FISHERS — Last spring, the Mt. Vernon boys track team relied on a methodical pace to win. This year, the Marauders have a new identity, and they revealed it in their season opener.
Finishing first in the Hoosier Heritage Conference and 23rd at the IHSAA state meet in 2016 behind their record-setting distance runners, on Tuesday, the Marauders’ sprinters opened up the throttle against host Fishers.
Mt. Vernon won four events and swept the 110-meter hurdles despite losing 86-46.
“It’s all about the adrenaline. No matter how tired I get, once my adrenaline gets going, I’m ready for the race,” said Mt. Vernon sophomore Jailin Porter, who won two races individually. “We lost some very good distance runners, so I’m just trying to improve myself, break records and do my best.”
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Porter was unmatched in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, taking first in both for the Marauders. The sprinter breezed to a 22.9-second run in the 200 and an 11.49 to win the 100.
Porter was a part of the team’s 4×200 indoor relay team that placed 19th during the Hoosier State Relays this month. The group shattered their own school record in the state meet at Indiana University by .2 seconds with a 1:33.99.
Against Fishers, Porter brought the same approach outdoors and helped the 4×100 relay team finish second with a 45.69. Manning the final leg, Porter was followed by Donovan Bigelow, Nathan Casler and Darrius Reed.
“I think all of our hand-offs were mediocre. We can definitely improve and take off some time,” Porter said. “Other than that, I thought we were really good.”
Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall agreed with Porter’s assessment, especially considering the quick turnaround to prepare for the meet.
“We’re just coming off a two week vacation; I haven’t seen some of these kids but for one day the last three weeks,” Kendall said. “They come back, and it’s, ‘Hey, good news boys, we have Fishers. We’ll be fine.'”
In the 110 hurdles and 100, the Marauders were decisive. Damari Gatewood placed first in the hurdles, besting the field with a 17.31. Teammate Brent Donaldson was second at 17.55, while Alex Barnett completed the trifecta with an 18.51 for third.
Bigelow took second in the 100 behind Porter with an 11.54. Barnett was runner-up in the 300 hurdles at 44.0 as Donaldson placed third in 45.4.
Alex Carver secured another runner-up finish in the 400 at 53.10.
Casler, who won the high jump at sectional a year ago with a leap of 5-11, continued to build on his school-record clearance of 6-2 during the indoor season.
The senior recorded a 6-1 against Fishers to win, while assisting the 4×400 relay, which took second at 3:31.82.
Garrett Mauk was third in the discuss with a toss of 137 feet, 8 inches. Gatewood was second in the long jump at 20-2, and Reed was fourth at 18-2.
“Our field events are really good. Casler is one of our bests, so we depend on him to get those points,” Porter said.
Casler, who is a National Guardsman, is aiming for 6-4 by season’s end with state aspirations.
“Meets like this, it makes you realize that no matter who else you face this season, you’re going to see teams like this again in the state finals. You’re going to have to compete with these teams not just your regular-season type of teams,” Casler said.
Drew Bluethmann scored points for the Marauders with his endurance as he finished third in the 3,200 in a time of 10:27.52. He also played a role in the 4×800 relay team’s second-place finish in 8:58.45.
“The points are all the same in each event, you just have to win in different ways,” Kendall said. “A lot of times, track is about balance. You can win an invitational without winning a single event, but you always have to find a different way to win and compete.”
The Marauders host Marion on Friday for their home opener at 5:30 p.m.
Fishers 86, Mt. Vernon 46
4×800 relay: 1. Fishers, 8:38.38; 2. Mt. Vernon, 8:58.45; 3. Fishers, 9:07.28
110 hurdles: 1. Gatewood (MV), 17.31; 2. Donaldson (MV), 17.55; 3. Barnett (MV), 18:51
100 meter: 1. Porter (MV), 11:49; 2. Bigelow (MV), 11:54; 3. Mabry (F), 11:76
1,600 meter: 1. Werling (F), 4:33.26; 2. E. Meyer (F), 4:35.33; 3. Runion (F), 4:35.79
4×100 relay: 1. Fishers, 44.66; 2. Mt. Vernon, 45.69; 3. Fishers, 47.88
3,200 meter: 1. Meyer (F), 10:03.65; 2. Kurtock (F); 10:19.10; 3. Bluethmann (MV), 10:27.52
Long jump: 1. Syrus (F), 20-3; Gatewood (MV), 20-2; 3. Forbes (F), 19-4.75
High jump: 1. Casler (MV), 6-1; 2. Forbes (F), 6-0; 3. Jackson (F), 5-10
Discus: 1. Harding (F), 145-5.5; 2. Fosegi (F), 144-1; 3. Mauk (MV), 137-8
300 hurdles: 1. Kantner (F), 42.2; 2. Barnett (MV), 44.0; 3. Donaldson (MV), 45.4
800 meter: 1. E. Meyer (F), 2:05.50; 2. Kuhn (F), 2:05.81; 3. Roth (F), 2:07.58
200 meter: 1. Porter (MV), 22.9; 2. Moss (F), 23.1; 3. Syrus (F), 23.3
Pole vault: 1. Tyler (F), 11-0; 2. Blake (F), 10-6; 3. Jackson (F), 10-0
400 meter: 1. Graham (F), 52.18; 2. Carver (MV), 53.10; 3. Lindeloom (F), 55.40
Shot put: 1. Martin (F), 48-2; 2. Kosegi (F), 47-7.5; 3. Bernhardt (F), 44-11
4×400 relay: 1. Fishers, 3:28.87; 2. Mt. Vernon, 3:31.82; 3. Fishers, 3:41.09