GOSHEN – The Warsaw boys track program has overcome a lot of obstacles in its perfect run through the Northern Lakes Conference each of the last five seasons.
Maybe none more so than what the tough-minded Tigers handled Wednesday night.
Warsaw took care of a strong Goshen team on its home turf in absolutely brutal weather conditions to complete yet another undefeated league regular season.
The Tigers topped the hosts 72-51 and also defeated Elkhart Memorial 108-10 at Foreman Field on an evening more suited for football, parkas and maybe penguins.
Warsaw won the NLC triangular played out under a heavy, biting wind, rain and a wind chill around 30 degrees that made Northern Indiana the coldest place to be in the United States, except Alaska, on Wednesday night.
Coach Matt Thacker, whose team was also forced to arrive late to the meet due to an issue with its transportation, closes out the regular season at 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the NLC. Goshen, which beat Memorial 102-21, suffered its first loss of a fine season to drop to 9-1 overall and finish at 6-1 in the league. Memorial drops to 1-7 overall and goes to 1-6 in the NLC.
The Tigers, who did not arrive at Goshen High School until 5:10 p.m. for a meet slated to start at 5 p.m., have now won 41 straight NLC dual meets since a loss to Concord in the 2011 season.
“I’m excited for our seniors,” said Thacker in a phone interview following the wins. “They have never lost a dual meet in the conference. Seniors like Ross Armey and Landan Perry, who have just worked their tails off. A guy like senior Brandon Reinholt, who did not run as a freshman and a sophomore, but has been big in the sprints for us. I have nothing but positive things to say about our kids.
“If there were ever a team victory it was tonight. Our guys persevered and got it done. We talked before we left to come here about our mentality with no excuses with the weather or whatever. Goshen and Memorial had to compete in the same conditions.
“I think that it just goes back to our coaching staff. We were not upset with the weather or the bus situation. We just said roll with it and do what we do. The guys just fought through it tonight.”
Thacker knows a thing or two about competing in rough weather conditions. He is an assistant coach for the Warsaw football program.
“Tonight was the second worst athletic event that I have ever been a part of as far as the weather,” noted Thacker. “It was the worst though for track that I’ve ever seen. The only thing worse than tonight was one football game that we played in where it was raining sideways.”
The deep and talented Tigers won 10 events on the evening. The pole vault was not contested due to the conditions. Warsaw was also disqualified in the 4 X 100 relay event after dropping the baton.
The outstanding duo of Owen Glogovsky and Rane Kilburn each won a pair of events to pace the champions. Senior distance star Glogovsky captured the 1,600 with a top time of 4:41 and also took care of the completion in the 3,200 with a winning effort of 10:08.06. Kilburn, a junior, won the 100 in 11.87 and captured the long jump with a top effort of 21.5.
The pair of Ross Armey and Landan Perry both were big for the Tigers too. Senior Armey won the 300 hurdles in a time of 41.08 and senior Perry claimed the 400 in 51.63. The pair also teamed with sophomore Tristan Larsh and junior Bishop Harrison to win the 4 X 400 relay in a time of 3:32.81.
Xavi Ramirez won the 800 in a time of 2:06.41 as the Tigers got great efforts from its distance group as usual. Senior Brock Riley claimed the win in the high jump by going 5-10 and senior Dylan Childers won the shot put with a top throw of 50-2.
“It was the type of a night for distance events and our distance guys stepped up huge for us,” noted Thacker. “It just continues to show what a great job coach Peters is doing with that group. We have Owen, who’s a senior, but we have so many good young guys and that’s really cool. I thought our 4 X 800 relay team set the tone in the first event. They did not win it, but they did what we told them and went out and attacked and made Goshen work for it. That was big for us.”
The Tigers got second-place finishes from Armey (110 hurdles), Zeb Hernandez (3,200), Will McGarvey (200), Joseph Harness (high jump), Tommy Hickerson (long jump) and its 4 X 800 relay team of Ramirez, Hernandez, Trent Thompson and William Robison.
Warsaw has third-place performances from Brandon Reinholt (100), Thompson (800), Lucas Howett (3,200), Alijah Wade (200), Larsh (long jump) and Childers (discus).
Warsaw will host the NLC Championships on Tuesday night.