FORTVILLE — Moments before he found out his team had lost Wednesday’s Hancock County Track and Field Championship to Mt. Vernon by a mere three points, Greenfield-Central boys coach Scott Burton wanted to make sure a particular group of Cougars were recognized for their outstanding efforts.

“The (1,600-meter relay team) epitomizes everything we look for out of our athletes,” the coach said.

Just a few minutes earlier, Michael Sosnowski, Jason LaFord, Syrus Fletcher and Tommy Hembree ran with desperate determination in the meet’s final event of the day.

Story continues below gallery

At the time, they believed their efforts could be the difference in county glory or despair, and despite coming up short in the meet overall, they still managed to provide the most thrilling race of the evening.

The Cougars ran nearly neck-and-neck with Mt. Vernon through the first two-and-a-half legs before Fletcher opened up a sizable lead to give his team what looked to be an insurmountable advantage.

Then, out of the blue, came New Palestine’s Chris Poturalski. In a flash, the 2014 400 state qualifier and Wednesday’s male Athlete of the Meet was on top of Hembree, threatening to erase the Cougars’ balanced and steadfast efforts.

However, in the final stretch, much to the delight of the Cougar faithful in the crowd, Hembree held him off and secured the win for Greenfield-Central.

“I told those guys before the race,” Burton said. “Just go out there and give everything you have. You guys never disappoint me.”

Corinne Zehner graduated from New Palestine three years ago, but that did not stop her from having a profound mark on Wednesday’s proceedings.

The two-time Athlete of the Meet, county and school record-holder in the girls 300 hurdles and current Hillsdale (Michigan) College athlete is the sister of Dragons senior Kyle Zehner, the new boys county 300 hurdles champion.

“Basically three years ago, coach (Dan Weimer) says you’re doing 300 hurdles, because your sister was good at them,” Kyle Zehner said after the meet. “Well, I ran like a 47 my first year. Now, after a couple years of hard work, I came out here and I ran a (personal best) 41.83 and I won the county. I guess I have to give (Corinne) a little thanks now. She’s the reason I’m here.”

Only four of 16 girls events were not championed by the top seed.

One of those events was the 3,200, where New Palestine junior Riley Wilson staged a late comeback to eek out a .58-second win against Mt. Vernon’s Morgan Hayse, the event favorite.

Wilson ran neck-and-neck with Hayse for a majority of the 2 miles, before the senior Marauder opened up a 20-yard gap.

“Riley let her get a way a little bit in that last 400 (meters),” Dragons’ girls coach Chuck Myers said. “And I think Morgan might have thought the race was over.”

In the final stretch, a resolved Wilson closed fast. She caught Hayse less than 10 yards from the finish line, and by time Hayse realized what was going on, it was too late. Wilson passed her and secured the county title.

Wilson ran the event 25 seconds faster than her seed time (13:10).

“She did such a great job not giving up there,” Myers said. “It (was) a very exciting day for her.”

Girls Hancock County Track and Field Championship Results

100 meter dash

  1. Savannah Girolami, GC (11);12.77
  2. Alexa Christensen, MV (10);12.95
  3. Alex, Franklin, MV (9);13.10

200 meter dash

  1. Olivia Coleman, MV (12);25.521#
  2. Savannah Girolami, GC (11);26.13
  3. Karlee Gray, EH (11);27.27

400 meter dash

  1. Olivia Coleman, MV (12);58.881#
  2. Rachel Gottwald, GC (12);1:03.11
  3. Cassey Hancock, EH (12);1:04.77

800 meter run

  1. Sydney Cook, GC (9);2:35.84
  2. Cara Johnson, EH (11);2:40.47
  3. Erin Lyday, MV (10);2:41.04

1,600 meter run

  1. Sydney Cook, GC (9);5:46.89
  2. Chelsea Foster, MV (11);5:55:31
  3. Mattie Waggoner, NP (11);6:04.77

3,200 meter run

  1. Bailey Wallace, NP (11);12:45.00
  2. Morgan Hayse, NP (12);12:45.58
  3. Brianna Cass, GC (10);14:20.69

100 meter hurdles

  1. Maddison Wise, GC (10);15.88
  2. Hope Spaulding, EH (11);16.94
  3. Aubri Benbow, MV (12);16.96

300 meter hurdles

  1. Aubri Benbow, MV (12);45.98
  2. Maddison Wise, GC (10);47.79
  3. Hope Spaulding, EH (11);49.38

4×100 meter relay

  1. Mt. Vernon;50.581#
  2. Greenfield-Central;51.30 
  3. Eastern Hancock;51.51

4×400 meter relay

  1. Greenfield-Central;4:08.39
  2. Mt. Vernon;4:20.87
  3. Eastern Hancock;4:31.40

4×800 meter relay

  1. Greenfield-Central;10:55.05
  2. Mt. Vernon;11:08.53
  3. Eastern Hancock;11:17.62

High jump

1. Regan Lewis, GC (12);5-09.001#

2. Shelby Mourey, EH (12);5-08.001

3. Ava Dickmann, GC (10);5-02.00

3. Olivia Coleman, MV (12);5-02.00

3. Rachel Wineman, NP (12);5-02.00

Pole vault

  1. Emily Jones, GC (10);9-06.00
  2. Bailey Thompson, GC (12);9-06.00
  3. Erin Trimpe, NP (12);9-00.00

Long jump

  1. Olivia Coleman, MV (12);17-01.751#
  2. Maddison Wise, GC (10);15-06.00
  3. Ava Dickmann, GC (10);13-11.75

Shot put

  1. Kaycee Ruble, EH (11);38-01.00
  2. Lillie Cain, NP (10);33-10.50
  3. Bethany Nuckols, MV (9);32-08.50

Discus

  1. Catherine Sosnowski, GC (12);102-05
  2. Lillie Cain, NP (10);100-09.50
  3. Emily Wilson, EH (09);89-03

# New county meet record

Boys Hancock County Track and Field Championship Results

100 meter dash

  1. Austin Herald, GC (10);11.38
  2. Chris Poturalski, NP (12);11.40
  3. Donovan Bigelow, MV (10);11.43

200 meter dash

  1. Chris Poturalski, NP (12);22.67
  2. Austin Herald, GC (10);22.81
  3. Donovan Bigelow, MV (10);23.13

400 meter dash

  1. Chris Poturalski, NP (12);50.38
  2. Michael Sosnowski, GC (10);51.95
  3. Louie Blaser, GC (12);52.67

800 meter run

  1. Brisco Wood, MV (11);2:00.93
  2. Riley Wilson, NP (11);2:02.95
  3. Jason LaFord, GC (12);2:04.14

1,600 meter run

  1. Aaron Rush, MV (11);4:21.991#
  2. Christian Noble, MV (11);4:25.55
  3. Clayon Brumfield, EH (11);4:36.25

3,200 meter run

  1. Christian Noble, MV (11);9:45.99
  2. Zach Bishop, GC (11);10:07.16
  3. Jake Russell, MV (12);10:12.98

100 meter hurdles

  1. Josh Woodard, GC (12);16.64
  2. Cole Cochard, EH (11);17.11
  3. Austin Hart, NP (11);17.58

300 meter hurdles

  1. Kyle Zehner, NP (12);41.83
  2. Jayson Bowers, EH (10);43.35
  3. Braxton Ratekin, MV (12);43.52

4×100 meter relay

  1. Mt. Vernon;44.30
  2. New Palestine;45.74
  3. Eastern Hancock;45.92

4×400 meter relay

  1. Greenfield-Central;3:28.64
  2. New Palestine;3:28.78
  3. Mt. Vernon;3:35.40

4×800 meter relay

  1. Mt. Vernon;8:23.90
  2. Greenfield-Central;8:41.25
  3. New Palestine;9:04.25

High jump

  1. Caleb Beyers, EH (11);5-10.00
  2. Braden Brown, GC (09);5-08.00
  3. Braden Dickey, EH (11);5-08.00

Pole vault

  1. Lincoln Hine, MV (12);12-00.00
  2. Kyle Forsythe, MV (12);11-06.00
  3. Jacob Keener, GC (11);11-00.00

Long jump

  1. Braden Brown, GC (9);20-03.25
  2. Luke Smith, GC (9);19-01.50
  3. Brayton Shannon, MV (12);19-00.00

Shot put

  1. Zach Phillips, GC (12);50-01.50
  2. Andy Kim, GC (11);48-00.50
  3. Wyatt Gutierrez, MV (12);47-02.00

Discus

  1. Wyatt Gurtierrez, MV (12);141-04
  2. Zach Phillips, GC (12);141-02
  3. Reece Burkhart, EH (10);134-07

# New county meet record