased coach Smith. “We had to dismiss one of our best distance runners from the team this week because he missed too many practices so we were in a tough spot coming in but the boys made up for it.
“We had two runners, per event, that did well and that picks up big points. I don’t know what else to say about our boys today, they did well and I’m very happy for them.”
Since there was a tie for first and only one plaque to be given out on Saturday, Lincoln Junior High Athletic Director Carol Gilbert decided a fun way for Riverview and Wawasee to determine who would get to take the plaque home and who would have to wait for theirs to arrive in the mail. Gilbert asked for a number between one and ten from each team and Wawasee guessed the closer of the two numbers, which can be seen in the video below.
Lakeview’s placed first in three events on Saturday. Bryce Garner finished first for the Tigers with a time of 57.59 in the 400 meter dash. William Robison took first in both the 800 and 1600 meter runs with times of 2:19.09 and 5:00.68, respectively.
Lakeview’s 4×4 relay team of Robison, Eli Owen, Josse Leyva and Eric Ramirez claimed third place with a time of 4:29.25. Owen also took second in the long jump (16’7.5″).
Edgewood and Whitko each claimed first in one event on Saturday. Whitko’s Zack Freel won the high jump with his height of 4’9″. The Edgewood 4×1 relay team took first with a time of 51.49. The relay team was Gustavo Cartejena, Kane Dawson, Cobe VanHouten and Jack Stewart.
Edgewood did much better in the eighth grade meet, despite not placing first in any event.
Edgewood’s second place finish overall in the meet was highlighted by four second place finishes in various events. The Tigers took second in 100 (Daniel Deantes, 12.86), 400, (Marc Motter, 57.94), 1600 (Motter, 5:11.71) and high jump (Dane Stookey, 5’1″).
Edgewood’s 4×1 and 4×4 relay teams both took third. Deantes, Brandon Bradley, Kyle Hayward and Lucas Harvey made up the 4×1 team. The 4×4 team included Kennis Dye, Taylor Mills, Ridley Lemon and Motter.
John Svinarich claimed a third place finish in the discus throw for Edgewood with a distance of 117’9″.
Lakeview was well represented by Eduardo Calderon. Calderon took first in the 1600 (5:07.70) and second in the 800 (2:15.86). Leytan Perry picked up a second place finish in the shot put ring for the Tigers with his distance of 40’6″.
Whitko’s eighth grade held its own in several events. Matt Smith took first in discus (125’2″) and third in shot (38’8″). Alex Wilson gave the Wildcats something to cheer about on the track as he claimed first in both the 100 and 200 with times of 12.66 and 25.73, respectively. Cory Sandlin also took first for Whitko in the 110 hurdles with a time of 17.76.
Wawasee struggled to break through in most events. Zach Linnemeir claimed fifth and sixth place in the 800 and 1600, respectively, for Wawasee. Travis Harney, Blayne Faught, Jacob Moore and Dalton Pearish made up the 4×1 relay team for the Warriors that claimed fifth place.
Pearish also took fifth place in shot (36’1″) and fourth in discus (114′).