WALDRON — Clayton Shultz said it in the beginning of the year.
The Eastern Hancock boys track team has no one true star. To win big meets, the Royals coach said, they would have to overwhelm opponents with superior depth.
That did not happen Tuesday night at Waldron. And the result was Eastern Hancock failing to win the Mid-Hoosier Conference Championship for the first time since it joined the league three years ago.
Despite leading for nearly half of the meet, the Royals could only muster 109 points and a third-place finish.
“Without that one guy to sort of carry us, in order for us to win, we need everyone to perform at their best,” Shultz said. “And tonight, we were just sort of ‘blah.’ We weren’t awful, but we certainly weren’t at our best.”
South Decatur claimed the meet with 122.5 points. Indian Creek was runner-up with 119 points. Southwestern (Shelby) scored 57.25 points, followed by Morristown (43), Knightstown (35.25), Hauser (33.75), North Decatur (30), Waldron (22.25) and Edinburgh (13).
“We were not ourselves tonight,” Shultz said. “I’m not making excuses. The other teams were really good tonight. But we did not perform to the level we needed to perform. We didn’t deserve to win.”
Shultz said a silver lining of the meet was that they managed to finish third overall without recording a single blue-ribbon winner. Instead, they depended on the work of a slew of second- and third-place finishers.
Runners-up for Eastern Hancock on Tuesday night were Aaron Riley (shot put), Cole Cochard (110-meter hurdles) Clayton Brumfield (1,600), Reece Burkhart (discus) and the 4×800-meter relay team (Brumfield, Parker West, Corbin Jennings, Gabe Blake).
Notching third-place finishes for the Royals were the 4×100 relay team (Riley, Austin Smith, Brinson and Braden Dickey), Dickey (long jump), and Brinson (200-meter dash).
“On a positive note, our throws were pretty good, tonight,” Shultz said. “If there is something that can get us out of the sectional and into the regional, it’s those guys.”
The Royals compete in the Mt. Vernon sectional May 21. Those who qualify compete at the North Central Regional on May 28.
Notes: This is the first year since they joined the MHC that the Royals have failed to score at least 100 points at the conference meet. They scored 141 last year and 119 two years ago. … Last year’s team won five events, including a relay sweep. … 2015 team champion South Decatur finished ninth last year with 22 points.
Boys team results:
- South Decatur 122.5
- Indian Creek 119
- Eastern Hancock 109
- Southwestern(Shelby) 57.25
- Morristown 43
- Knightstown 35.25
- Hauser 33.75
- North Decatur 30
- Waldron 22.25
- Edinburgh 13