INDIANAPOLIS — Samuel Voelz put his best foot forward, and it proved to be the difference.

A late lunge by the New Palestine senior allowed the Dragons to close Thursday’s Warren Central boys track and field regional in style with a first-place finish in the 4×400 relay.

Voelz’s surge over the final 60 meters enabled the Dragons to post a time of 3:21.02 compared to the host Warriors’ 3:21.08.

New Palestine finished fourth in the final team standings with 59 points. The host Warriors ran away with the title with 98 points, followed by Center Grove (78.5) and Columbus North (64.5).

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“It’s been a great meet for us overall,” Dragons coach Kyle Ralph said. “Brady Walden broke the school record in long jump, our 4×100 relay broke the school record for the second time this year and Caleb Eagleson ran a great mile tonight.”

New Palestine will be represented in a total of five events at the State Finals at Indiana University on June 3. Voelz’s busy – and incredibly successful – evening including winning the 800-meter run in 1:55.09 and anchoring the first-place 4×800 relay.

As the new kid on the latter, senior Chase Crowder has shouldered his share of pressure this spring.

Crowder, the second runner, teamed with leadoff Caleb Eagleson, Spencer Corey and Voelz to dominate the event in a time of 7:55.02. Runner-up Franklin Central was more than 14 seconds behind.

“I thought we ran a strong race,” Crowder said. “Our goal was to get into the fast heat at state, and I believe with a time like that we can definitely do that. It’s amazing to be part of this. A great experience.

“I’ve got to make sure I live up to what they want. First-place is our goal.”

Walden came in third in the long jump with a best effort of 21 feet, 11 inches; Eagleson took second in the 1,600-meter run in 4:27.55.

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.