FORTVILLE – It was an alternatively exciting and frustrating night for Mt. Vernon boys track coach Bruce Kendall. All three relay teams for the Marauders, along with Jailin Porter in the 200-meter, advanced from Friday’s sectional contest, but late Thursday, the coach was still awaiting the official word about whether other athletes will advance to the regional contest next week at North Central.
“A lot of our guys ran really well tonight, and we’ll know by about 2 a.m. how many exactly made regionals,” he said.
Lawrence North won the team event about 20 points ahead of Anderson. Mt. Vernon placed 4th.
The meet started off on a positive foot for the Marauders as the 4×800-meter relay team of Alex Carver, Drew Bluethmann, Ashton Lewis and Reilly Glassing placed third to advance to regionals while outrunning their seed-time by 10 seconds.
Story continues below gallery
Soon after the finals started, the second relay team of the night for the Marauders advanced by placing third again, as the 4×100-meter relay team of Darius Reed, Nathan Casler, Blake Miller and Jailin Porter advanced with a time of 44.73. Porter followed that up by qualifying individually in the 200 meter with a time of 23.44.
Apart from the 4×800-meter relay team of Mt. Vernon, times were a bit slower at Wednesday’s sectional as a strong wind gusted toward runners in the third and fourth turns, Kendall said.
“The wind here was really tough tonight,” Kendall stated. “It pushed back on guys so much in those last two turns, it was hard to get back up to speed again by the time you got around to the same spot in the multiple-lap races.”
In the last race of the night, the Marauders 4×400-meter relay team advanced to the regional after placing third in a tight and entertaining race with Lawrence North and Anderson.
Eastern Hancock directly advanced one athlete to next week’s regional as well, as Reece Burkhart matched his second-place seed entering the event by throwing 48-01.75. Also, Royals runner Jayson Bowers finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, securing a good chance of receiving a callback to regionals.
The Marauders list of potential callbacks is longer as the following individuals placed fourth: Nathan Casler in the High Jump, Alex Barnett in the 110-meter hurdles, and Blake Miller in pole vault.
Kendall believes his 4×400-meter relay team has the best shot of making it to the state finals.
“We’re ranked 17th in the state right now in the 4×4,” Kendall said. “So if we post a good time next week, and other teams drop out, I think we might make it.”